June 11, 2012

Last Word: Shehla Chatoor.

Style Stripped brings you a one on one Last Word session with the brilliant designer Shehla Chatoor. Shehla believes in being innovative yet classy, her design aesthetic has emerged to be extremely powerful and compelling in the last few years. She is renowned to make women look beautiful, be it western or eastern wear.
Shehla in an in house printed silk cocktail dress and Giuseppe Zanotti heels

Shehla, the brand...  What does it stand for?
The brand “SHEHLA” is associated with luxurious, sophisticated, impeccable and timeless ensembles. The labels has managed to attain new heights and acclaim by constant innovation and improvisation. 

What is your design aesthetic and does it differ from your personal style?
My design aesthetic is to make women look and feel glamourous, ultra feminine, extra ordinary – in short all things chic!I feel there is a stark resemblance in what I create and my personal style, rather my designs in so many ways are an extension of my personal style.

How does Shehla dress herself? Inspirations?
It really depends of the mood and occasion. I am inspired by everything around me, places I visit, people I meet, art, history, movies, music.

What is the one trend that a Pakistani girl should adopt this year? 
I do not Pakistani women should follow trends blindly. They should wear clothes according to their body types, age and lifestyle..

What pushes you to innovate and not stick to the regular Bridal wear 
I am extremely passionate about what I create, be it a bridal wear or a cocktail dress. I feel a label is stagnant if it does not come up with something unique. More than anything I am my own critique and I constantly innovate to come up to my own expectations. For instance, even for my bridals I am constantly re-inventing old techniques with a contemporary twist. 

What makes you do such insanely beautiful eastern wear... Where does the colour and pattern sense come from
Thank you!! My eastern wear is more inspired by history, more particularly the Moghul era. When it comes to designing eastern wear I stick to tradition, age old crafts. The cuts might be more contemporary, but the embellishments and embroidery are extremely intricate and have an old world charm to it. 

What's the one favourite article of clothing in your wardrobe
Its got to be an extremely vintage “ancient kashmiri embroidered jacket” which I had my karigars revive foe me.

What have you been indulging in recently, any new additions to bags, shoes or jewels etc
Shoes, shoes, shoes.....A girl can never have enough:)

What's your opinion about new opening in Pakistan: Next, Accessorize, Spalsh etc and what's your favourite if any...
Its great to see so many local and international brands flourishing in Pakistan. My favourite is definitely Accessorize as I have two young daughters and it is their favourite store. 

What pushes you to design accessories such as shoes, bags and belts for your collections? A lot of designers don't invest on these details.
I feel an outfit is incomplete without proper accessories. I cant imagine my outfit accessories even when I design. For instance, my jumpsuits are incomplete without my signature chain mail belts, or my printed wrap dresses would be unfinished without my logo buttons. I started doing shoes over a decade ago when my bridals would not go with the shoes that the brides would bring. It started out as a necessity to make my bridals have a complete Shehla look. 

What's your advice to new designers
Work hard, stay true to your work and believe in yourself. Be a trend setter, not a follower. Sometimes the craziest of ideas are the most successful ones, so do go ahead and execute your crazy ideas. Never, never go on to the path of plagiarism, you shall be lost forever and remember there is absolutely no limit to what you can achieve!

Favorite model
There are so many talented ones out there. To name a few, Rabia Butt, Amina Ilyas, Mehreen Syed, etc...

What is your opinion about Style Stripped?

In today’s world internet sites reporting on fashion have become just as important as print media. Most fashion magazines have online presence and many prominent fashion journalist write on their blogs.  In this area style stripped plays a very important role as I believe it is one of the most followed site to stay connected to latest news, trends, celebrities, fashion events, runway reviews. etc. Also, its a load of fun to follow who’s wearing what...

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