It-Girl Illustrator: Hala Salem Achillas

Posted by Cherie
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Hala's illustrations for Shrimpton Couture. (Original photo by Ted Belton. Stylist: Amanda Lee Shirreffs, Hair & Makeup: Erin Heather, Model: Karis—wearing a 1970s Silk Chiffon Ruffled Bill Blass Halter Dress from Shrimpton Couture (available now) )


Instagram can be a wondrous thing. It is like its own little micro-world where "meeting" people a world away is reduced to a simple click of the follow button. Hala and I have mutually followed each others accounts for months and I confess to having developed a bit of a girl crush on this fabulous girl who dresses like a dream and creates these bright little illustrations that I love. I thought there would be nothing more fun that to ask Hala to do a collaboration with us, taking one of our creative photos and doing her magic to it. The result is above and just happens to be our cover this month!

You will also find her work across the tops of the main categories through the site. I could not be more delighted. Get a daily dose of her creativity by following her on Instagram. I also did a quick little interview along with her bio below and had my team gather up some example of her body of work. (You can check out even more of her work on her website, too!)

Thank you so much Hala for bringing your own special touch to the pages of Shrimpton Couture this month! We love you!


Where does your inspiration come from? Does it start from the picture you are drawing over and on top of - or do you always have all those colours and bits of drawings in your head all the time?
My inspiration comes from so many things, travels, nature, minerals, and charms. I'm very attracted to talismans, everything about the universe, the moon...


How do you work vintage into your wardrobe? Do you buy as colorfully as your drawings?
I have some beautiful vintage pieces, like Valentino, Saint Laurent, Courrèges to name a few, from my mother. Also some jewelry from her or from my grand mother. I mix items together, vintage and new, I like the history behind every piece. About color it depends of the pieces but all the Courrèges I have is so colorful, like a pink silk shirt with white clouds, I have the scarf too in bright blue. I buy a lot of color, I rarely wear black.





Do you have a favourite vintage find?
Two years ago, going through my mother's vintage sunglasses drawer I discovered the Christian Dior butterfly sunglasses...now they are mine !


Hala's Dior Sunnies (Photo: The Coveteur)



If you could buy anything on Shrimpton Couture which piece would it be?
I love the S/S 1974 Christian Dior Haute Couture Silk Gown. The print, the colors, it's exquisite !


Hala's pick from the shop - S/S 1974 Christian Dior Haute Couture Silk Gown




About Hala:

With her distinctive style and colorful art, Hala Salem is best known as the " It-Girl Illustrator " and style expert working with clients around the world.

She works in traditional and digital mediums to create her colorful fashion and lifestyle illustrations and pattern designs. Already a favorite of the fashion scene, her charming designs have been commissioned by high end magazines as well as private clients. Hala is also a Style.com Arabia voices Contributor where she shares things she truly loves from fashion to lifestyle and where all her articles come with an illustration. With her style, her goal is to bridge the gulf between East and west.

Born in Beirut, Hala leaves her home country for Europe before settling in Paris where she grew up. After graduating in Graphic Arts, she enters the advertising industry as Art Director for some of the world's leading agencies. A career artist, Hala strikes out of her own in 2002 and built a successful illustration portfolio. Her work has been featured in publications including The Big Book of Illustration and various fashion magazines such as Elle Decor, Nylon, vogue among many others.

In 2005 she launched "Graphik Candies" a decorative line of wall decals, and was one of the first to bring the concept to France. Rapidly her brand was sold in the Capital's trendiest spots: Palais de Tokyo, Le Bon Marché and various Concept stores.

Her list of credits includes collaborations with some of the most respected brands in the industry including Lacoste and Clarins among others, and magazines like Maison Française, Marie Claire maison and Elle décor. (and now Shrimpton Couture!)

Spotted by the Costes brothers, she redesigned the contemporary looking Hôtel Costes K, rearranging space by mixing colors, transforming packaging for branded products.

In addition to partnering with top designers and fashion houses for illustrations and concept development, Hala has appeared in numerous publications, advertorials, offering personal style picks, expert advice, and industry knowledge. Recent appearances include Vogue Germany, Style.com Arabia, L'Officiel Levant, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Lash magazine and various online style blogs – to name a few.

In 2013 she was nominated among in Harper's Bazaar Arabia Best Dressed list and has been "Coveteured"





Hala Salem Achillas (All photos from Hala Salem unless otherwise noted)



Harper's Bazaar 2013.



Illustration for Luisaviaroma


Hala Salem feature from The Coveteur


Hala Salem in a Pucci Dress. (Photo: The Coveteur)




Harper's Bazaar Arabia, September 2013


Illustration for Luisaviaroma




(Source unknown)



Illustration for Luisaviaroma

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