When it comes to shopping, Katia tells Bazaar, “I shop when I’m in the mood to discover new season collections. I also shop when I’m stressed as it is fantastic therapy.” She prefers to browse in-store for luxury items, however she does dabble with e-commerce when it comes to bags and watches, “particularly when they’re being auctioned on either Christies or Sotheby’s.” She also notes that whilst “we can get designer brands here, the buy is more suited to the Middle Eastern consumer, which sometimes doesn’t work for me. When I go to New York, London, Paris or Singapore, the selection is more European, which is more in line with my personal style and what I feel comfortable with.”
As a contemporary art advisor and men’s fashion designer, Katia has a keen eye for detail and is acutely aware of what suits her (light colours for example), thanks also in part to a trusted advisor. “I have a friend who I’ve known for over 25 years that works in fashion and has personally advised stars such as Charlotte Rampling. He has helped validate and advise me during my style evolution into maturity.” There is, however, one change that has occurred in her closet since living in the Middle East, “When you live here, with 360 days of sunshine a year, your wardrobe changes. Certainly for me, it became more colourful. I rarely wear black here.”
Katia says she “respects the culture in the Middle East” in relation to style, adding, “fashion here is always in progress, which makes me very happy.” Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Jackie Kennedy, Coco Chanel and the French Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais are among her style icons, and Katia believes that “a woman’s allure, the way she walks and speaks, and her manner” are what makes her stylish.
Her favourite designers include Saint Laurent, Chanel, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci. “Each of these brands corresponds with my style – novelties with a youthful, modern twist mixed with classic silhouettes.” She also credits the latter for preventing any fashion missteps. “I tend to be extra careful and conservative in my dress sense since living in Dubai and as far as I know, there haven’t been any disasters. I think Gucci has fixed that for me for now.”
Katia Hodson wears Stella McCartney jacket and skirt at Ounass.com. Carolina Herrera shoes, her own. Photography: Richard Hall. Styling: Samah Elmeri. Words: Maddison Glendinning. Hair & make-up: Blowout & Go. Location: Weslodge