Fashion: TWAIN talk couture gowns with the one and only Steven Khalil

The world of Steven Khalil is one of refined glamour. One in which couture gowns capture attention ever so subtly through the use of exquisite fabrics, detailed embellishments and classic silhouettes reworked with a modern edge. They are the type of gowns which transcend seasons, trends and generations because put simply, they are timeless.

The quality of Khalil’s workmanship is parallel to that of any European couture house. An attribute which has seen the label become a permanent fixture on red carpets across the world. From local heroines Jesinta Campbell, Carissa Walford and Dannii Minogue to international superstars Giuliana Rancic and the Kardashians (don’t underestimate their pulling power), you name them, Khalil has dressed them.

So how did meeting one of the nations most renowned couture designers go for LOVE TWAIN? Well the night before was as expected, like waiting for Christmas. Any girl who has followed Khalil’s work will appreciate this. As for the man himself, humble, warm and welcoming are the words that come to mind.

The Man

The moment you knew you wanted to be a designer: When I saw Princess Diana getting married – that pretty much kick started my drive to design wedding gowns

Growing up you were inspired by: Everything! But mostly fabrics, textures and objects around me- anything can inspire designers

Favourite couture house: Valentino Haute Couture

If you weren’t designing you would be: To be honest there is no other option

Ultimate red carpet muse: Cate Blanchett- she is so chic and timeless but brave and fearless with her choices of both acting roles and fashion

Your personal style in three words: Simple/easy/classic

To wind down: I really like to take a walk or have a Scotch & Dry!

Your house is never without: Flowers and beautiful teas – oh and cheesy popcorn!

The Show...

Congratulations on a successful first MBFWA Runway Show. We have been following your work for some time now and this milestone seemed inevitable. They say timing is king. Why now?

It was a good time as I am celebrating my 20 year anniversary as a designer and Fashion Week was celebrating 20 years also – good synergy and I have never shown on schedule before and felt the timing was right.

How were the nerves? Describe the mood backstage…

I was actually excited, not nervous. Everything was really calm backstage I have a great team and we were really organized it was great!

The entire collection was breathtakingly beautiful but you must have a favourite piece or one that holds most meaning…

Different pieces are special in different ways- I don’t ever really have a favourite- more just pieces that either start a collection or embody what the collection is about each season.

 Aside from the wedding gowns, which piece was the most technical or took the longest to construct?

All the pieces take time to construct; they are couture pieces with hours of work on each garment. But the finale bridal gown did take the longest!

Steven Khalil epitomizes elegance. Who is the Steven Khalil girl? Who do you have in mind when designing a collection?

She is elegant, confident and know how to look her best but not be totally consumed with it – an easy, relaxed and sexy allure.

The next show will be…



The Masterpieces ...

When it comes to couture pieces, what is the design process like from concept to finish? Do you begin with a fabric or idea or does it all flow organically…

All three! It depends on when I’m designing and what/who for- the process can flow really quickly once I get started.

Your gowns have been worn by the likes of Guliana Rancic and Kendall Jenner (we know in terms of PR this is huge). After more than 20 years in the business it seems like we are only seeing the beginning. Who is next on your hit list?

I have been working as a designer for 20 years and have always had a strong following however now it seems to be growing stronger every day – I am very happy with the results and really humbled that well known successful women are choosing my garments for events and the Red Carpet. SO many are on my wish list!

I am utterly obsessed with the dress worn by Carissa Walford at the 2015 Logies…

I love this dress too – it has such a strong element in the shoulders and such a flattering line and I love the fabric.

What has been your most memorable red carpet moment to date?

Too many to count! But I was very excited when Giuliana Rancic wore two of my designs to the Grammys and the Oscars.

Your design ethos is:

Simplicity and intricacy – these two can co-exist. The best garments to me are the ones that have an amazing silhouette or shape or embellishment but are elegant and look effortless at the same time.