Never out of style
Shirley Hiranand is all about glamour. She is sitting on the floor of her boudoir in a lapis lazuli coloured Lanvin frock with slight ruching on the sides, her version of a house-dress, looking for the Christian Dior shoes she wore to her wedding 32 years ago. 'I've kept everything from my trousseau,' she says. 'I never throw anything away.'
When she finds the shoes, strappy gold sandals with a medium-height heel, she places them with her vast shoe collection that includes several pairs from Roger Vivier, Fendi, Bottega Veneta, Christian Louboutin, Pierre Hardy, Yves Saint Laurent and other high-fashion labels. 'A lot of my shoes have been signed by the designers, because I have become friends with them through my work,' says the doyenne of PR and event management in Hong Kong, and mother of five.
Hiranand's closet - closets really, as her collection spills into the other rooms in her massive house - is a stylists' dream. Below the stairs that leads to the second floor of her bi-level walk-in is a small portion of her shoe collection. There are plenty more on a shelf just outside this room. Inside are cabinets and drawers that hold her carefully curated and organised collection. There are separate drawers for costume jewellery, evening bags and scarves. There are racks for Indian saris, fur coats and designer dresses. 'My three daughters are all welcome to borrow from my closet.'
She opens drawer after drawer of clutches and minaudieres from the likes of Jimmy Choo, Kotur, Joanna Lhuillier and Bottega Veneta. 'One of my favourite bags is this vintage black satin Judith Lieber from the 1960s, which has a small pouch that holds a mirror and comb,' she says. 'My other favourite is the animal print bag named after me by the Filipino accessory designer, Rafe. There is also a matching shoe.'
Of Indian heritage, Hiranand was born and raised in the Philippines. She married into the Hiranand family from Hong Kong and has lived here since. But she credits the Philippines for opening her eyes to fashion and style. 'I think the Philippines has the most amazing designers.'
Hiranand is partial to the glamorous years of the 1970s, a decade that is referenced by designer Tom Ford. 'I loved the era of Halston and Yves Saint Laurent's Le Smoking,' she says.
Is there something she would never wear? 'Anything too tight. No plunging necklines or short shorts. Slap me if I do that,' she says.