In the spirit of honouring iconic, inspirational women, a few local Canberra artists embarked on a project to recreate the fashion of legendary style icon Princess Begum Sahiba Niloufer Khanum Sultana Farhat of Hyderabad, India. Born in 1916, Princess Niloufer was not only about the clothes, but she was also a highly regarded advocate for women’s advancement and a fierce public speaker who was even offered several Hollywood movie roles.
Princess Niloufer’s clothes have been displayed in the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Not only did she garner much attention for her custom-made sarees from India and France, but she was also well-known for incorporating French vintage textiles with Indian traditional attire. She would place embroidery, coordinate colours, themes and patterns to every detail. Her unique personal style was one of the many talents that earned her the reputation of an international style icon. Princess Niloufer later died in Paris in 1989.
The idea to come together for a photo shoot to re-create some of Princess Niloufer’s ‘looks’ happened when Archana Milani went on a holiday to India and listened to her Mum vivaciously tell a fascinating story about the princess. On returning to Canberra, Archana took the concept to a couple of local artists who brought the vision to life. Her mother, Madhu Milani made 2 sarees and a colourful dress while Archana acquired specific pieces from friends and rummaged some of the local markets like Canberra Fashion Market and Old Bus Depot Markets for additional stylish pieces for the shoot.
The beautiful images were captured by local photographer Alex of True Beauty Design, the hair and makeup artist was Sarah of Makeup by Sarah Tahir. The Princess Niloufer-inspired outfits were modelled by Archana Milani.
Have you ever attempted re-creating the outfits of an icon you admire? Let us know in the comments below.