An Inside Look at Mehendi Trends with Kamala's Henna World

May 27, 2014 - by Shriya

It's no surprise that the ancient Mughal custom of painted a bride's hands and feet with mehendi, or henna paste, has become a part of modern and traditional South Asian weddings worldwide! The dark brown paste is delicately applied in intricate patterns by a professional a few nights before the wedding day - by the time it dries and cracks off, a bright, orange design of various prints will serve as a beautiful bridal ornamentation.

Kamala Henna 2 width=

To get some inside tips on the henna business, I spoke to Kamala Chandrasekar - the owner of Kamala's Henna World, a well-reviewed mehendi design shop in Santa Clara, CA. Kamala has studied henna design, oil painting, and traditional art extensively - and her knowledge and expertise is easily noticed in her work.

The Process

When asked about her own process, Kamala emphasizes her attention to detail and commitment to the designs. Kamala uses Indian Rajasthani henna for her projects, which is both authentic and turns out looking beautiful. She can often be found spending around 5-6 hours doing a bride's henna work.  The attention to detail and delicate application is crucial for a perfect bridal henna design.

Kamala believes that the most important element to being a henna artist is not being able to draw intricate designs like she can, but rather, being able to make clean lines and pay attention to detail.

It is important to make careful designs and put different elements of patterns together. She believes the practical aspects of mehendi design are more important than creativity - although being able to design your own henna patterns is superbly beneficial!

Kamala Henna 1 width=

Current Trends

Gulf Influence

Among today's brides, the most popular designs are peacocks, paisley, and lately - an influx of fusion designs from Arabic and Gulf origins. While peacocks and paisley are the more traditional, some brides ask Kamala for specific and personal work. She has done a few henna designs to match the bride's lehenga embroidery - which requires a lot of artistic ability, creative design, and use of flowery patterns.

Kamala Henna 4 width=

Contemporary henna trends, much like modern wedding trends, draw from different worlds. Fusion designs, primarily involving a combination of traditional Indian/Pakistani patterns and Arabic or Gulf inspirations, are becoming increasingly popular.

Colored Henna & Embellishments

There's a new fad over colored henna. Purples, greens, and reds are common colors used to highlight different patterns and call notice to the unique design. Kamala tells me that many artists in India use nail polish or other dyes to color the original henna paste. While it does make for some gorgeous designs, she warns that nail polish in particular is not good for the skin!

Kamala Henna 3 width=

While nail polish allows henna designs to last longer, other color embellishments, such as zardosi, allows henna artists to pop color into their patterns. Zardosi mehendi is a mixture of henna, glitter, and hair gel - which makes for a glossy and bright display. Kamala has used zardosi color embellishments before, but she has to draw the henna the day of the bride's wedding since the texture of the henna paste does not create a very long-lasting design.

MP Singh Photography - Henna World width=

Photo by MP Singh Photography.

The world of henna is truly a wonder, with new tricks and trends popping up constantly. As for some dazzling tips, Kamala swears by the use of glitter - which is often sprinkled over a henna design before it dries. The sparkling after-effect really brings out the beauty of the mehendi and the bride on the special wedding day!

To contact Kamala, you can call (408)-691-9935 or visit her website at www.henna-world.com.

 

 

Related posts

Flower Glossary Sunflowers

Flower Glossary: Sunflowers

Name: Sunflower Latin Name: Helianthus Season: End of spring through summer, with June, July, and August being peak months Meaning: Sunlight, [...]

Indian Wedding Four Seasons Hotel Austin | AzulOx Photos 25

Yogini & Deepak's Intimate Indian Wedding {Austin, TX}

An intimate and elegant Indian wedding at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas, will sweep you off your feet. From their mandap that shimmered in the golden sun to the [...]

shutterstock_209309200

21 Rustic & Whimsical Wedding Bouquets

Oh hello there! Are you ready for a collection of wedding flower bouquets that will sweep you off your feet? That are more than red floral bouquets or even my favorite peonies [...]

Jay Seth Photography

Planning Your Wedding With DestinationWeddings.com

Destination weddings are big big big for Indians. If you're considering a destination wedding, we've brought in experts from DestinationWeddings.com. They're not only the [...]

San Francisco Wedding Fair-107

The Four Seasons San Francisco Wedding Fair 2014 Review

A few weeks ago, Matt and I attended the San Francisco Wedding Fair at the Four Seasons in downtown SF. This year's fair was full of lots of colors, inspiration, and fantastic [...]

korean wedding dress

An Indian Korean Wedding Tea Ceremony {Part II}

We are back with fabulous three event wedding affair! Since the bride is Korean and the groom is Indian, they wanted a way to incorporate their cultures from both families. [...]