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#RSQStyleSpotlight: Hema Bose Reveals the Style Codes of Her Sophisticated Sensuality

Hema Bose in custom Gaurav Gupta Couture, Image Courtesy: Maison Bose Communications

And we are back to celebrate and spotlight distinctive sartorial prowess, individuality, and eclectic confidence with #RSQStyleSpoltight. The spotlight is beaming brightly on Hema Bose – a connoisseur of statement jewels, vintage fashion, and effortless sensuality. And yes, she is the force behind Maison Bose Communications, the international brand expansion consultancy that has catapulted South-Asian and Middle-Eastern designers globally, and has catalysed Gaurav Gupta’s iconic collaborations with A-list celebrities like Beyonce, Cardi-B, and Megan Thee Stallion among others. Her globe-trotting life of work and travel strikes a fascinating balance between style and comfort, accompanied by a sense of cosmopolitan poise and kinks of femininity. In a conversation with Runway Square‘s junior editor Karishma Gulyani, she unravels her easy yet flamboyant sartorial codes with a glimpse into her signature brand of sophisticated sensuality.

Runway Square: How would you define your style?
Hema Bose: In two words, effortless and chic. However, there is one consistent element you’ll find in my everyday outfit, i.e. a touch of personal flair, whether with a unique accessory or a pop of colour. I’ve always followed my instincts, prioritising what feels authentic rather than chasing trends.

Hema in Giorgio Armani trousers, a custom Gaurav Gupta Couture top, Jimmy Choo belt, vintage earrings from Kat Graham, an Alexis Bittar bangle, and Gucci sunglasses.

RSQ: What’s your signature outfit recipe? Has the smart and distinctive London aesthetics helped find it?
HB: My style is a blend of experimentation and personal expression, so there isn’t a specific signature outfit recipe as such. However, one thing I always keep in mind while dressing up is to incorporate a statement piece that adds an element of uniqueness to my look, whether it’s bold jewellery, standout shoes, striking outerwear, or distinctive glasses!
London’s aesthetics have definitely influenced my style. The city’s architecture, art, and vibrant fashion scene have together shaped my fashion preferences. You can often see this influence reflected in the colours I wear – I’m drawn to timeless shades like black, grey, charcoal, cream, and navy, which resonate with the city’s sophistication. Additionally, British designers such as Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood have been major inspirations for me. I admire their creativity and craftsmanship, and love incorporating pieces from their collections into my wardrobe.

(L-R) Hema in an 80s Vintage Dress from Rellik London (image 1), Jean-Louis Sabaji Couture dress (image 2), and Dion Lee jacket and Givenchy boots (image 3).

RSQ: Your Instagram features quite an eclectic mix of designers from around the world. Which are the designers or brands that are a constant in your wardrobe?
HB: Instagram, my eternal nemesis! I have this knack for always being fashionably late in posting what I wear. It’s like I’m in a perpetual game of catching up with my wardrobe! When it comes to designers and brands, it’s like a whirlwind of names swirling in my head. I’m irresistibly drawn to chic and edgy looks, and my fashion compass tends to point towards French, British, Italian, and even Scandinavian designers or brands – such as Yves Saint Laurent, Vintage Mugler or Chanel, Haider Ackermann, or Old Christian Lacroix. But let me tell you, my true weakness – vintage and archival pieces! I could spend hours in the treasure trove of timeless fashion history, lost in the world of vintage French Chantilly lace or old Givenchy. It’s like a sartorial scavenger hunt, and I’m always up for the challenge!

RSQ: How do you offset the dramatic yet chic aesthetic with the sensual codes of femininity? What’s the inspiration behind doing so?
HB: It is a deeply personal expression of my feminine side. It’s about embracing the power of womanhood and feeling empowered in my own skin. Inspired by the glamour of old Hollywood and the portrayal of women in 20s and 30s Vogue magazines, I draw upon the elegance and sophistication of that bygone era. There’s a certain magic in channelling the grace of vintage cinema and infusing my style with a sense of timeless sensuality and sophistication. It’s about evoking the essence of those iconic leading ladies while adding a modern twist, creating a look that’s both dramatic and effortlessly chic.

(L-R) Hema in a full look by Mugler and vintage earrings from Kat Graham (image 1) and Lanvin dress and Yves Saint Laurent bag (image 2).

RSQ: What’s your biggest style fixation?
HB: Without a doubt, my biggest style fixation has to be accessories, especially my jewellery! It’s like they say, accessories are the exclamation point of an outfit, and I couldn’t agree more. Whether it’s a chunky statement necklace, delicate layered bracelets, or bold earrings, I believe jewellery has the power to elevate any look and add that extra touch of personality. There’s just something so magical about the way the right piece of jewellery can instantly transform an outfit and make you feel. It’s like wearing a little piece of art that tells a story.

RSQ: Being a digital and fashion personality who’s always on the go, have you had to master the balance between dressing up for yourself and Instagram?
HB: For me, it’s never been about dressing up for Instagram. I always dress up for myself. Whether you catch me in my loungewear or at a fancy dinner, I’ll always make an effort because fashion isn’t just about looking good for social media – it’s about feeling good about myself. Fashion, to me, is a mode of expression and my armour. It’s what makes me feel my best. My work certainly keeps me on my toes, but it’s also what inspires me to dress up every day. It’s become more than just a routine; it’s a lifestyle.

(L-R) Hema in a Gabriela Hearst jacket, vintage belt, and Prada sunglasses (image 1), Jean-Louis Sabaji Couture dress and Schiaparelli earrings (image 2) and Ganni blazer, vintage Versace earrings, Yves Saint Laurent ring, and Cartier Tank Must watch (image 3).

RSQ: And between style and comfort, what takes precedence?
HB: For me, style and comfort aren’t mutually exclusive – they can always go hand in hand. I firmly believe that you can look stylish while still being comfortable. It’s all about finding that perfect spot where you feel confident and at ease in what you’re wearing. I’ve always abstained from the notion of sacrificing comfort for the sake of style. If something doesn’t feel right or makes me uncomfortable, you won’t catch me wearing it.
And I’ve learned how to put together pieces that not only look great but also feel right. Ultimately, none of them presides over the other – they coexist harmoniously to create a cohesive and authentic expression of my personal style.

RSQ: Does your idea of style differ for off-duty and working days?
HB: Interestingly, I don’t really have an “off-duty” switch in my life. Working is woven into my everyday routine, so you’ll find me at it day in and day out. And I’m all about embracing my personal style and being impeccably put together, regardless of the occasion. My wardrobe choices aren’t dictated by whether it’s a working day or not. Instead, it might sound riotous, but I tailor my outfits based on my mood. The essence of my personal style remains consistent throughout, reflecting my belief in presenting myself authentically and confidently in every situation.

(L-R) Hema in Theory shirt, jeans, and jacket, Miu Miu bag, Jimmy Choo shoes, and Peci Hat from Paris (image 1) and a vintage top with Valentino Couture skirt, Valentino belt, Lanvin shoes, Giuseppe Zanotti pocket chain as necklace, Vintage Chanel earrings, and Chanel sunglasses (image 2).

RSQ: Having lived and travelled across different countries and continents, which do you connect with the most in terms of style and aesthetics amongst beaches, mountains, and cities?
HB: While each has its allure, I must confess, I’m a through-and-through city girl. There’s something about the pulse of urban life that resonates with me deeply. You might just catch me strolling blocks and blocks of any city, soaking in the history and culture of the place. That said, when it comes to mountains or beaches, my heart belongs to the sea. There’s an undeniable draw to the tranquil beauty and endless horizon of coastal destinations. And when I find myself by the shore, my style takes on a whole new vibe. Think flowy resort wear, adorned in light and beautiful fabrics and silhouettes, mirroring the breezy essence of beach life.
I believe that fashion choices are fluid and adapt to our surroundings. So, whether I’m navigating the bustling streets of a city or lounging by the waves, my style reflects a harmonious blend of personal expression and the unique atmosphere of each locale.

RS: And when travelling, do you take inspiration from the destination for your sartorial choices? If yes, could you please share an example?
HB: Absolutely! I believe that immersing oneself in the culture and atmosphere of a destination extends beyond sightseeing to include sartorial choices as well. When I travel, I often find inspiration from the unique vibe and aesthetic of each place, and my wardrobe reflects that. For instance, on a journey to the picturesque Italian Riviera, perhaps to the enchanting towns of Amalfi Coast or Portofino, I can’t help but be influenced by the cheerful ambience in such vibrant and colourful settings. My choices naturally become more lively as I incorporate a kaleidoscope of hues into my looks. From sunny yellows to azure blues and passionate reds, my outfits mirror the vivid palette of the Mediterranean landscape. By embracing the local aesthetic, I pay homage to the beauty of the place and create unforgettable fashion moments that resonate with the memories of my travels.

(L-R) Hema in vintage trousers, Jacquemus shirt, and Bottega Veneta sunglasses (image 1), a Missoni dress (image 2), and Nadine Merabi trousers, vintage menswear shirt and jewellery, and Jimmy Choo flats (image 3).

RSQ: If you had to give RSq readers a few tips on defining their style and identity, what would those be?
HB: Defining your style is about embracing your individuality and using fashion as a canvas for self-expression. Stay authentic, and let your clothing choices reflect your unique personality and imagination. Prioritise quality over quantity when building your wardrobe, investing in timeless pieces that exude confidence and versatility. Remembering, comfort is key!

Hema in Gaurav Gupta Couture and Schiaparelli jewellery.

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