Handcuffed in the name of fashion
It seems women have the ability to transform everything that men wear to must haves in their wardrobe. Boyfriend jackets, baggy boyfriend pants and now, cuffs. Jewelled cuffs made in different styles have been a red carpet favourite with celebrities all over the world.
“Cuffs have been seen before on style icons like Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. But recently, cuffs have become big, internationally. In India, we have always worn big kadas and kangans. The cuffs are a step ahead, with a modern twist to it. They help add the drama element to your outfit,” says celebrity stylist Tanya Ghavri. Designer Coco Chanel’s enamel Maltese Cross cuffs are as iconic as her pearl strands.
The cuff is cool
Ghavri who is a stylist to stars such as Sonam Kapoor, Asin and Karisma and Kareena Kapoor, says that cuffs can be worn with both western and traditional outfits, “You can put on two kundan cuffs when dressed in Indian outfits.”
Metal cuffs without any embellishments (worn on both hands) can be paired with pants and shirts or even monochrome jumpsuits. Reality TV star Kim Kardashian has been spotted on several outings wearing gunmetal plain cuffs on both hands with monochrome dresses and heels for a powerful corporate look. When simple in design, the cuff is the quickest way to add glamour to a plain outfit as it helps accessorising without looking over the top in spite of its size. Intricate ones, glimmering with diamonds can be reserved for evening outings and look great with saris too. If you are a biker chick, wear a studded (silver or gold) leather cuff with a jacket and a pair of boots to add some ‘jewellery’ to your outfit.
Even rapper Kanye West was spotted wearing a chunky gold cuff at The BET Awards this week. “You can achieve a great bohemian look by pairing plain cuffs with printed flowy skirts or maxis or printed cuffs with plain dresses,” the stylist adds. PVC was key material used last season to create transparent heels (Louis Vuitton and Louboutin) or dresses with flower stickers on them (Christopher Kane). Hence, you can also wear large translucent cuffs to add some Space Age drama to your wardrobe (think Wonder Woman) or plastic cuffs in bold colours for some colour blocking. “All your outfit needs is one statement piece. So when wearing cuffs, go easy on other accessories. You can wear a really thin chain on your neck or tiny studs. If you pile on a necklace and big earrings, it will get very messy and tacky,” warns Ghavri. Singer Rihanna, who wore a daring black gown to the Grammies this year, wore just a plain gold cuff and a thin barely-there chain to accentuate her plunging neckline.
“Cuffs actually have their origins from armies of ancient times. The big ones were worn for protection and somehow through the years it got embellished and resulted in what they are today. Also colourful beaded ones take inspiration from African tribes,” says jewellery designer Farah Khan Ali. “Women love statement pieces. And cuffs are perfect for it. The cuffs have been trending now for sometime and there has been an increase in demand for it. Plus celebrities wearing them adds on to the trend,” says Farah.
She says when women travel abroad, rather than carrying a necklace and earrings they prefer carrying just the cuff which owing to its size is enough to single-handedly complete one’s attire. “The larger they are the better. Abroad, women are wearing identical pairs — one on each hand, though here women still prefer just one. The trend is slowly coming here too,” says Farah.