Fashionista Shameena tells us about the most popular emerging culture in fashion fusion, the Afghan Jewellery. She traces the history and culture of the people. Here’s an in-depth narrative about the subject, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.
Fashion is a means of self-expression that allows people to try on many roles in life. It’s a way of celebrating the diversity and variety of the world in which we live. Fashion is about change which is necessary to keep life interesting. It’s a way of measuring a mood that can be useful in many aspects, culturally, socially even psychologically. At the same time, fashion shouldn’t be taken too seriously or you lose the fun of it.
Fashion plays a main role in the fusion of different cultures and influences. In the modern fashion industry, there is a kind of renaissance going on where people are fascinated by the past, a time before machines and digital networks. The idea is to take styles from all eras and places with different vibes and bring it all together to show that you love the totality of it, the great empowered feeling of being free, fresh, and alive.
A lot of styles is open to interpretation so that you can pull what you like from every region and every time. In a way, it speaks about a global culture that’s suddenly merging altogether. At a deep level, we all want to feel connected and united. Fashion and style can do that for people, especially when it’s a fusion of everybody’s roots.
Fashion Fusion with Afghan Jewellery
One among the most popular emerging culture in fashion fusion is the Afghan Jewellery. It is not just popular for its beauty; it also has a captivating history that dates back to thousands of years and shadows the ancient routes that interlaced through Afghanistan.
Afghan traditional clothes and jewellery are originated from the Kuchis in Afghanistan. Kochis or Kuchis (from the Persian word: کوچ koch; meaning “migration”) are Afghan Pashtun nomads, primarily from the Ghilji tribal confederacy.
They used to migrate or wander on borders between Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Pakistan, they used to move towards Indus Valley and in the West, they used to move towards Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Some of the most distinguished Ghilji Kochi tribes include the Kharoti, Andar, and Ahmadzai. Authentic tribal jewellery takes not only a culturally idealised outward appearance but also reflects a way of life that is steeped in socio-cultural tradition.
In the 21st century, the Afghan Kuchi jewellery is frequently referred to as nomadic jewellery. Afghan fashion itself is a melange of influences, a result of its long history of invasions from Persia, Turkey, Greece, Russia and other countries.
The Afghan Kuchi jewellery is distinguished on the basis of whether the pieces are made of costly materials, imported pieces, or made of beads. The more expensive pieces of jewellery are generally created using precious and semi-precious stones worked in the metal and inlay settings by metal craftsmen in public workshops.
The more expensive the jewellery, then it has most likely derived from the Afghan environment, it will have precious stones carved in which would be found in mountainous or riverine areas. Those types are generally worn on special occasions, while the less costly ornaments made from imported materials are worn on an everyday occasion.
The most distinguished Kuchi jewellery pieces are those that are worn by young women for special occasions like their Nikka (Muslim wedding or engagement celebration) because jewellery made of precious and semi-precious material are generally worn on those days.
More simple jewellery that is worn by Afghan women every day in Afghanistan is made from cotton-stung Mora (beads) and coins also natural products such as cloves, nuts, and clay that are easily found locally in Afghanistan.
Modern fashion had developed a love for the culture, colour and life that sparks out of Gandi Afghani and its jewellery. People are intrigued by the designs and colours used to create the traditional clothes and the jewellery. The Afghan clothes are worn by top-ranked models on catwalk shows. Though many of the pieces are more than 100 years old, they look modern.
Jewellery is the perfect way to bring life to an outfit and enhance your best features. What better way to do so than to complete your look with a bold, striking and attention-grabbing piece of statement jewellery? Statement pieces like Afghani jewellery bring fun in wearing but can make all the wrong statements if they are not worn correctly. The beauty of statement jewellery is that it only takes one piece to make your whole outfit stand out. The key is to keep it simple and either work your outfit around one big eye-catching piece or to work well-coordinated statement accessories into your look by striking the right balance.
Bold pieces should be allowed to stand out, so do not over-crowd your look by wearing them within close proximity of each other. It is preferable to wear one at a time, but if you do want to wear more than one statement piece, make sure not to wear statement bracelets and rings together and avoid wearing statement earrings and necklaces at the same time.
Chandelier earrings and a cuff bracelet can look beautiful when worn together, while a long necklace and a cocktail ring can match perfectly. Just make sure to select items that coordinate. Try to stick with the same kind of metal and avoid clashing patterns and charms.
Keep it simple: Big accessories are best worn with simple clothes. Steer clear of busy patterns and embellishments such as sequins when wearing bold jewellery. Remember, you want your statement piece to stand out, so match items wisely. Don’t pull the focus away from your bold jewellery. Coordinate smaller accessories with your statement pieces by keeping them to a minimum and sticking to the same colour or metal.
Choose earrings: Statement earrings are beautiful, ornate and cannot be missed. They will be the first thing that anyone talking to you will notice. To make sure they frame your face, choose a pair that suits your face shape and enhances your features. Choosing the wrong pair can be distracting, so take details such as length, colour, shape and outfit coordination into consideration when choosing adornment for your ears.
When wearing dangly statement earrings, it is better to keep your hair sleek and not too big. Remember, it’s all about balance, so while you can pump up the volume with simple earrings, larger ones will balance better with loose waves or poker-straight hair. Alternatively, pull your hair up into a chic chignon. Also, make sure that your make-up balances well with your earrings. If you are wearing a brightly coloured pair, they may look best with clean and simple makeup.
Choosing Necklace: The best way to make sure a statement necklace stands out is to wear it with the right neckline. Strapless, off-the-shoulder, scoop necked or V-necked dresses and tops are ideal, as they will let your statement piece do the talking.
Collars, halter necks and detailing close to the face should be avoided, as they will clash with bold pieces. A one-colour turtle-neck sweater can work beautifully with a statement necklace, provided that it is form-fitting and one colour throughout.
Make sure to wear a statement necklace next to a simple and preferably one colour top to keep the look chic and to do your necklace justice. You can never go wrong with neutral tones, so wear bright and attention-grabbing necklaces with black, white or nude to keep the look elegant.
Choosing Ring: When wearing a bold ring make sure that the colour of your nail polish does not clash with the colours in your ring, and avoid wearing a bold and colourful ring with multi-colored manicures, nail art and glitter nail polish. These eye-catching rings are the smallest of all the statement pieces, so have as much fun with them as you like. The bigger and brighter, the better. Just remember that balance is key, so it is better to wear one at a time.
Choosing Arm-wear: Cuff bracelets are an excellent choice if you want to wear a statement piece. To show yours off, keep your arms bare or wear a cuff over a slim-fitting one colour long sleeve top. Stick to one cuff to create a focal point.
Bangles are another great option. Just remember that if you would like to stack a number of bangles together, stick to one arm only. Keep to a maximum of six bangles at a time as a general rule of thumb to avoid overdoing it and make sure that the bangles’ colours and patterns complement each other. When layering bangles, throwing in some gold or silver always looks great.
Photos by the author.
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Shameena is a Self-made independent entrepreneur, Fashion Designer and Stylist, Artist, Photographer, Fitness freak, Poet, Blogger, Graphic Designer, Life strategist and many other things. Her collections cater to a broad range of women, from classic to modern, fusion and embrace all attitudes from romantic to dramatic. She is currently situated in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.