When Hema Kaul was chosen to showcase her Spring Summer Collection at the London Fashion Week this year, she was more nervous than excited. “I was elated but there was a lot of pressure. It is a huge platform. There is constant media radar at fashion weeks. So much so that at every point you have to be perfect. There is no place for mediocrity.”
The designer who was born in India shifted base to Dubai when she was 15 years old. To contribute to her family business of Perfumery, she studied chemistry in college. But her mind was set on fashion. Kaul asserts, “It was my dream to pursue fashion since I was a kid. I liked everything related to it. But I had to pursue chemistry to join my family business.”
After college, she followed her heart and studied Fashion design from National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in Dubai to become a full-fledged designer. “I designed clothes for private clients and individuals. It was nothing huge. But I knew at the back of my mind that I wanted to create my own label someday,” she reveals.
Her debut collection Déjà vu, which got selected for the London Fashion Week this year, combines all the things that influenced her as an individual. “My clothing is inspired by everything from movies, to books to even TV characters such as Sarah Jessica Parker’s character of Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City and the 1960s, which is one of my favourite eras in fashion. They are mostly crafted in rich organza, chiffon and French lace in colours such as powder pinks and pastels and have a modern take on the ’60s silhouettes,” she says.
But getting selected as an individual designer for an international fashion week is not easy. Kaul confirms, “Every year, the fashion scouts (a jury comprising senior designers) of London bring in new designers to showcase their collection. After a careful review, they select the best. It is not an easy process.”
Her collection has won accolades, so much so that even WSGN — the fashion trend forecasting company has rated her seventh position among the other top 10 worthy off-schedule (emerging) fashion designers. “ I am just very happy to have had an opportunity to showcase my work on such a huge platform. I plan to stock my labels in multi- brand stores and boutiques in Dubai, London and New York,” she concludes.