Designer Daniella Helayel on her collaboration with Koovs
Not everyone can say that their designs have been worn by the Duchess of Cam-bridge, Kate Middle-ton, the queen of pop, Madonna, or the iconic Jennifer Lopez. But for Daniella Helayel, whose sapphire blue dress Kate wore to announce her engagement to Prince William, it’s par for the course. The designer behind the label Issa, which shut shop back in 2015, is back with a new label, Dhela, which is an extension of Issa’s affinity for draped silk-jersey dresses and vibrant prints. Bringing some of her designs to India is e-commerce platform Koovs through an exclusive tie-up. The Princess Collection, available on Koovs, is inspired by Pippa Middleton’s wedding and includes fit and flare dresses in hues such as pink, with metallic touches, ruffles, off-shoulder styles and halter necks. She tells us about what to expect.
How is Dhela different from Issa?
I’m Daniella Helayel and I’m the same person. Issa was who I was 16 years ago and Dhela is who I am today. But my design philosophy has never changed and never will. I design clothes to make people and women become a better version of themselves and to empower them. I like happy clothes that are very well cut and easy to wear. That is who I am and my designs are all about that apart from lots of prints and colours.
What are some of the biggest influences for the Princess Collection?
I got inspired by all my favourite shapes that I’ve created through my career. They are my all-time favourites dresses. Pieces that you can wear forever.
Tell us about the fabrics used, colours andsilhouettes in this collection.
Jersey will always be an important part in my collections, although recently I’ve become very interested in knitwear. The colours are strong but we also have a lot of black and white. It has cute cotton dresses in playful prints as well as beautiful gowns for black ties and special occasions.
How is your love for prints reflected in this collection?
The prints are quite playful and they are the lips and kisses and the butterfly wings — everything to make a girl find her enchanted prince and fall in love with.
You’ve dressed some of the most well-known names. How does it feel to be favoured by such icons?
It is always a fairy-tale moment — pure magic. And I’m incredibly flattered that they choose my designs for such special moments. I think the reason my designs resonated around the world is because they suit every woman, of every race, every nationality and every body shape.
What is it like working with these celebrities?
To make dresses for Madonna’s film about the success of Windsor’s life was a super exciting moment in my career as I’m fascinated with both Madonna and the Duchess of Windsor. Also, we made a few dresses for Jennifer Lopez to wear on tour and it was great. She wore gold, silver and striped sequin dresses and they were fabulous.
What more can we expect from you in future?
We already have two shops in Japan since February 2017; one on Rappongi Hills and one inside Mitsukoshi. We are planning the next outlets and I hope to see much more – this is just the beginning!
Rs.2,000 upwards. Launches on May 20. Details: koovs.com