Style by Saloni
Fashion designer Saloni Lodha reveals her fondest memories and most prized possessions
I grew up in a small town in Rajasthan, India and moved to Hong Kong in 2001, before eventually ending up in London, where I did a short course at Central Saint Martins, learning pattern-cutting and couture hand-sewing.
Despite not having much access to Western fashion, my love affair with textiles began at a young age. The women in my community only wore saris and my grandfather owned a fabric shop. It was when I moved to Hong Kong that I saw a gap in the market for something more personal. I decided to set up pop-up boutiques and sell one-off pieces of clothing made in collaboration with artisans back home. My dear friend Bandana Tewari, who is now Vogue India’s fashion features director, always believed in my point of view and pushed me to think outside the box. After gaining some work experience in London, I started my own brand.
I always bear my Indian heritage in mind when designing, but don’t translate it literally into our clothes. I think the way we as a brand celebrate bold colours and patterns is our way of bringing the spirit of India into the collections.
My top pick from my autumn/winter 2015 collection is the dotted Alexia dress [pictured far left]—it’s such an iconic Saloni look. It’s been one of the most in-demand pieces, with such a long waiting list at most stockists that even my personal orders have been pinched by friends.
I met photographer Ellen von Unwerth at a dinner in London in 2011 and we ended up doing a short Bollywood film for my autumn/winter 2012 collection. It was called Jodphur Jackie and is inspired by photographs of Jacqueline Kennedy’s tour to India in 1962.
My most prized possessions include my collection of Alaïa shoes—alaïa also happens to be the name of my god-daughter, so she seems destined to inherit them. I also have a collection of beautiful old jewellery from Rajasthan, passed down from my grandmother.
My wardrobe staples are classics like crisp white shirts and Robert Clergerie raffia oxfords— I might have almost every pair ever made.
Most days you will find me wearing pieces from my own line, mixed in with a bit of vintage Yves Saint Laurent, or some soft tailoring from Dries Van Noten and Isa Arfen.
with Catherine Deneuve is my favourite fashion film. It’s a French film from the ’60s and I love the colours.
I draw inspiration from women around me; I have always loved Maharani Gayatri Devi for her determination and elegance. But the person I admire the most in the fashion industry is my talented and dear friend Charlotte Dellal [the founder of Charlotte Olympia], as she never ceases to amaze me. She juggles motherhood and work with great energy and an impressive zest for life.
My advice for anyone who wants to be in the fashion industry is to enjoy it, but don’t become obsessed by it.