Innovative CEO snaps up Best Dressed Lady prize

Innovative CEO snaps up Best Dressed Lady prize

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Yulia A Khouri, CEO of Innov8 International, with husband Darren Harris at Emotions fashion show.

This time last week, ladies all over town were coifing their manes, blotting their lipstick, and choosing their most ravishing ensemble. The occasion? Eric Raisina’s Emotions fashion show. The dress code? Elegant and chic.

Stylish masses came from Siem Reap and beyond, losing the practical flip-flops, khakis and NGO tees, and glamming up for the special occasion. Many among them were vying for one coveted title, Best Dressed Lady, and dressed accordingly in all manner of stunning designer pieces, and accessorised market finds.

But one dame pitted the lot to the post, Yulia A Khouri. “Her evening dress was simply outstanding and together with her well-dressed partner they looked like the ideal couple,” is how Christian de Boer of Hotel de la Paix explained his winning choice.

Yulia came from Phnom Penh for the event, where she is the CEO of Innov8 International, a training and consultancy company. Her dress, a design by Romyda Keth of Ambre boutique, was an off-the-shoulder black gown with an individual leaf textured effect. It was customised with a bright flower corsage. “It’s a beautiful, classic and quite demanding dress,” says Yulia. “The style of which requires an equally elegant event. I knew that Eric Raisina’s show would be spectacularly glamorous and thus would be a perfect venue to show it off.”

While Yulia’s dress was certainly an eye-catching number, she says she didn’t select it with the hope of winning the title, which came with a three night stay at Hotel de la Paix, Luang Prebang. “I had no clue about the contest … I was speechless. At first I didn’t realise why they called me to the stage.”

A successful business woman, Yulia says playing around with fashion allows her to show off her creative side. “Since I was a kid, I loved to play dress up ... Today, fashion remains my way of metamorphosing for few hours into someone different. I don’t much care about current trends. Rather, I take each dress up event as a new opportunity to reinvent myself, create a new image through clothing, hairstyles and make up.”

Yulia agrees the standard was a high one, and that in a room crammed with the elegant and the chic, she was flattered to stand out. “It was an honour to be selected among such a distinguished and elegant crowd of guests. It was particularly humbling to win it at the Raisina’s show, given that he remains one of my very favourite designers.”

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