In spite of being in the world of glamour, fashion and couture , Elton Fernandez doesn’t believe in trends and vouches for minimalism. Yet, Elton is one of the most sought after names in the fashion fraternity by leading catwalks, fashion magazines, TV and print ads too! His round-the-clock workaholic attitude combined with his free-spirited nature has moulded him to become what he is today inspite of having no formal training on this front whatsoever. From being a make-up artist to a hair stylist, Elton has finally achieved his big dream of being a designer by retailing at Atosa, Mumbai’s hotspot for haute designer labels. In a tete-a-tete with Elton, he reveals it all to us...
1. What prompted you to drop the scissors and pick up the sketchbook?
I’ll always be a hair and make-up person first before being a designer! Ever since I was a child, I’ve always wanted to make clothes. However, being a designer requires heavy investment and effort which I couldn’t put in earlier. Now, that I have the financial backing and time, I’m fighting it out and doing everything that I ever wanted to do with clothes. This aspect is just an extension of my brand, it’s a way to make women feel beautiful about themselves.
2. From your first collection, what are the big trends you have incorporated in your label?
There’s relevant play on vintage style which is very current and bang-on trend. My whole collection captures the essence of my label which is fun, flirty and feminine but not OTT! I believe in elegance, sophistication that’s absolutely flattering to the overall personality more than just the body. It’s too early to determine my signature style but I’d like to keep it classy and elegant which brings out the beauty of a woman.
3. Colorblocking has made its way again this season. How would you advice us to style ourselves in order to look different from last year?
I don’t pay attention to primary colours in their original form. I often use complimentary colours with pure silk and net with a play on fabrics. I’m not too picky, choosy about what’s trending. I tend to keep it real, wearable and confident. So, you can style yourselves, the way you want, how you think it looks good for you can’t be a bad judge for yourself!
4. In an interview, you said that your mother initiated you into styling. Does the same hold true for designing as well?
When it was about designing, my closest council of friends including Monica Dogra and Nidhi Sunil helped and motivated me all through. I don’t come with a technical background in hair, make-up and designing but my aesthetic and creative senses are strong. I totally rely on my instincts but I’m really glad that they supported and motivated me through this whole dream of mine, helping me put it together.
5. Do you believe the way you style yourself can make or break the way the world looks at you?
If you’re referring to styling as grooming oneself, then yes, absolutely! Clothes make a man and the first impression that a person has about you, comes with what you’re wearing, the way your hair and make-up looks. Though this sounds strange and highly superficial, it’s true because when you’re well dressed you command a certain aura and attract a kind of energy too. So, it doesn’t matter if you’re all boho or chic and classy, the way you carry your personality is what matters most.
6. What’s more challenging, being a hair and make-up stylist or a designer? Have you discovered that yet?
(Laughs) Of course, it’s too early for me to comment on being a designer because I’m learning and discovering something about being one every day as I’m faced with hurdles and being broke! Since I don’t have a tailoring unit at the moment my production output as of now is a little slow. We’re all still very dependent on the karigars and masters for our work to be done. So, it’s quite challenging to coax them into helping you out with the designs each day! With hair and make-up, I’ve been there for five years so I know exactly how it works and how to make it work.
7. Any fashion or make-up faux pas that you’ve ever committed?
It was at my first job! As I mentioned that I don’t come with formal training when I was asked to blowdry model Gareema Parnani’s hair I was quite clueless as to how to do the job at hand with just two hands (laughs). It was almost like I needed a third hand and in the meantime I burnt down her hair! Other than that, I’ve used too much concealer under the eyes sometimes. However, that’s not a severe faux pas because it’s only more of difference of opinion! I don’t take it seriously.
8. What are your do’s and don’ts when it comes to looking good?
It’s best to be real and have fun while you’re dressing up, doing your hair or make-up. You can only carry yourself, if you’re feeling good about the way you look inside-out! Dress up for your ‘real’ bodytype and not your aspirational one. A lot of people get it wrong because they work around how they want to appear and not how their body is! So, don’t try too hard or follow the laid out ‘rules’. Every textbook or beauty guru talks from their skin type, body type and comfort zone. You might want to be your best judge!
9. Name three most stylish women.
For me, it would be Monica Dogra’s street-chic, boho and risky sense of style. I love her! Priya Kishore of Bombay Electric is edgy, quirky and stylish at the same time. I’m also an ardent admirer of Carol Gracias’s easy and effortless dressing. These women’s choices are inspiring in every sense.
10. Tell us the one thing that we don’t know about you.
Well, (Laughs) I’m extremely moody if I’m not fed on the sets and can get very snappy!