Styling royal nomads: Inside Hoorvi J Valaya’s conceptual shoot
When it comes to styling, perhaps no one is as well-versed as Hoorvi J Valaya. The daughter of seasoned designer JJ Valaya has grown up surrounded by couture, and it would only be natural that she would follow her father’s footsteps into the fashion world – in the form of fashion styling. As a graduate of Pearl Academy, New Delhi and Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Los Angeles, the art and fashion enthusiast has taken to styling. Now, with her conceptual shoot, Royal Nomads, she has collaborated with different designers on the shoot. The stylist has combined their signature aesthetics in order to achieve a cohesive story with tribal sensibilities, while still remaining modern and edgy.
“Since nomads have been a constant source of inspiration, I had to share my expression through a visual medium and what better than an editorial shoot?” says Hoorvi. “I have attempted to combine the sensibilities of different designers, with a fusion of separates, embroideries, colours and layers – to project a mood through strong imagery and crisp styling.”
Hoorvi J Valaya has always been someone who could relate to a free-spirited way of life and having grown up surrounded with a royal spin on nomads, a styling shoot on royal nomads was a no-brainer for her. “There is much about nomads that I relate to, I’m a wanderer, I love moving about to different places,” she shares.
When it comes to her father’s work, Hoorvi is inspired by the ethos of the royal nomad that JJ Valaya’s brand resonates with. Their shared DNA shines through in the sense that they are both maximalists who dream big. “We give every bit of our energy to make it big – this is the philosophy the brand has always followed. My obsession with detail, craft and hand embroideries have all seeped in from the brand,” she says. This is not where her search for inspiration ends though; the stylist is always researching beyond what she already knows, and believes that being in a creative field is more than just fun and clothes.
“You need to know your facts, you need to know why you’re doing what you’re doing, and most importantly, you need to feel inspired about what you do,” says the fashion stylist. “For me, I’ve always been clear that the projects I plan or take up have to somewhere sink in and excite me in entirety,” which is something that reflects in her work.
With the pandemic forcing designers to rethink and re-adapt their lines to suit the current situation, Hoorvi also believes the focus has shifted to creating something of value, which remains timeless. “People are mindful and looking for things that have longevity, authenticity and are sustainable options,” Hoorvi shares, admitting that it has been a challenging year for fashion.
As for her own personal style, Hoorvi defines it as classic with a twist, where style is an individual expression that co-exists with comfort. Having realised what works for her over the years, she firmly sticks to her sensibilities and choices in fashion. “I love to layer,” she says. “I’m a sucker for blazers, they make women look and feel powerful and I love that. I’m the kind of girl who would show up in a pantsuit at a prom… you’d rarely see me in a dress.”
And as for the things she doesn’t like? The stylist believes that designers trying to keep up with the popularity rat-race is her only pet-peeve. “I feel that sometimes people get so carried away following trends that they limit their options in terms of skill and product. Many brands forget their identity, they stop taking risks and to me, that’s wrong, because that’s what being creative is all about, to take chances, and to create statements that generations can relate to.”
Styling and art direction: Hoorvi J Valaya; Assistant Styling: Vanshika Jain, Garima Yadav; Model: Mili Soni; Photographer: Shivamm Paathak; Makeup: Ankur Chikara; Hair: Pushkin Bhasin