With ready to wear, couture and bridal all under her accomplished belt, UAE-based designer Ayesha Depala turns columnist for us, expounding the virtue of timeless design in a world full of fleeting fashion.
Having 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 blurs 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.
Ayesha Depala Bridal available at The Village Mall, Beach Road, Dubai (04) 3445378