Wednesday May 2, 2012
FASHION is a big part of Fatiha Sharif's life and she's been featured in several local magazines on her style picks and wardrobe. So when she turned up for the photoshoot with two bags, I wasn't surpised to find it filled with the most fabulous clothes and accessories, ranging from Alexander McQueen and Chanel to Sass and Bide.
The 34-year-old, who is based in Kuantan, Pahang, has quite a hectic schedule. She had just flown in from Hong Kong and managed to squeeze our interview in between her meetings in Kuala Lumpur.
An executive director in Marketing and Sales for her father's company, she manages her time between Kuantan and Kuala Lumpur, and travelling abroad.
Fatiha said she had grown up knowing how her dad had hoped she would be a boy.
"That fact was probably made more obvious when Asturi Metal Builders was incorporated in 1994. I had a really balanced childhood growing up but since I'm never one to disappoint, I decided to ensure that my father's wishes were fulfilled and made sure I was involved in the family business." she divulged further.
Asturi Metal Builders (M) Sdn Bhd is a mechanical and civil engineering based company. It's a fabricator for Malaysia's Oil & Gas and Energy Industry where it engineers and manufactures process equipment such as pressure vessels, heat exchangers, process skids and non-pressure vessels.
In essense, a rough and tough industry where one is usually hard pressed to find a female on the grounds much less one trusted to lead a team. And this is what Fatiha does on a daily basis, which is in direct contrast to her love of fashion. Investigating the more colourful spectrum of Fatiha's life, we focused on her sense of style and beyond her weekly 9 to 5 reality. As her job involves meeting people, giving the right impression is important.
"I dont understand how people can leave the house and not put in some effort into their overall look," she exclaimed. A view this pint sized fashionista lives by, as was made obvious by the casually chic ensemble she rocked up in - a Tibi sweater, chiffon mini dress and Christian Louboutin loafers.
"Dont get me wrong. When I'm working in the field, you won't find me teetering around in my 5-inch heels and tight dresses, but you will see an element of my style in the form of my ankle boots and professionally chic attire," she said.
Adding to that she said "I balance my masculine inspired work style with a hint of colour which is usually in the form of lipstick in a bright shade and I usually don a long skirt or Malay traditional wear on Fridays."
"My sense of style always revolves around these three elements which are simplicity, originality and comfort. Simplicity in the sense where even wearing your best smile is accessory enough. Comfort is key as it is definitely translated into how you feel and inevitably how you look. And finally, I stress originality, as I am not a trend follower. If it does not suit my look or personality, I won't wear it." she says.
Fatiha disclosed that her parents' influence on her fashion sense came to a halt after her pre-teen years when she realised pig-tails, frilly dresses complete with matching socks and ballet shoes were not all the rage. Although she was glad her parents had a good run dressing her up.
"I began experimenting with different looks during my teenage years along with my peers. Through trial and error, I grew and developed my own style which I believe can be described as edgy. I also trust in my friends opinions and views. Although I personally am not a huge fan of the colour pink, friends do say it is a colour that complements my look and with that, I do indulge in a little girliness now and then," she confessed.
"My personal preference is for clothes in dark or neutral hues which I find easy to dress up with an outstanding accessory. Currently, I am loving cuffs and hinge rings which I have incorporated into my wardrobe for a mini Spring Summer update," said the stylish lass. "Apart from that, complementing my style updates would be my beauty essentials, and I never leave home without my perfume, lipstick and tinted moisturiser."
When it comes to style icons, she lists two, with the first being actress/singer Marion Cotillard.
"I absolutely love her bowler hat collection and I especially love how she is able to look uber feminine and stylish in masculine wear. I also adore actress and singer, Charlotte Gainsbourg who although simple, has an air of mystery about her and I find that there is something serene and effortlessly attractive about her," she explained.
As she travels frequently, her favourite shopping haunts and go-to brands are mainly found abroad.
"I rarely browse through the stores around Kuala Lumpur anymore as I travel a lot and usually manage to snag a few great finds overseas. Europe has a great range of leather goods" she shares.
"When I'm not traveling, I frequent websites like lagarcon.com and shopbop.com for some online retail therapy."
I asked her if she had any style no-nos.
"In a nutshell, apart from my aversion towards the colour pink, I steer clear of exaggerated floral prints as well as high waisted trousers."
And her favourites?
"In terms of brands, I am an avid fan of Haider Ackermann, Rick Owens and Balenciaga for the brand's apparel as each piece is always so well tailored, what with their clean lines and amazing structure. Locally, Rizalman gets my vote for his eccentric tailoring and styling of the local traditional wear. He has me hooked!
"My handbags and shoes are mostly from Alexander McQueen as the brand always goes that one step further than most other brands while Sass and Bide, Dries Van Noten and Chanel are my favourites for its expressive and original accessories. That said, I actually am more of a designer follower, so whichever brand the designer goes to, I am sure to follow."