Are we fashion followers, or creators? Has it become an intrinsic result of social norms to follow any given trend dictated by glossy magazines and glamorous editorials? What makes any individual unique? How are we inspired to dress in a specific way? bazaar explores the philosophy of ‘fashion’ by interviewing the style innovators of our generation, with a special focus on their picks for the season.
Proudly presenting our first feature of fashionality is fashion consultant and guru Iman Pasha, who strongly believes that feeling confident with one’s body image and individual character, is key to iconic style. Offering unique consultations by tailoring each styling consultation and shopping experience to suit the individual tastes of her clientele, Iman’s services are extended to include wardrobe organization, and targeted shopping trips for hunting down exclusive items she believes would suit her clients’ tastes.
With a lifestyle of fashion expertise, Iman is a style innovator through and through. Her rich background in editorial styling and fashion journalism, combined with magnetic appeal, has launched her styling services to unparalleled levels of success. Recently launching the Qatari magazine, HAUTEMUSE, alongside fashion legends Mary Katrantzou, Jonathan Saunders, RoksandaIlincic and Holly Fulton, Iman seems to be just getting started on her consulting career. Not only so, Iman has been recently appointed as the Head Personal Shopper at the Middle Eastern online couture destination, boutique1.com.
Accumulating a wealth of fashionable experience, infused with an air of genius, Iman has a deep understanding and knowledge when it comes to dressing different body types and sizes while also working with varied budgets. The lifestyle innovator, who deeply understands the importance of creating timeless style, is specialized in working with every kind of woman, as she truly believes that the key to permanent confidence and appeal to any woman lies in her personal style.
Does fashion ‘make’ the person or does the person ‘make’ fashion?
Having an awareness of what is in fashion but not letting “trends” dictate the way a woman dresses is the key. Wearing clothes with confidence and knowing what suits you while staying true to your own individual taste is the recipe for fail-safe style.
How would you describe your style?
Classic, edgy-chic, with a touch of glamour in the evenings.
How do you get inspiration for your style?
I am always influenced by what I see people wearing on the streets of London, as well as in fashion publications. My personal style is also hugely influenced by my Pakistani heritage. The idea of the big city life is another aspect that really inspires my personal style, whether it’s restaurants, architecture or people on the street.
What does it take to become a style innovator?
I think it depends on the person, but for me I think my lifelong love affair with fashion has really helped me to become something of a style innovator.
Growing up, my mother always had the most impeccable taste. I remember that as a child I used to spend hours looking through her wardrobe and helping her choose what to wear whenever she had an event to attend. I think comfort and confidence around fashion lays the groundwork for style innovation, as does support and encouragement from those close to you.
What’s exciting in fashion right now?
For me, this season I am lusting after a pair of bright Charlotte Olympia pumps, a pony skin from YSL and maybe a new Hermes “Kelly” to add to my ever-growing handbag collection! The piece I’m most excited about however is a Mary Katrantzou gown that I am getting custom-made for a friend’s wedding in the summer.
Who or what has been your greatest fashion influence?
My all-time style icon would have to be Audrey Hepburn as she was the epitome of effortless elegance and flawless taste. In terms of modern-day style icons I really admire the way Olivia Palermo mixes designer pieces with quirky finds and high-street buys, too. My mother is also a massive fashion inspiration to me, and always has been.
Who are your favorite emerging designers, and what is it that you love about them?
In terms of British designers I am a huge fan of Mary Kantranzou – I loved working with her last month at the HAUTEMUSE event. I always love her bold prints and the way her pieces flatter the silhouettes of women.
I am also a huge fan of Matthew Williamson, I love his cocktail dresses – they are flattering to all women and have that Grecian feel to them that makes me feel like a million dollars!
In the Middle East I love lots of local designers, such as KAGE, whose pieces, lucky for me, are stocked at Boutique 1, where I am now working as Head of Personal Shopping (www.boutique1.com). Their pieces are easy to wear, yet always chic – the perfect combination for your summer wardrobe.
What is the highlight of your ‘style’ career?
In terms of the highlight of my ‘style’ career on others’ behalf I would have to say helping women fulfil their needs is a recurring highlight. It gives me a sense of empowerment and achievement and ultimately gives me more confidence and credibility as a fashion consultant. It encourages me to keep going! The best feeling in the world is to know that someone has achieved their goal because of you!
The specific project that left me most proud was helping out a mother of newborn twins redoing and revamping her wardrobe. A couple of months after I helped her, I discovered that as a result of my services her confidence had improved dramatically! Her testimony alone leaves me beaming with joy, “before I didn’t know what to wear and now I’m spoilt for choice.” It feels really good to know that one’s help goes a long way.
In terms of the highlight of my own personal style career, I have to mention one of my all-time favorite outfits: a Matthew Williamson gown, which I wore to a friend’s wedding in Boston back in 2008. I accessorized the dress with statement jewelry and stood out next to a lot of the other guests with a very dark tan acquired from 3 months of straight holidaying. The wedding itself was spectacular, held in a stunning Manor House just north of the City.
Every fashionality has as a style obsession, what’s yours?
Mine would have to be Christian Louboutin’s – I have a fetish for them!
The most treasured item in my wardrobe has to be my first ever pair of Christian Louboutin’s. I remember how excited I was to finally have a pair of my own; how I barely took them off for weeks after buying them. 7 years later, they still sit right at the front of my shoe closet.
Do you follow any fashion blogs? If so, what are they and which would you recommend?
Yes, I regularly read fashion blogs such as “Confashions” and “My Fash Diary.” For regional online magazines I look to Savoir Flair and Khaleejesque for fashion news.
What item of clothing (if any) do you wish that people wore more often?
I think an individual’s personal style is so important, so I wouldn’t want to encourage one specific item of clothing to be worn more often. To work, clothes need to fit a person’s shape, and personality. I would have to say though, that there is one thing I wish people would wear less of, and that is clothes with big logos! I really don’t like them and don’t think they flatter anyone!
To be stylish is to be fashionable. True or False and why?
False, as style is timeless whereas fashion can fade – look at Audrey Hepburn! While I love to keep abreast of all the latest fashions, I would never want to be dressed head-to-toe in all of them! I think there is a balance to be cut. I take great pleasure in picking and choosing all that is fashionable at any given moment, but always wear what is right for my body shape, my personality and me. This ethos is something I try to share with all my clients.
Season’s picks (as featured in the June issue)
For this season I am excited about all things color! I will definitely be spending some time in neons!
Dress from DVF, which is available at www.boutique1.com.
I also love easy-going neutrals, such as WafaSaifi uses in her Plie Poise Collection. I love the sequined t-shirt with ruffled sleeves either for daytime elegance, or casual glamour.
This season, I am loving all things Erdem. His pieces are subtle, feminine and ideal for summer.
For accessories, Sophie’s Closet is a fantastic one-stop shop. I especially love their vintage Chanel pieces and their House of Harlow pieces.
If you are invited to a special occasion this season and want to feel sexy, I would opt for a beautiful dress from DVF, which is available at www.boutique1.com.