The Fashion Orientalist got in touch with Dubai-based designer Shweta Wahi for a question and answer round. This talented and (very) young designer was born in India and brought up between the United Arab Emirates and Canada. She currently works as a fashion designer and image consultant in the UAE, Canada and South Africa and is showcasing her oriental fashion designs at different fashion shows around the world. Her designer philosophy for her label Solace by Shweta Wahi, is ‘with comfort comes confidence and confidence is always in style’. Her designs are young, fierce and include fabrics sourced from all over the world. A true supporter of oriental hybrid fashion, just like us!
Could you tell us more about your fashion label?
I started my label at the age of 17, about 5 years ago, in the city of Toronto. I consider myself an honorary ‘Torontonian’ as I was able to make the most of opportunities that came my way and really grew as a person over there. Today we have showcased our line at over twenty-five shows, the most recent being the Ottawa Fashion Week, Forbes Woman Africa Magazine Launch and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Africa.
‘’The Shweta Wahi woman is all about fuss free silhouettes, understated elegance and international fashion. She is comfortable, yet edgy and confident’’
Where do you draw inspiration from for your collections?
It’s a little difficult to capture my inspirations in a few words. I find that I can be inspired by people, lyrics of a song, a story, different textures or even a simple color.
You use different styles and types of fabrics for your designs, could you tell us more about that?
I am extremely fond of travelling and sometimes get the opportunity to do so for work. So my creations are usually made of fabrics or trimmings that I pick up along the way. I recently picked up tons of batik and hand woven ikat fabrics from Bali, and will be combining them with western silhouettes to complete the signature Shweta Wahi look. In this manner my clients know that what they are getting has been handpicked from the source, and that there is a raw ethnic feel to what they are wearing. Each piece is different and unique in its own way.
A lot of fashion designers have a celebrity muse, who would you like to dress?
I would love to dress Indian actress Kangana Ranaut. I have a lot of respect for her and her journey in Bollywood. She comes from a small town and has worked her way to the top – a recognized style icon in India today. She’s confident of who she is, not afraid to speak her mind, and embraces her insecurities – a real gem of a person.
You are now based in Dubai, what is the fashion scene like over there?
Dubai has seen a lot of progress in the past few years. There is an eclectic mix of style in this city – people are not afraid to experiment or express themselves through what they wear. Our local designers are really doing the city proud – there are tons who have reached international catwalks and are continuing to expand their labels.
Could you tell us something about the projects you are working on right now?
At the moment we’re working on a couple of shows for next year, along with some projects in Cape Town and Toronto. Stay tuned.
Solace by Shweta Wahi – Designs
I’ve selected 5 of my favorite looks from the Solace by Shweta Wahi – spring summer collection. My favorite pieces from this collection are the harem pants combined with a cute, crop-top and a black midi skirt combined with a short, crop-top, decorated with gold print. The black and gold combination has been a trend this past year in India and works very well. I love how Shweta combines different cultural styles and silhouettes for one collection. The harem style pants and loosely draped, long gowns remind me of the traditional Arab fashion styles, while the crop-top and skirt ensembles are very much like a contemporary version of an Indian lehenga. I am very curious to see more of this young and talented designer in the near future, until then check out her designs in our gallery!
For more information about Shweta visit: shwetawahi.com
The Fashion Orientalist wishes everyone a very Happy New Year – 2014!