EXCLUSIVE: Shehla Khan says 'bridal outfits should be recycled'; Talks about dressing up stars & more
The ace designer who is known for her contemporary and opulent ensembles, in a tete-a-tete with Pinkvilla talked about working from home, things new-age brides should keep in mind, and more.
Bridal wear is constantly evolving. One designer who is known to always keep up with trends, mix contemporary and trending silhouettes with retro ones to come up with fresh new looks, is Shehla Khan. From experimenting with colour palettes and fabric, the designer is known for her versatile creations and edgy silhouettes with several Bollywood celebrities including Sonam Kapoor, Karan Johar, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Karisma Kapoor, Kiara Advani, Alia Bhatt, Bhumi Pednekar and Priyanka Chopra Jonas, to name a few.
In a conversation with the designer, she talks about trends, aspirations, inspirations and more.
How would you describe your aesthetics?
I enjoy beauty in all forms, so I love making women look their most feminine in my designs. Hence, my aesthetic inherently is feminine, with a lot of detail and intricacy yet using the concept of less is more.
What inspired your latest collection 'Nostalgia'? How is it different from your previous creations?
I was inspired by the 90s runway glamour and the style the supermodels from the decade donned. The works of the greatest couturiers of the time also inspired me. However, given the times, I am looking at sustainability and more repeat value of pieces, therefore, focusing on classic styles with an element of drama.
What makes the Shehla Khan bride different from every other designer?
The Shehla Khan bride is the ethnic Indian bride, but also the bride who wants to steer away from the regular Indian wedding attire. Either way, Bridal outfits shouldn't be a one time wear, but must be recycled to be able to be worn in different ways and kept forever.
For a wedding trousseau, what are some essential things you think most people forget?
Definitely heirloom pieces, there are so many garments, accessories even artefacts and jewellery which are from the yesteryears which we can recycle and would have incredible value today.
What is your favourite thing about weddings?
I love everything about weddings. I love how it's a glorified celebration of two people in love or their union, the coming together of loved ones and the pure joy everyone experiences from celebrating together for the couple and with them. Of course, something that I do enjoy more is watching everyone dressed at their best and ornate attire and the wonderful decorations that go into the ceremonies!
What should brides keep in mind when picking out an outfit?
Comfort and sustainability but most importantly originality. Succumbing to norms and what everyone around wants just leaves the bride feeling uncomfortable and not particularly her taste when it's her special day and it occurs once in a lifetime. It's something a girl plans her whole life and always has an idea what she wants to look like a bride when the time comes, getting swayed by trends and other people's opinions should not stand in the way of her choosing what she truly wants.
How would you describe your personal style?
I am a very basic and minimalistic person. I live in mostly black, white and denim with minimal accessories. I love collecting shoes of all kinds as well as statement pieces of clothing, some vintage too as well as everything lace! I wear a lot of pink and pastel colours in Indian and my favourite form of Indian attire is a sari.
What is the one fashion trend you can't get enough of?
I can never get bored of lace!
A fashion icon who has influenced you and your style over the years?
Audrey Hepburn, and John Galliano with his collections for Dior. Even Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy.
One fashion trend you never want to see again
Androgyny, I have nothing against it, in fact, I own a couple of suits which are androgynous but I really feel it was overrated at one point.
Some of the leading ladies in Bollywood have worn your creations and looked spectacular. Do you have a favourite look on any one of them?
I enjoy making people look beautiful and I loved dressing each of these stunning women. Something close to my heart will always be the sari I made for Sonam's wedding registration and just anything I can make for Kareena, Karisma Kapoor and Katrina Kaif!
One actress, you would love to play dress-up with?
Like I said before, I genuinely enjoy dressing beautiful women from all walks of life and I've been lucky enough to receive support from all of the beautiful actresses in the industry. Sonam has been supporting me and has been my muse ever since I started. Whenever I make a new collection I always have something ready with her in mind too!
What does your work from home outfit look like?
From someone who never wore track pants, I now live in gym clothes and track pants. Thanks to this situation, I am now working on my very own athleisure line for winter 2020.