Inspired by The Flapper Girls
Flappers were a generation of youthful Western women in the 1920s who wore short skirts, bobbed their hair, listened to jazz, and flaunted their derision for what was at that time well thought-out as acceptable behaviour. All her collection speaks of desire and positive energy, love, warmth. We talked about this with the designer Ohaila Khan.
What are you working on at the moment?
We just launched our fall collection ‘The Vision of Salome,’ a modern contemporary festive line with a focus on the gold fringe and chain embroidery. We are now working on an extension of this collection moving towards a slightly more traditional route for the wedding season. Fusing modern elements like chain embroidery with traditional techniques like Zardozi and Dabka in a festive colour palette is something that the new looks are going to be like.
How would you describe your aesthetics?
My aesthetic sensibilities are a strong mix of western and eastern elements that I like combing in my work. Most garments from my collection will have a touch of tradition depicting my Indian roots, however usually spiked with some kind of modern hint. I personally enjoy creating garments with classic traditional Indian silhouettes teamed with unique and experimental embroidery techniques inspired by a lifelong affair with European Couture.
What was the biggest inspiration behind your latest collection?
Our Fall ‘17 collection ‘The Vision of Salome’ takes inspiration from the expressive dancing era of the 20’s, The Flapper Girls of the 1920’s; their performances were an ode to the expression of women's liberation and emancipation. Fringes and flaps that defined their style have been constructed into contemporary style silhouettes.
What’s your top pick from this collection?
My top pick from this collection is the jumpsuit gown. It’s a silhouette that has now almost become a classic with our label. This one consists of a plain black tube jumpsuit with a detachable skirt that is worn over it. It has beautiful gold fringes where each string has been individually attached with precision and hand embroidered to create a beautiful chevron heartbeat pattern.
The beauty of this style, however, is its versatility, where it looks like a gown from behind but a jumpsuit from the front.
It's also great value for money as you can wear it as it is or as separates where you can have fun with the styling by using the jumpsuit without the skirt to a club or throw over the detachable skirt over a plain black Anarkali or Kurta you own to create different looks with the same outfit.
What are three pieces every woman should have in her wardrobe?
A white shirt, a black dress and something couture preferably borrowed from her culture like an exquisite kimono if she's Japanese or a handcrafted sari if she's Indian.
How much of yourselves do you put into the projects you create?
I feel to most artists their work is very personal, it's not a business it's an expression of self and no matter how detached you try to be we always put our souls into our work.
What is your obsession as a designer?
I think it keeps changing just like fashion keeps changing. The key is to evolve and grow and not obsess over the same stuff for too long.
Who inspires you the most in fashion?
What are the greatest challenges designers face today?
I guess replicas of their products. With the social media boom, a label reaches to consumers and worldwide markets; however, it has also exposed us to a market of replica manufacturers waiting to screenshot and copy designs.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Having invented hundreds of more new innovative and beautiful designs/techniques and still working towards more tirelessly.