Behind closet doors: Shaheen Abbas

  • Hindustan Times, Praachi Raniwala
  • Updated: Jan 21, 2016 14:53 IST
(Photo: Pratham Gokhale/ HT)

Shaheen Abbas is at her candid best when we meet her at her kitschy duplex apartment. The walls of her Yari Road home are generously adorned with family portraits. The jewellery designer is full of jokes and light-hearted banter as she leads us to her dressing room — a cosy space lined with wooden cupboards and a lofty dresser. “I am redoing this section in the summer though,” she says. Abbas lets us in on her style and staples over glasses of buttermilk.

Closet staples: “I am going through a skirts phase currently — pencil, skater and A-line skirts; I love them all. Otherwise, I live in vests, jeans and pyjamas, as I prefer pairing interesting bottoms with fuss-free blouses. Short hemlines aren’t my style — in fact, I wore my first dress only at the age of 30.”

All about accessories: “I’m very big on bags and jewellery, and prefer both with a touch of edge. Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney and Zagliani are some of my favourite brands for bags. I am obsessed with hand accessories like cuffs, bracelets, rings and bangles, which I mostly design myself. Watches are a must-have too, especially Rolex and Bulgari.”

Abbas mostly designs her own hand accessories like rings and bracelets (Photo: Pratham Gokhale/HT)

Hoarder tendencies: “There are things I have held on to for about 12 to 15 years now. But in the last two years, I have started purging items every six to eight months and let my two younger sisters, plus some close friends, take their pick. I hope to start passing on my clothes to my daughter in about five years.”

Go-to shopping destination: “London, hands down. I’ve been going there since I was a child. King’s Road and Carnaby Street have great shops. And London isn’t just a shopping destination. I love observing how other people dress there — everybody is so stylish and experimental.”

Work it out: “I recently ran the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2016. So, workout gear became a huge part of my wardrobe. In fact, I have probably been spending more on it than on my everyday clothes in the past few months. Under Armour, ASICS and Nike are my favourite brands.”

Lust list: “I feel that my wardrobe desperately needs a new Balenciaga bag and Bulgari Serpenti watch in rose gold.”

Clutches from Abbas’s collection (Photo: Pratham Gokhale/ HT) ( (Photo: Pratham Gokhale/ HT))

Prized possessions: “The first few jewellery pieces that I designed and my first solitaires have sentimental value, as does the first watch my husband (actor and TV host, Roshan Abbas) gifted me. I may not wear all of it now, but they will always be a cherished part of my wardrobe. I’ll probably pass them down to my daughter.”

Indian essence: “I’m big on handloom saris at the moment. I’ve been supporting Chanderi weavers and buying directly from them. I also love old-world, traditional shararas from Bhopal.”

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