SINGAPORE - Without a doubt, Farah Khan is a powerhouse. She may be petite but Khan is both creative director of her own Farah Khan label and president of luxury retail group The Melium Group, meaning she's one of the most influential women in Malaysia. Not a small feat for someone born in Singapore.
Khan actually founded The Link - yes that The Link - when she was only 17 and has been dressing women since, even after she left Singapore for Malaysia when she got married. Under her charge, The Melium Group was responsible for bringing luxury brands like Givenchy into Malaysia.
Seven years ago, she started her namesake label. I sat next to her in the bar of The Four Seasons as the creative director shared the concept behind Farah Khan. Women have been her inspiration all her life and she wanted to make clothes that women would feel totally glamorous in, and bring the best out of them.
"I felt that there wasn't enough modern easy fashion pieces for the evening and I also wanted to create pieces that can be dressed up and down ‒ easy pieces that woman can travel with. I'm a traveller and constantly go crazy trying to find pieces I can just thrown on," explained Khan, with poise.
THE FARAH KHAN DESIGN CONCEPT
Khan then pulled off her sequined Farah Khan gilet that topped her pussy bow top and flare skirt ensemble ‒ and may I add that the woman has a pair of very enviable pins ‒ to show me the stretchy net lining inside and how it can be tossed around and so forth. The piece looked precious but it's anything but. She said, "[The clothes] are washable, they are made for a modern lifestyle, not princesses but women who live in their clothes." A Farah Khan piece is made to be timeless ‒ it doesn't date ‒ it's a reliable staple that you can always count on.
Simple shapes dictate the looks that are completely wearable. "A woman should have a high comfort level when she wears a Farah Khan dress, she feels confident in it. When she stands up, she doesn't have to pull left-right-centre, it sits the way it does," continues Khan who obviously knows her customers to a T.
The challenge for Khan however, is the evening wear aspect of the label. "In the history of fashion, beaded evening wear has always been a product that every label has, from Chanel to Hermes. But everybody makes a piece or two of it. No one actually makes a collection of it," noted Khan about her brand's speciality and how difficult it can be trying to turn the same product into something different every season.
WOMEN AS INSPIRATION
To celebrate the women that inspire Khan, the pieces are named after them. One will recognise names like Penelope (Cruz), Selma H (H for Hayek) and more. But one woman has truly been the source of inspiration for the creative designer and she has dedicated the Autumn Winter 2014 collection to that particular individual.
Beatrix Miller was the editor of British Vogue from the '60s to the '80s and really transformed and revolutionised what women wore. "She really spoke to women with the magazine and made every woman break free from tradition. I wanted to honour her. I called the collection 'Rock and roll', not the dance, but to get moving. This is the free spirit. Beatrix said, let go and be who you are and dress who you are," said Khan of the collection and muse.