“First I design the box or bag shape, and then draw the brass work. Finally, I match the stones with the bag and leather.” Nouf Al Shaker is talking about the process of creating her elegant NS by Noof clutches. It’s equal parts creative and systematic – a balance that’s reflected in Nouf’s view on style itself. “Initially, a woman must choose what suits her figure and personality. Then she needs to piece it together with accessories, shoes, jewellery,” the mother of four boys explains.
For Nouf, the piece that achieves this alchemy is a form-fitting dress by Victoria Beckham that she wore to a cocktail party in Bahrain. “It was my perfect moment for sure,” she recalls. “It was perfect because the hair, make-up, jewellery and accessories all complemented it.”
The Bahrain national gets her fashion fix at the Kingdom’s Moda Mall, which houses the likes of Dior, Louis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta and Fendi. But when it comes to making any purchases, style influencers of yesteryear are always at the front of her mind. “My style icons are all from the old days,” Nouf admits. “I love Audrey Hepburn; she wore everything with a smile. And Grace Kelly had so much class.” She credits both stars for her obsession with all things ladylike. “I love hats and gloves. Plus, I have an obsession with coloured Birkins and fur,” she confides.
Her most prized piece though, is a Cartier Love bracelet – because of its sentimental value. “It was a gift from my older two sons,” Nouf explains. “They gave it to me as they understood what the gesture stood for.”
Outfit and accessory planning side, Nouf maintains style must be a personal choice. “It’s a reflection of who you are, your personality and how you see yourself.”
Photography: Richard Hall. Styling: Charlotte Blair. Words: Kerrie Simon-Lawrence. Hair: Maria for SoH Art + Beauty. Make-Up: Sarah-Jane Thompson for Shiseido