Style File: Karishma Kasabia from Khòlò

Style File Karishma Kasabia from Kholo

Designer Karishma Kasabia from Khòlò. Image supplied.

Karishma Kasabia is the Melbourne-based New Zealander behind womenswear label Khòlò which has just launched its first couture collection called ‘Breathe’. The beautiful collection has been hand-embroidered and beaded by talented artisans in Australia and India and the name Khòlò comes from the Gujarati​ word for ‘open’.

We caught up with Karishma to find out more about her brand, what inspires her and what you would never catch her wearing!

Tell us about your latest collection?
Our latest collection is a collaboration with Carmelo Blandino and it has been a darling of a process, navigating the way from his brush strokes onto bead and thread. We wanted to bring his florals into a living format, almost as if going back to when he painted them. He was a guru for me, a guide giving me courage to embark on this label.

What made you become a designer?
I totally stumbled upon it. After doodling for hours in Physics classes, a friend of mine told me to try my hand at Graphic Design. I loved it and I aced it. I’ve always been terrified of drawing and fine art (which probably explains why I’m obsessed with it), but design means I can use other tools to make what I need. I think I love that.

Style File Karishma Kasabia from Kholo

Garments from Khòlò’s Breathe collection.

What inspires you?
Honestly, it can be anything. I am loving the start of spring in Melbourne. Trellises adorned with blooms. Then I walked past Salvos and saw a silky tie with planets on it. I love art. I love colour. I love things which break my brain, feel unfamiliar and make me uncomfortable.

Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
My personal style is really, really chameleon. I have days when I’m a mum at the park with sneakers, jeans and a tee. Other days, I love sashaying up to meetings going all out with a pink coat, flatforms and chunky earrings. Bright, happy, shiny things bring me delight. A little gold never hurt no one!

However, after I had a child, I jumped a size and I struggled to find the same sense of fun in my size. It felt like aging and having kids took the buzz out of life. It’s meant that I always find myself accommodating curvier women. I’ll often do pieces that are loose around the waist, or stretchy pants that let you breathe. With a background in graphic design, I’m part-minimalist (I also married a man who would love to live like Gandhi, with wood and white and nothing else). I’ll often find myself paring back the layers, making it easier and lighter.

What is your all-⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠time favourite purchase?
Oh gah! What a trick question.
Okay… so my little sister bought me a pair of Kat Maconie shoes and never have I found something which expresses me so perfectly. Plenty of black and plenty of colour, loads of sass. They make me so, so, so happy.

What wardrobe item should every woman invest in?
This might sound strange and contrary to common advice, but I actually feel a great winter coat is something that can last you years, protects your body and keeps you feeling just right on cold days. That and winter boots too.

Style File Karishma Kasabia from Kholo

Garments from Khòlò’s Breathe collection.

Do you have a style rule you always obey?
Listen less to others, more to your insides.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Releasing pieces women want to wear. I never take that for granted, the feeling is so incredible.

What can’t you live without?
The people I love in my life. Man. Boy. Sisters. Fam.
And art. Great, fine, eye-popping art.

Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
Black shoes.

Images supplied.

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