Hailed from India, designer Hema Kaul is now based in Dubai, a city that, according to Hema, offers elegance at its finest. Having showcased at London Fashion Week and Dubai’s Fashion Forward last year, and already garnering attention from Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities, Hema tells us about the Middle East fashion scene and the experience of launching a brand in Dubai.
We caught a glimpse of your debut collection at Dubai’s Fashion Forward event and were drawn to the combination of pastel colours and vintage style of your dresses. How would you describe your style? I like the concept of renovation in Fashion. Vintage is a big inspiration of mine and I love the pastel colour palette for Spring/Summer 14. I am also inspired by the 1960′s glamour, luxury and lace. I would describe my style as feminine, classic and chic.
Can you tell us briefly about the experience of launching a brand in Dubai? And how would you set yourself apart from other designers here? I was very excited yet a little nervous about launching Hema Kaul collections as it has always been a dream of mine to have a clothing line. I chose Dubai as it is where I am based, everyone is very fashion conscious here and this city just oozes glamour, luxury and femininity, which perfectly exemplifies my brand. Hema Kaul collections not only caters to the Eastern audience but also to the Western. I think the lace element and the embellishments are Eastern inspired but my clothing is also classic, edgy and modern, which is what the Western audiences love. Hema Kaul, to put it simply, is a traditional glance over contemporary style.
Having lived in Dubai most of your life, how would you say fashion and perception differs in Dubai compared to other cities? I feel here in the Middle East people are definitely fashion conscious, but they are also selective and conservative in their dressing when compared with Europe. Thus in that way I do have to design certain items to cater for different markets, which is what I love as I’m a creative, and to be inspired by different cultures is what makes my designs unique.
You come from a business background. When did you decide to delve deeper in fashion and launch a brand? I’ve always had a passion for fashion, but it was in 2010 that I really started to get more interested in fashion and started to design clothes and sold items in private sales… and it’s only now, after a long haul of hard work, that I have own label.
Who are your favourite designers and who has influenced your style the most? My favourite designer is Alexander McQueen. His clothing is just luxurious, intricate and edgy. Coco Chanel is definitely someone I admire – the epitome of class, femininity and elegance, which again resembles Hema Kaul collections.
What’s next? I am hoping to take Hema Kaul collections to Paris Fashion Week and I am also planning to stock my designs internationally.
If you could be stuck in an elevator with anybody, who would it be? Sarah Jessica Parker! She is my muse. Her style is quirky, but elegant, and she pushes the boundaries of what’s acceptable: whether it’s micro-minis or shorts for the red carpet to gorgeous gowns. I am always looking out for her when she hits the red carpet, because I know it will be a showstopper.