Khushboo Kaplesh gives Middle Eastern divas a Parisian makeover

Khushboo Kaplesh gives Middle Eastern divas a Parisian makeover
A Khushboo Kaplesh design

By David Light

Published: Sat 22 Oct 2016, 4:19 PM

Last updated: Sun 15 Jan 2017, 10:44 AM

WHEN IT COMES to bold statements both Dubai and Paris know how to make them. Whether they be in architecture, food or fashion, although styles may be different, the outcome is always astounding.
What happens though if you mix the two influences? We speak to designer Khushboo Kaplesh who has done just that with her RTW label and also reveals her inspirations and difficulties in setting up a fashion business in Dubai.

How would you describe your collection and label overall?
My label and collections are for women who like to experiment with what they wear. She is confident and isn't afraid of making a statement. I like to weave a story with every collection I design. I see fashion as a form of wearable art, and every design in my collection carries the same vibe.
Another element that is important and essential for every Khushboo Kaplesh collection is wearability. It can take you from day to night, and can be styled in many ways to reflect a person's style statement.

What's new with the fall collection? What's your inspiration?
I have attempted to give a Middle Eastern diva a Parisian makeover; the collection features luxe tweed, hand-stitched pearls, playful sequins and flattering frills and ruffles, with a lot of underlying character and poise. Also, the variety of silhouettes range from shift dresses, reimagined pencil skirts and trousers, to opulent evening gowns. It's about your unique style and braving the OTT route.

What made you establish your own label? What were the challenges involved?
After graduation, I interned with the likes of coveted Dutch designer Iris Van Herpen, and then designed couture for three years. And recently I ventured into RTW, where I apply all that I learnt about finesse, quality and designing techniques attributed to couture to design collections that are ready-to-wear.
I have been in the industry for over four years, and have come across a number of overwhelming challenges. Most recently, I have realised the lack of support from boutiques in the region for upcoming local designers, which poses a major hurdle in the development and continuity of a label. However, despite challenges, you need to continue working towards your goals and find solutions to such problems. At least that's what I plan to do!

Since establishing your label, how has the response been?
I launched my RTW label late last year, so it has only been a year. But what a year! I feel like the market is a
little lethargic at the moment, so the response hasn't been over the top, but I
am positive that it will pick up as we draw closer to the end of 2016.

How does fashion fare in times of economic downturn? Is it affected and if so what changes are made?
I wish it were otherwise but when big bad economic downturn comes knocking, fashion also takes a hit. In fact, it is one of the first ones to suffer the brunt, as people relocate their disposable income to items they need, instead of want.
And at the end of the day, it's a business like any other. Why would it be spared? I feel like designers are turning to more and more RTW brands, and further classifying it into premium and seasonal collections. This helps them penetrate into different income brackets, and be more accessible.

What item of clothing do you believe people should always invest a decent amount of money in?

There are some classics that transcend seasons, and I believe it's best to invest a fair amount of thought and money in them. A classic, chic black dress, a couple of tailored blazers and trousers, and a pair of denims that make you look like a million dollars. And a few statement accessories, which can take a look from drab to fab instantly.

Essential fashion tips for this coming season:

Sparkles and sequins are wardrobe staples for the coming season, so you should definitely own at least one piece of OTT that's glamourous, with a healthy dose of dazzle.

Pearls are back in a major way. And they aren't only for evenings. Like the quintessential fashionista Coco Chanel said, 'a woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls', so make them your best friend.

Statement tops are in vogue. Basics can now be fun as well, so it's time to leave monochrome everything alone.

Smile. Everything works when you have a bright smile.

A Khushboo Kaplesh design
A Khushboo Kaplesh design
A Khushboo Kaplesh design
A Khushboo Kaplesh design
Khushboo Kaplesh
Khushboo Kaplesh

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