Style by Saloni

Fash­ion de­signer Saloni Lodha re­veals her fond­est mem­o­ries and most prized pos­ses­sions

Hong Kong Tatler - - Last Note -

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.

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