Payal Shah for HELLO! India© HelloIndia

#HELLO’sMostStylish: Jeweller Payal Shah On Her Style Motto

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Nayare Ali

My personal style: It’s experimental. It makes me happy and helps me feel confident. My style reflects my personality. I enjoy wearing colours, patterns, layers and mixed textures, finding synergy among them. Be it haute couture, or high street, or adopting a colour-block or monochromatic look, I own it with a smile.

Being stylish VS being fashionable: Style and fashion overlap. But a good rule of thumb is that style relates to the individual, whereas fashion is more collective. To me, style is a way of expressing oneself, whether it be through clothing, writing, or architecture. At a certain point in time, fashion is the dominant style within a given culture, and a trend is how you see a popular way to dress during a specific period of time.

Style motto: If you’ve got good shoes, you can get away with anything!

Jeweller Payal Shah for HELLO! India©HelloIndia

My style icons: Growing up, I loved Olivia Palermo’s elegant style. Nowadays, I stalk Jessica Kahawaty. Mindy Kaling, too, has been serving some serious looks lately. Dua Lipa’s Gen Z luxe fashion is to die for. My favourite, though, is Morgan Stewart because she’s so chic and relatable. I always look forward to what Blake Lively is going to wear on red carpets and also love to check out Shay Mitchell’s experimental style on social media!

Favourite designers: I’m partial to Indian fashion. I love seeing Amit Aggarwal and Rahul Mishra’s works of art, as well as Arpita Mehta’s boho-chic glam. For western, I love this new shoe brand, Aera. In New York, I enjoy mixing up my looks from classic to no-brainer brands like Zimmerman and unique drops by Aleksandre Akhalkatsishvili.

Inherited sense of style: Since I can remember, my mother has always loved fashion. When I was a child, she instilled in me a love for shoes, accessories and sparkle. I got to define my sense of style when I went for university because London has such varied fashion. After graduation, I travelled for work. Even just watching people on the streets of NYC, Istanbul and Paris gave me a sense of styles that spoke to me.

Payal Shah for HELLO! India©HelloIndia

The most stylish item in my closet: I wear an evil eye pendant in yellow gold with a blue diamond every day. It’s simple, but my brand designed it quite stylishly.

I’m happiest wearing: Something that fits effortlessly, is comfortable and makes me feel confident.

Current fashion obsession: Oversized flared pants. The more flared they are, the better! Today’s flares really do sit much better over boots than their slim and skinny counterparts.

Items I overuse: Yoga pants. I’m not even ashamed of overusing or wearing them again and again!

An overrated trend: Using the word ‘sustainable’ repeatedly, especially when the brand does not fit the label. It’s almost become clickbait, but there’s no real element of eco-friendliness.

My most prized possession: For my graduation, my parents gifted me a gorgeous yellow diamond ring with two heart-shaped diamonds on each side. I guard it with my life! More than monetary value, it holds sentimental value to me.

Shop till I drop: Growing up in Hong Kong, I loved the local street shops. In London, I can take a stroll around Selfridges for hours because they have a wonderful selection of all the brands in the world. For accessories, London, Paris or Milan are the best places to shop.

The most stylish cities: London and New York, the fashion capitals of the world. London teaches you how to dress with finesse and spruce up the overall presentation of your outfit with a hint of quirk. There’s a hint of vintage with straight-cut silhouettes. New York teaches you to be unapologetic about your style. It has an effortless coolness to it, where the lesser the effort, the chicer the outfit.

Three must-haves in a woman’s closet: A silk black dress is the best staple to rock an evening party. Pair it with stilettos to get a sassy look, or a necklace, pumps and a cardigan to get a perfect business-casual look. A nice, structured (preferably white) power suit could charm any boss. Also invest in a fitted blazer and trousers. Lastly, a pair of jeans that fits you like a glove.

Work is worship: I started L’ Dezen in 2011. It was my first business venture. I started designing jewellery as a side hustle while working at a hospitality design firm. A big jewellery brand then approached me to collaborate on a capsule collection, and that was when I decided to start my own company. I then began to design for Hollywood red carpets and the Met Gala, and even styled Michelle Obama for her book launch. We’re currently exploring a permanent location here and also doing a pop-up on Bond Street for six months to see how that works.

Photos: Zeeshaan Shabbir; Fashion Editor: Sonam Poladia; Makeup: Karuna Chani, Kc Makeup; Wardrobe Courtesy: The Intermix Store

This story has been adapted for the website from a story that was originally published in Hello! India’s November 2022 issue. Get your hands on the latest issue right here!