|Photo by Xenia Nikolskaya|
Graduated from AUC, majoring in visual arts and minoring in theatre with a concentration on costume design. He then studied visual culture and design at Goldsmiths College, University of London and fashion studies at Central Saint Martins and London college of Fashion. Worked with a variety of major magazines such as Oryx, Pashion, Elle, Unfair, Identity, & What Women Want. Private atelier stylist at Liberty of London and has worked with Kenzo and Lanvin.
What was your first fashion related job like?
My first fashion related experience was a summer internship at the atelier of Nagada in Cairo much before I did any fashion studies. I was not doing one specific thing. I was around in the studio and helped whoever needed anything. Somehow it gave me a good overview of the process of ‘making clothes,’ about fabrics and it definitely made me realize that eventually I need to work in fashion.
What does fashion mean to you? And do you have any other passions?
Fashion for me is the most intimate form of art that we can contemplate, ‘consume’ and own. As I see fashion as an art form rather than just a craft and industry. Fashion trends and novelty-for-novelty’s sake do not mean much to me. These are merely consumerist tools to keep the industry going. There is so much more to a piece of clothing than how new it is or which season it is from. Of course fashion is about evolution; evolution of norms, views and attitudes but it happens in a more contextual and gradual way than an abrupt switch in trends. Fashion and clothing are cultural artifacts; it is not just how pretty, sexy or good you look. One way of discovering and getting a feel of a new place I am in is by looking at what people are wearing in the street. It simply tells me so much about this place. Visual art is my original discipline in training, I never stopped practicing directly or indirectly and it has been my main point of departure and guide in styling. Classical music and piano playing is another passion of mine and even though I am an amateur and I don’t practice as much as I should it still brings me so much joy.
Do you have personal principles you follow when
I definitely have some kind of a logistical methodology I follow when I approach a styling assignment. These logistics naturally change from a shoot to another depending on the factors at play (the magazine, the photographer, the budget, the location etc…). However, when it comes to aesthetic principles, I strive not to have any rigid ones. The more I stick to an aesthetic approach in all my work in general the more it is limiting to my production and evolution. I obviously have my own take on things that is specific to my own taste; it is inevitable. But then we need to know that there is no right or wrong, no formula per se in styling. Sometimes less is more but some other times less is a total bore! The question at stake for me is whether it works for its purpose at the end or not…
What part of your job do you like best? And least?
Like most stylists, I love the creative side of my job, the part where you brainstorm, research and create. I am fascinated by how a photo-shoot can turn clothes into anecdotes, stories, little fantasies. There is also this last stage of the preparation of a shoot, where everything is organized and I have all the clothes and accessories I need in my studio, and I start assembling, styling and putting looks together not worrying about anything except my own interaction with the clothes…it is pure pleasure! The most tedious part of my job is getting the clothes I want for my shoots. Beside the scarcity of high fashion in Egypt, boutiques make it very difficult to borrow clothes for shoots. Luckily, there is a new generation of young designers who are more than willing to provide clothes for shoots.
Any advice for the next generation of stylists?
Expose yourself to as many visuals as you can…art, architecture, film you name it. Remember that styling is not just about fashion and clothes. As stylists we don’t create clothes we create images and compositions. Draw your inspiration from anything and everything. Challenge yourself and the industry!
What 2 things in your life, 1 being something you bought and 1 being something you can’t buy that have brought you the most happiness?
So many things I bought have given me a lot of happiness (that is why we should shop!!) but if I have to choose one item that I cherish very much it would definitely be my pair of Vivienne Westwood pirate boots. I simply love them…I am so attached to them. They are falling apart but I keep mending them! VW’s pirate boots existed since the 70s and they are still produced almost every season; that is what I call real timeless fashion. To answer the latter part of the question, I would have to say it is to have been surrounded by loving friends and supportive family. It has certainly brought me the most happiness in my life and no money in the world can buy that.
What do you see for the future of the fashion industry in Egypt?
I am very optimistic about the fashion industry in Egypt now more than ever despite the ‘temporary’ political reality of Egypt. There are all kinds of signs showing an emerging fashion movement that will slowly and inevitably develop into a full-fledged fashion scene/industry; new fashion schools, new young designers, more publications, more consciousness, receptivity and interest in fashion, and of course Cairo Fashion Report just released its first print issue : )
Is there anything you would like to share with our reader about your upcoming projects?
Well I will continue doing what I am doing, hoping for exciting and challenging endeavors to come along. Hopefully one day I will manage to create a visual publication in Egypt that merges fashion with different disciplines but nothing concrete yet.
|Collage of a selection of Kegham's work in magazines such as Oryx, Pashion, Identity & Elle Middle East|