Free Press Journal

“You have to own what you wear”, says Shehla Khan


Shehla Khan

SHEHLA KHAN, whose gorgeously elaborate yet easy to wear designs have found fans in the likes of Sonam Kapoor, Kareena and Karisma, shares fashion cues with PRATISHTHA MALHOTRA.

“I have literally gone to a Chanel store when I was two and cried for a bag!” says designer Shehla Khan as we tee off our conversation about the art of looking good, whether you’re a star or a non-heavenly body…

A lot of people tend to over-do it in the name of fashion. Where do you think they lack?
I don’t think they lack as such but everyone has become so conscious suddenly about what they are wearing and who they are wearing. Not everyone understands what they wear; you have to own what you wear. Style is a form of expression and with that you have to enhance your personality. If you are not an over the top person then you cannot carry over the top things. Over-accessorising is something which I personally cannot bear. I think it completely ruins your outfit and you end up looking like you are trying too hard. There is no reason for somebody to be adorned from head to toe. Everything should be worn elegantly even if it is ripped jeans and a T-shirt especially if you are a woman. Carriage is very important. If you can’t carry off something then it just looks wrong. I think these things are really important for people to keep in mind. If you don’t understand it, own it and don’t feel confident and comfortable in a certain garment, then just don’t wear it.

Speaking of our industry beauties, who, would you say, has a great sense of style?
Karisma Kapoor, to begin with! Ever since I saw her films in the ’90s I wanted to be a part of this Bollywood fashion industry. It really intrigued me because she has been my icon when I was growing up. She is a good friend and her personal style is something that I can really relate to as she believes that less is more. She is a beautiful girl and hasc glam anchor 2 the most amazing figure. She could easily go around wearing the tiniest of clothes but she is very chic. You would never find her skimpily dressed. She always is classic and you would never find her in something which she is not comfortable in – that is her true style. Anushka Sharma is another person I really like. She has this tomboyish image and I like the fact that she is willing to experiment but, at the same time, sticks to her personality. She has this quirky vibe and I really respect her style. Her appearances have consistently been amazing. Kareena Kapoor and Katrina Kaif are innately gorgeous from head to toe so whatever they wear just looks good on them. I think Shraddha Kapoor has really come out as far as fashion is concerned. She has become a little more experimental and daring after ABCD 2. I told her that she should only wear short clothes but she wears only what she is comfortable in. If you see her at a party, you would still find her in a top and jeans because that is what she is comfortable in. Speaking of Sonam, I think most of these blogs have come up because of her. She has created this benchmark in the industry as she takes a keen interest in fashion and really understands what she wears. The reason that she can practically carry off anything is because she has this interest in it. She understands vintage, the old Hollywood and Bollywood. We work very well together because we share that passion for the old world charm but at the same time she can carry off the edgiest of things. She also tries to add her own expression to what she is wearing which, I think, turns out amazingly. She has a very strong sense of aesthetic.

Trends come and go but unfortunately some trends people never want to leave! Which, according to you, are just bad rules of this game?
I think over-accessorising, over-embellishing and anything over the top or more than necessary for an outfit, is just not required. I always believe that less is more but not everyone has to believe that. I also buy things which are embroidered from head to toe but then it must have elegance. You need elegance in an outfit for it to look beautiful. People need to distinguish between what looks good and what doesn’t, and not everyone has that. Also copying someone is not only unethical but it would also never come out right. You could always be inspired by someone but not copy them. For instance, I am inspired by Abu- Sandeep and Anamika Khanna, I buy their clothes but I can’t copy them. We should always stick to our originality and what we believe in.

A Shehla Khan signature….
There is always some aspect of femininity to my designs because I feel that women should look like women. You would always find pastels in my collection. I call it ‘Poudre’ because it is powder pink…it is my version of skin colour. I will always add that to my collection no matter what. And white… I love white and lace! Love it!!!