India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
Verve People
April 26, 2017

My Style My Self: Olivia Dar

Text by Zaral Shah. Photograph by Nayantara Parikh

The globetrotter and accessories designer talks about setting up shop in India

Globetrotting — lately to Greece, Sri Lanka and Nagaland — plays an influential role while working on her eponymous label. Olivia Dar’s lifestyle and accessories brand was born in 2011 and is defined by a modern, bohemian philosophy. Currently focused on developing a collection of upcycled vintage pieces and beaded earrings and necklaces, which have proven to be a real success in the past, Dar’s work reflects a blend of two cultures — the simplicity of the French, and the colours, details and techniques of India.

Secret to style
I like to stay casual and cool; less is more. I just make sure I take a quick look at the mirror before leaving my house in the morning, to avoid a fashion faux pas!

Wardrobe must-haves
A black dress, a pair of heels, statement beaded necklace.

Label love
Sacai, Isabel Marant, Rodarte.

Brands to keep an eye out for
Kardo and Rashmi Varma in India and Sadie Williams in the UK.

Shopping haunts
I am not a big shopper, but definitely Second Floor Studio in Delhi for the variety of fashion and homeware; Merci in Paris; any street market in India and any vintage store around the world.

Icons that inspire
Isabel Marant, Miles Davis, Charlotte Gainsbourg.

In your dining room
Things that I bring back from my trips. Wooden spoons from Colombia, bowls from Sri Lanka, pots and pans from France.

In your space
It is very colourful, with a mix of Eastern European and Central Asian vintage finds, and modern and graphic pieces.

Home decor essentials
A vintage, hand-embroidered cross-stitch cushion from Ukraine, a blue-and-white carpet made by my group of artisans in Kashmir, an India Mahdavi retro-chic lamp.

Frames on your walls
My husband is a fan of contemporary art and I am passionate about photography. I have a great collection of photos that I buy or click.

Colour crush
A lot of black and white, a lot of gold (this is my Indian influence) and a lot of multicoloured, embroidered pieces (shirt from a tribe in Mexico, 18th-century black cape from France all beaded with jet…).

Fabrics you favour
Silk crepe, handwoven cotton for the summer, denim for everyday.

Destination fever
Paris is a place I love to go back to; I used to live in London as a child and have rediscovered it lately; and I would be happy in any city in Italy, enjoying the beautiful architecture and cuisine.

Food for thought
La Bodega — the best Mexican food in Delhi — offers a great atmosphere for a drink and a fun evening with friends. Dab in Paris — sharing a massive seafood platter is a family tradition each time I visit, and any Diva in Delhi.

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