Press Release 4/18/2023
Few fashion items can be said to hold the interest of the consumer for longer than a season or two at the most. Certain iconic styles have grown to be considered “classics” in fashionable closets, but even those have a history of only a few decades, or at most a hundred years. Designer Sonya Keshwani, however, showed her collection during New York Bridal Week this week that dates back over 4 millennia. Yes, that’s 4,000 years.
Turbans have been celebrated across the globe, by men and women alike, to honor culture, faith, and fashion for over 4,000 years. Keshwani created her collection, not out of desire, but out of personal need. At 29 years old, she found herself with breast cancer. Her hair was majorly affected by her treatment regimen, and she was faced with having to figure out a way to present herself in a manner that made her feel confident and empowered yet celebrated her own personal beauty and style. Her solution was a Turban. Being of Indian descent, the style was an integral part of her culture.
A few years later, on the cusp of being a bride as well as a 5 year cancer survivor, the designer created a Turban for her wedding in India that reflected not only her heritage, but made her feel beautiful on her special day. Like the turban created for her wedding, designer Sonya Keshwani says, “Every turban is personal because it celebrates the history of the wearer.”
This experience inspired Sonya to launch the StyleEsteem Wardrobe as a way of celebrating culture, style, and strength of not only herself, but of every woman who wanted to wear a turban, regardless of the occasion or purpose. Some needed them as part of their hair journey as Sonya once did, some wanted them to celebrate their heritage, while others wanted them to honor their faith. Keshwani took each of her client’s interests one step further and created a collection under the label “StyleEsteem”.
StyleEsteem embodies the time honored tradition of turbans with fashionable styles for every season and occasion. The collection has grown to not only include a range of turbans that address a wide range of occasions from ceremonial to the everyday, but also head bands, fascinators, and veils, many of which are commissions or made from vintage fabrics in a manner that can only be called couture.
For New York Bridal Week, StyleEsteem by Sonya Keshwani featured 16 styles that had a definitively bridal slant — not in the traditional white and ivory that western cultures count as synonymous with the genre. Keshwani’s talent, combined with her global perspective, created a range that had far more context than one would expect from such a well-focused range of styles. Hand embroidered fabrics — some vintage, and others newly created— tapestry, brocade, hand beaded edging, lace, sequins, and lurex shimmer all came together to masterful result in a palette that began with ivory and included light blue, gold, silver, maroon, peach, before ending on a strikingly rich jewel toned cobalt blue.
Keshwani worked with show producer Myrdith Leon-McCormack who partnered with the iconic InterContinental New York Barclay to secure their luxurious Harold S. Vanderbilt Penthouse suite for the presentation, as well as noted stylist Mimi Lombardo to pull the full looks together. Lombardo brought in jewelry by luxury Swiss watchmaker Piaget, shoes by vegan shoe designer Pifieri, and dresses by Bibhu Mohapatra, Chiara Boni, Kosibah, and Yellow by Sahar.
The "Raja" Couture Turban
The “Raja” Turban is inspired by a blend of the traditional turban style of the Pubjab-India region. Raja means “king” in Hindi and Punjabi, and the color red represents love, strength and bravery in India. This style consists of a net fabric with hand set crystals and embroidery, and alludes to the traditional craftsmanship of Indian textiles. The embroidered netting is set over a brilliant maroon satin lining which not only adds to the boldness but also the comfort of this style. The fabric at the top of the turban may be fanned and molded for a unique look upon each wear. The double brooch worn with this turban is made in India and is a modern ode to ancient royal style from this region. More details.
The "Rani" Couture Turban, Brooch & Veil Cape
The “Rani” Turban, Brooch and Veil Cape blends traditional Indian textiles with modern bridal fashion. In Hindi, rani means “queen”. This three-piece set is made of a turban, a brooch, and a veil which transforms into a cape. This peachy pink look is inspired by the color tones traditionally worn to a nikkah (Islamic wedding ceremony). This embroidered net sits elegantly over ivory taffeta for the turban, and over a shimmering pink tulle for the veil. The veil is accented with thousands of handset ostrich feathers throughout. The turban is accented with a brooch that has kundan detailing and a lively plume of pink ostrich feathers. The brooch may be worn in countless ways, with traditional and non-traditional dressing alike. More details.
The "Dulhan" Couture Veil to Turban
The “Dulhan” Turban is inspired by one of Sonya’s favorite childhood Bollywood movies, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), and the dress in which Anjali is dressed to be wed. The Dulhan, or “bride” in Hindi, has a metallic beaded border that frames the face strikingly and a heavily embroidered net body with gold thread work, and magenta, coral, and silver flowers throughout. This turban is constructed to have structure and to sit high at the top of the head. The back veil of the turban may be tied back to create a second unique look that makes this occasion wear design rather versatile. More details.
The "Amira" Couture Hijab Turban
The “Amira” Hijab Turban is inspired by the traditional head coverings of the Middle Eastern culture. This style is named Amira, or “princess” in Arabic, for its intricate, cut-work border that incorporates crystals, pearls and beads. The cap of this style is lined with silk while the veil aspect falls and moves freely. The asymmetric veil can be draped over the shoulders on one or both sides, and can also be worn as a dupatta by draping one side across the body and over the shoulder. More details.
The "Sade" Couture Gele Turban
The “Sade” Gele Turban is inspired by the traditional African wedding headdress. The Sade, which means “crowned” in Nigerian, is made of a gold band and a white crown, with two unique but complimentary patterns. It is created by meticulously hand pleating the band and the crown - which stands 7.5 inches tall - and individually stitching the molded pleats that result in a ready-to-wear gele. This unique two-tone gele is made further glamorous by the substantive diamond accent which adorns the band and makes this a true crown. More details.
The "Atarah" Couture Tichel Turban
The “Atarah” Tichel Turban is inspired by the tradition of headscarves in the Jewish faith. The Atarah, meaning “crown” in Hebrew, has a stunning rose gold brocade look with an elegant diamond and rose gold band framing the face. One can wear their hair outside of the turban, or fully tucked inside for a modest look. More details.
The "Duchess" Couture Fascinator
The “Duchess” Fascinator puts a fun and flirtatious twist on the traditional fascinator hats of the English royals that it is inspired by. This style can be worn by clipping the hat directly onto one’s hair, or by additionally using the attachable organza ribbons to tie the fascinator on. Designed in white with accents of gold strands, this fluffy style moves in the wind with you and creates an eye-catching presence wherever you go. More details.
The "Regal" Couture Turban and Capelet
The “Regal” Turban and Capelet is inspired by the fashions of the 1930s and 1970s in America. This is a two-piece set can be worn together or individually. The warm gray net fabric is richly embroidered with 3-D flowers, pearls and beads. The net fabric of the turban is placed over a metallic silver satin which catches the light and gives this set a stunning and elegant look. The capelet carries the same embroidery which, combined with the sheer net, creates a stunning yet measured look with any ensemble. More details.
The "Showstopper" Couture Turban
The “Showstopper” Turban is inspired by Sonya’s favorite I Love Lucy episode, “Lucy Gets in Pictures” (1955). This turban is truly a headdress that will make you feel like the main character. This design has a baby pink jacquard fabric with a light glitter accent. The face is framed with a diamond and pearl border with drop beads that move as you do. The highlight of the turban is a detachable 7.5 inch tall applique with hand curled, baby pink ostrich feathers that gives this style it’s show stopping look. Finally, the back of the turban holds yet another surprise with a hand pleated rose that forms under the feathered applique.
The "Something Glam Something Blue" Turban
The “Something Glam Something Blue” Turban is a 1920s-inspired style that was designed to give you an instant feeling of a vintage romance. This micro-pleated fabric has a slight satin finish, which exhibits a subtle shimmer when it catches the light. The ivory colored base is accented with a pale blue pattern. And the pièce de résistance is the custom made ostrich feather and jewel appliqué. More details.
The "Sweetheart" Couture Turban
The “Sweetheart” Turban puts a StyleEsteem twist on its timeless namesake, the sweetheart bow. The choice of hot pink is inspired by many elements – the rise of Barbiecore, modern romance, and Indian fashion (hot pink is India’s black). The two oversized sweetheart bows were created in a medium and a large size so they can be stacked together for an especially dramatic look. The side with the bows may be worn on the front or on the back of the head. The bows are also easily removed to create an understated and elegant look with the ivory taffeta turban by itself. More details.
The "Petal" Jeweled Couture Turban
The “Petal” Jeweled Turban has our signature sculptural design which is inspired by flower origami. Designed with an ivory taffeta fabric, the sculptured petal creates a unique presence that is made further dazzling with the vine motif diamond work across the front of the turban. This combination creates a very elevated and glamorous look, that proves there can be immense beauty in a single petal. More details.
The "Petal" Shimmer Couture Turban
The ”Petal” Shimmer Turban is a vibrant take on StyleEsteem’s signature petal turban. This design incorporates a fully glittering fabric into the sculptural petal silhouette. The combination of the fabric and shape creates a fun and glamorous look, that constantly glimmers when it catches the light. More details.
The "Ali'i" Couture Turban Headband
The “Ali’I” Turban Headband is inspired by the wildlife in Hawaii, where Sonya honeymooned. The Ali’i, or royalty in Hawaiian, has a blue net fabric with delicate bead and embroidery work in shades of blue and metallic blue. This accent is resonant of the natural beauty of the coral reef and beach flora that can be found on the islands. The embroidered net is set on top of a shining silver satin that further adds dimension and beauty to this design. More details.
The "Swanky Berry" Turban
The ”Swanky Berry” Turban is inspired by the vogue fashions of the 1920s in America. In 1920s slang, “swanky” meant ritzy, and “berry” meant attractive. These words are embodied by the metallic cobalt blue, micro-pleated fabric you see here. This bold and vivid blue beautifully contrasts with the Japan-made silver lined tassel accent that adorns the turban. The fabric and the tassel come alive with your every move. More details.
The "Manao" Couture Headband
The “Manao” Turban Headband is inspired by modern romance and celebrations. The Manao, or “celebrate” in Hindi, comprises of a white net that is heavily embroidered with a vine and leaf motif. The net is set atop an ivory satin lining, giving this design an elevated and fancy look. This incredibly versatile design deserves to be worn over and over, on your special day and beyond. More details.