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B arack Obama's'yes we can'-do spirit inspired BBC director Harkirn Khaila to finally realise her dreams of opening her own dress shop. She had been designing and making her own clothes since she was 16 and even studied it at college. However, she got a short contract as a runner with the BBC and loved it so much she stayed for 10 years. But even as she was directing programmes by day, she was making clothes for friends and presenters by night. She left TV two years ago but, as the credit crunch hit, she hesitated to open her shop. Then Obama was voted in as president.

"I'm a huge fan of his and I thought'the world is going to be a better place with him in power, he is going to solve everything'. That solidified my decision."

She called it Hox - her husband Kujinder's nickname for her, short for Hockey, which she was called at school because her teachers couldn't pronounce her name Based in a listed building in Corporation Street, Hox is a funky little boutique with an antique chic feel, thanks to the ornate wardrobes - actually glass display cabinets customised with mirrors and fabric - that hold Harkirn's unique designs (once the fabric

runs out the piece is never repeated).

The clothes reflect Harkirn's Asian and British roots, with the feminine sparkle and colour of Indian fabrics combined with the robust masculine materials and stylings of middle England - tweeds, linens and corduroy ravishingly trimmed with sequins, brocade and tiny mirrors.

She persuaded her former BBC colleague Indi Shambi to join her in the store and the label is already building up a celebrity following - EastEnders'Nina Wadia wore an embroidered off the shoulder dress to the Soap Awards while teen punk singer turned presenter and radio jock Lauren Laverne, picked the short sleeved sequin jacket for a TV appearance.

For more info go to Double collar corduroy jacket embossed in a shimmering flock print and fully lined in satin, pounds 150, linen mini skirt with antique style sequin work featured in the box pleats, pounds 80, beaded ring, pounds 10 Long sleeve linen dress with a two metre green and gold patterned sash belt, pounds 125, Bling Olive Sequin bag, pounds 30


Cube Dress - 60s style sleeveless dress bought to life in four vibrant brocade panels, pounds 125, long gold necklace by Estelle Bennett pounds 30 Soft cotton wrap dress with red & gold brocade trim, pounds 95, ivory beaded cuff, pounds 10, brown/amber oval stone with tiny red and blue stones ornate necklace, pounds 30 Sparkling sleeveless chiffon dress in olive with a mirrorwork neckline, pounds 150 Double collar fitted pinstripewaistcoat with brocade back, pounds 95, flared hipster combats featuring six brocade piped, buttoned pockets, , pounds 150, glass bangle, pounds 10 Short sleeved, roll neck zipper jacket in a range of brocades, pounds 150, black hipster trousers in velvet soft corduroy with antique style sequinned ankle zippers, pounds 115, black & ivory beaded cuff, pounds 10 Sequined short sleeved jacket, with trademark Hox double collar, pounds 210, high waist Cube skirt made of four vibrant brocade panels, pounds 95
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Dec 3, 2009
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