A LWAY S &

WITH READY TO WEAR, COU­TURE AND BRIDAL ALL UN­DER HER AC­COM­PLISHED BELT, PRE-EM­I­NENT UAE-BASED DESIGNER AYE­SHA DEPALA TURNS COLUM­NIST FOR US, EX­POUND­ING THE VIRTUE OF TIME­LESS DE­SIGN IN A WORLD FULL OF FLEET­ING FASH­ION

Emirates Bride - - FRONT ROW/COLUMN -

aving been born to a fam­ily deeply em­bed­ded in the tex­tile trade, as well as grow­ing up sur­rounded by the ver­dant beauty of Kash­mir, it’s hardly sur­pris­ing that I was drawn to a ca­reer in the fash­ion in­dus­try. Over the course of the last 15 years, I have strived to de­velop my own, au­then­tic de­sign ethos while watch­ing a myr­iad of trends come and go. At times it was dif­fi­cult to re­main true to my in­ter­nal phi­los­o­phy of what fash­ion re­ally stood for - mainly be­cause of the ad­vent of so­cial me­dia and what it has brought to the in­dus­try. Its own ver­sion of the re­lent­less 24-hour news cy­cle blurrs the bound­aries be­tween trend and true fash­ion de­sign. A tricky place for a designer to re­side. Es­pe­cially one who re­lies on the some­what time­less aes­thetics that lend them­selves to bridal­wear – of­ten re­gard­less of cul­tural bound­aries.

To­day’s cus­tomer is no longer guided by the rel­a­tively uni­ver­sal views of con­struc­tion, colour and crafts­man­ship, but in­stead take their fash­ion cues from the ever-chang­ing whims of celebrity cul­ture. This is what makes fash­ion de­sign a real chal­lenge to­day, as it is now as much about de­sign and cre­ativ­ity as it is a com­mer­cially savvy busi­ness. Thank­fully, there still ex­ists a deep un­der­stand­ing of fash­ion as the ex­pres­sion of the en­dur­ing spirit of a woman - and an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of sub­stance (and style, of course) over short-lived trends. When a woman looks back at her wed­ding gown, I’m sure this is what she will want to feel – that she chose some­thing peren­ni­ally chic, beau­ti­ful and clas­sic rather than some­thing to­tally of the mo­ment.

As such, I al­ways strive to­wards po­si­tion­ing my brand at the cross­roads be­tween my own per­sonal sense of style, no doubt a prod­uct of my cre­ative up­bring­ing, and the fash­ion in­dus­try as its been seen his­tor­i­cally. For me, there’s no big­ger feel­ing of ac­com­plish­ment than when I see in a client’s eyes that they’ve recog­nised that both beauty and fash­ion share one in­her­ent qual­ity; the abil­ity to tran­scend both cul­tures and trends, and speak to the very heart of what it means to be hu­man.” "WHEN A WOMAN LOOKS BACK AT H E R W E D D I N G G O W N , S H E ' L L WA N T T O F E E L T H AT S H E C H O S E S O M E T H I N G P E R E N N I A L LY C H I C , B E A U T I F U L A N D C L A S S I C R AT H E R THAN SOME­THING TOTA L LY O F

THE MO­MENT"

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