As a familiar and frequent Glamcult contributor—whose work also appears on glossy spreads, billboards and the runway alike—the ambitious Imruh Asha is no stranger to breaking new ground. This time around, making use of his very own Amsterdam atelier. Hosting an evening filled with creative exchanges over a glass or two, the stylist pulled out his most charming hospitality skills during a dinner curated in collaboration with Zalando and Glamcult. The night turned out to be a colourful ode to creative energy as his guests shared their personal anecdotes, experiences and mutual interests. We sat down with the man of the hour to discuss the aesthetic that sets him apart, and how fashion seeps into his life and work.
Last week you put on a dinner party with Zalando and Glamcult. Can you tell us a little bit about the space you held the evening in?
The building where my studio is located used to be an old girls’ school. Nowadays, it’s a space for several creatives from different art disciplines: visual artists, painters, people that work with projections, art directors, graphic designers, et cetera. For the dinner party I brought one of my recent works to life.
As a stylist, I play a lot with colour combinations, shapes and silhouettes—sometimes it becomes like a small installation. I thought it was good to show something that’s mine so the space would really get an Imruh feel. I’m always busy working on different projects, so every week I have other pieces hanging in my studio. I thought it was nice to showcase this week’s selection on my walls.
What does creativity mean to you? How important is it to share this with others?
For me creativity is the urge to push boundaries, not only in my work, but also within my mind. It is about being open-minded in every aspect of your life. I think it’s important to sometimes share your creative ideas with others, because they might have a 2.0 idea on your idea—so you level each other up.
How do you get started on a styling project?
It starts off with a type of mood, a movie, museum, artist or inspiring moment. Then I start sourcing and searching for inspiration. I go into archives, watch more movies or search for more information about the subject. When that’s all set, I start selecting certain mood images that will fit the project.
Is it difficult to translate ideas, moods, and feelings into clothes?
No, I think it’s even the opposite; you can tell a lot with clothing. People communicate through references, which they recognize. Even though not everyone is aware of this, it’s a part of the subconscious. For example, it would be really weird if you’re in a hospital and the doctor comes to help you dressed in a military uniform with a gun and helmet on. Of course this is a very extreme example, but people are constantly telling you what they are, and how they are, through what they wear. Everything has its message.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Bold but tasteful and a little off, with frequent use of shape and colour combinations. Classic with a modern twist.
Where do you find or look to for your inspiration?
The new and the old, and a combination of both.
You curated The Man Box by Zalando for all of your guests. Can you give us the backstory to the items you picked?
As I mentioned, a stylist works with colour combinations. I picked almost everything in pastels so it all matches and you can wear it all together. I wanted my guests to have useful and wearable items. I also added one eye catcher that you can wear every day: a Versace belt.
What advice would you give to aspiring stylists?
One tip: don’t always follow dress codes. Try to look at clothes as objects—not as familiar, typical clothing items such as ‘pants’ and a ‘t-shirt.’ A t-shirt is basically just a piece of fabric with a colour. In an image you can put, wear, fold, wrap or lay it anywhere you want.