Shahla Dorriz is an Iranian artist and couturier. She is best known for creating couture gowns as sculptural installation pieces from her mother and grandmother's embroidery and needle-point textile work as well as hand-painting textiles as canvases to create painterly garments. Because both Shahla's mother and grandmother collected and created textiles, Shahla has kept a strong archive of their works and collections and continues to draw inspiration and new work from these family heirlooms. This archive of vintage textiles (pieces dating over 150 years to date) were originally smuggled from Iran into Europe and then into the United States by Shahla's mother after the Iranian Revolution of 1979. From an early age, since her classical training in Iran, Shahla was designing dresses for her dolls. Shahla began to pursue fashion design in her early teenage years when she moved to Lausanne, Switzerland. A few years later she presented her designs at her first fashion show in Paris.
In the 1990s she implemented one of the first uses of Persian hand-writing calligraphy, writings and poetry by Rumi and Hafez, (better known today as Sufi Art) onto textiles - later popularized by many young Iranian artists and designers. She introduced this line to the public in interviews with E! Channel's host, Lauren Ezersky, of "Behind the Velvet Ropes" in 2001. She has appeared on the show several other times further introducing the beauty of the renowned poems in her gowns to the public. In 2002 she designed these Rumi Poetry costumes for the World Premiere of Les Ballets Persans Ballet and Seven Beauties & Divine Banquets in Stockholm, Sweden. The choreographies were based on Sufism and poetry by Molana Jalaloddin Rumi. She has gone on to dress high-profile celebrities and public figures like First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (2007) and International singer-songwriter Natalie Cole (2013) in scarves and gowns written with Rumi calligraphy poetry, respectively.
In 2002, Shahla Dorriz was named "Fashion Fabulous" and a "future of star of couture" by Mr. Blackwell. Entertainers and philanthropists have worn her designs during the Emmy Awards, the Oscars, and the Vanity Fair party, including the "Moon Dress" made for Ms. Buzz Aldrin, wife of the first man to step on the moon, in 2007. Farrah Fawcett was one of the first American actresses to fall in love with Shahla's designs from the early years of her career in the United States. In 2013, she created three statement gowns for Natalie Cole upon the release of her new Spanish-speaking album, “En Español”, creating the gown for the debut of the album’s concert at the Hollyood Bowl – inside of the gown’s train were hand-painted the lyrics of her songs, “Once in a lifetime – Solamente y una vez”. Later that year she created a statement piece for her Latin Grammys appearance and red carpet – a vibrant red sculptural element. Many prestigious Iranian entertainers have worn Shahla Dorriz, mostly known for her styling and designing of attire in Iranian music videos and concerts, such as designing several gowns for Iranian singer Googoosh for international tours.
Today, she continues to collaborate with her son, Alexandre, to bring new light to sculptural pieces she originally created in the 90s, that were part of the original archives collected and created by both their ancestors.
LA MAISON DU SHAHLA DORRIZ
Shahla Dorriz is a Beverly Hills based Couture and Bridal fashion house founded in 1994, now located on the renowned Robertson Boulevard. The house is directed by mother-son duo Shahla and Alexandre Dorriz. As couturiers, they are known for working from the archives of textiles that were hand-embroidered and finished by Shahla’s mother and grandmother and the house holds in preservation archived textiles dating over 150 years to date.
Shahla's Mother was taught the art and principles of couture by her mother (Shahla's Grandmother), with a concentration on needlepoint and embroidery in Iran.
The original framed hand-finished needlepoint embroidery piece made by Shahla's mother when she was 14 (seen in the background of this early black and white photo of Shahla's Mother and Father) would be later used in Shahla's early collections in the 1990s. (One of the few remaining photos documented of Shahla's Mother's earliest works)
In 2014, the gown was pulled from the archives out of preservation (since its first appearance on the runways in the 1990s) for a project entitled "Heritage / Archives" photographed by Shahla's son, Alexandre.