We sat down with Dubai based designer Khushboo Kaplesh and asked her about her fashion label Le Trousseau Couture, working with Dutch designer Iris van Herpen, the Dubai fashion scene and more…
Could you tell us more about your fashion label Le Trousseau Couture?
In January 2012, I launched my label – Le Trousseau Couture. My vision for Le Trousseau strikes the perfect balance between exquisite handwork and elegance of time. We specialize in creating masterfully crafted haute couture wedding and party dresses, highlighted with unique embroidery details.
At Le Trousseau, we communicate with our clients on one on one basis and provide them with complete attention. The process involves arranging multiple meetings right from the creation of the dress to the final result.
In addition to the above, we also create made to order abayas (black Arabic thobe for the women) for clients, each specific to our clients interests and needs.
You also have your own accessory line, what are your signature pieces?
I love accessories – especially statement necklaces. As such, we have started our own line of necklaces and accessories. We have made about 25 pieces so far, each one entirely handmade and unique.
One of our signature pieces is the ‘Metallic Rainbow’ – the necklace with the rainbow stones all stitched by metallic chains.
Our 2nd signature piece is the ‘Silver Lining’- the necklace with silver coin and white ceramic stone necklace with oval shaped semi-precious turquoise stones.
What is your target audience?
Our target group comprises of women from the Middle East, ranging from Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Qatar to the United Arab Emirates.
A woman who wears Le Trousseau Couture gown is someone who is confident, sophisticated and who believes in herself. We envision each of our clients to dress with pride and strike the perfect balance between exquisite handwork and uniqueness. Each dress clearly showcases her promise of a “tireless pursuit of perfection”, that will express the character and shape of the feminine body in detail.
Where do you get your inspiration from for your collections?
According to me, inspiration is everywhere. My own inspiration comes from my family, friends, cultures that I’ve been exposed to, among many other things. Whenever I start working on a dress or a collection, I just look at what catches my eye or facts that interest me and that becomes my inspiration. I break down everything step by step and start from the very bottom to work towards my collection.
You were born and brought up in the UAE and come from an Indian background, does this have any influence on your designs? – Are you inspired by the different traditional/cultural clothing styles?
Yes, I am fortunate and lucky to be inspired from two different and rich cultures. Being raised with traditions existing in India and the UAE, I was naturally opened up to artistic and contemporary ideas. Both countries inspire me in very different ways. For example, just within India, the North and South regions have huge artistically differences in their culture. With U.A.E being a Muslim country, it has a different culture than that of Indian Muslims.
An example of this difference in culture is a traditional abaya. It plays a major role in fashion in today’s era. Women wear it with different degrees of styles. It is the most fashionable yet traditional garment for the Muslim women. It is amazing to see how a simple black thobe has changed so much over the years. Same goes with the traditional ‘salwar kameez’ from India. It has had an evolutionary change over the years.
You have interned for Dutch Haute Couture designer Iris Van Herpen, could you tell us more about this experience?
At the age of 21 years, it was a dream come true for me to work with the coveted Dutch Haute Couture designer, Iris Van Herpen. It was an experience I will never forget and continue to cherish every bit that I have learnt from it. In my university years, I would always research on Iris and try to figure out how she would make those spectacular garments. While working with her, I saw her methods and made those very same dresses in her atelier. This included countless hours of hand stitching, until my fingers would be sore till the end of the day, and the needles would be bent in U-shape from stitching all the thick materials. I had never worked with real leather before, however during my internship, I stitched and worked with different kinds of leather for the first time. My highlight at the internship was to be in Paris to represent Iris, and to showcase her hand made collection at the Paris Couture Week. It was truly a very proud and happy moment for me!
Le Trousseau Couture specializes in creating haute couture wedding and party dresses, do you have any tips for women who are looking for a special occasion gown?
I believe the most important step to follow is to work with your body. Take what suits your body and choose fabrics that work for you. Don’t fight the fabric, but change it. Fitting of a gown is the most important aspect in my opinion. A simple basic dress can look a million bucks if it fits well. Also, the pattern and structure of the dress is crucial. So, whenever you are out there selecting a dress, make sure you feel confident when you wear it, and you will work that dress better than anyone else!
You’ve won the Middle East Power Fashion Boutique – S*uce’s ‘’design a dress’’ competition in 2013 for which you’ve designed the ‘heritage coin dress’, what is the idea behind this design?
My inspiration for the dress was none other than the culture and heritage of the country I reside in -UAE, and using embroidery techniques back from where I come from – India. One day, my sister-in-law and I were discussing about my collection, and then she mentioned to use Dubai as my inspiration, since I live here. After doing my research, I decided to use Dubai’s culture and heritage, and that was when the designing started. I made the Heritage Coin dress out of 1200 U.A.E coins.
What is the fashion scene like in the UAE?
I feel people in Dubai are very creative, and confident enough to try out new styles. At any fashion event or a launch of a store, there will always be people in very aspiring garments. You will always see something that will catch your eye. A lot of people do bend towards high-end designers, while many also choose to try out upcoming local designers like myself.
A lot of fashion designers have a celebrity muse, who would you like to dress?
I would like to dress up a lot of celebrities, and hopefully one day I will! However, to name a few, from Hollywood I would like to dress up Scarlett Johansson, Blake Lively, Meryl Steep and Charlize Theron.
I do follow Bollywood quite a lot, and would love to dress up some of the Indian actresses such as Deepika Padukone, Sushmita Sen and Kangana Ranaut.
Could you tell us something about the projects you are working on right now?
Right now I just finished my RTW (Ready To Wear) Fall 2014 collection. I am currently also working on the 2014 Ramadan Collection of Kaftans & Jalabiyas. Along with that, I will soon be collaborating with a very good friend of mine for a collection, which will be coming out very soon!
Visit Facebook ‘Khushboo Kaplesh’ for more information about Khushboo Kaplesh and Le Trousseau Couture.
Photography by: Avs A Kumar