Saloni Lodha and Victoria Tang-Owen team up for capsule collections

Watch out world: long-time friends Saloni Lodha of beloved label Saloni and acclaimed creative director Victoria Tang-Owen have joined forces. Throughout the Year of the Dragon, they’re releasing a series of capsule collections made from luxurious fabrics, featuring unique prints and imbued with a pure admiration for Chinese culture. Haley Sengsavanh reports

On January 23, the first of many luxurious Saloni x Victoria Tang capsule collections to celebrate the Year of the Dragon dropped. The brainchild of long-time friends Saloni Lodha, the founder and CEO of Saloni, and Victoria Tang-Owen, the founder and creative director behind multidisciplinary design studios Thirty30 Creative and Victoria Tang Studio, “The Voyage of the Dragon” features 21 dresses and separates that incorporate an elegant and bold hidden dragon pattern that pays homage to the prevalent chuan hua long motif.

With such a strong lineup, it can be hard to pinpoint a favourite piece. Lodha picked the Lea Long Dress in the Blossom Hidden Dragon print (which she wore to their launch event) and the Michelle Dress in Navy Hidden Dragon as her top two. Tang-Owen also emphasised her love for the Hidden Dragon print, which she said “effortlessly catches people’s attention” and leaves “a reveal moment for those who take a closer look”. Another one of her favourites is the Mimi B Dress in Lime Springflowers (which she wore to their launch event).

The pair’s friendship began “many, many moons ago” in London. Tang-Owen says, “I distinctly remember chauffeuring Saloni around London in the one-of-a-kind Hindustan Ambassador car that had an Indian flag with an elephant bumper sticker. The car was won by my father at The Prince’s Trust raffles, which supported a cause for elephants in India.” On their similarities, Lodha says, “We are both creative and fun-loving Sagittarius star signs who are always exploding with ideas every time we’re together.”

According to Tang-Owen, the partnership happened organically when one day Lodha said, “Vic, let’s do a collaboration to celebrate Chinese New Year together.” They both described working together as “pure joy”. The process included a visit to the Saloni Hong Kong studio, then Tang-Owen and her team designing the limited-edition red packets and packaging, while Lodha’s team in London started to create the dragon prints in various hues. Tang-Owen described their working style as divide and conquer by playing to each other’s strengths, saying, “Saloni has an eye for prints, and her production capacity is very efficient for creating all the beautiful silhouettes. I have a creative vision and a story to tell for the Chinese New Year.”

Tang-Owen has always championed Chinese culture and craftsmanship, including working with Kim Jones to produce ronghua flowers handcrafted in Nanjing for the hats worn for the Dior Men’s spring/ summer 2024 show. “I personally saw how my dad started the brand Shanghai Tang, and I felt a strong desire to continue that ideology of connecting craftsmanship with the rest of the world,” she says. “I hope that future generations, including my son, will continue to appreciate and have access to these crafts as they grow up.”

Lodha is similarly passionate about uplifting local craftspeople, which inspired her to start Connecting for India, a platform that’s “dedicated to facilitating connections between Indian craft communities and global craft enthusiasts.”

Saloni was founded in 2011 to “reimagine the wardrobe of the contemporary woman” in her own unique way. It has since become a beloved brand worn by celebrities and socialites around the world including Halle Bailey, Sarah Jessica Parker, Emma Roberts and the list goes on.

When asked how she was able to grow the brand, Lodha simply says that she stayed true to her vision and the creative process. “Staying relevant for decades is hard and it’s not enough to make beautiful collections. You have to tell stories and make people dream. I love designing classic and timeless pieces that can be cherished and worn again and again.”

With all of these projects, it’s truly impressive how these women are also able to maintain a positive work-life balance. Tang-Owen has one son, Rocco, who recently made his on-screen acting debut in the HSBC Premier Elite campaign. Her approach is all about scheduling and setting priorities, explaining,
“When it comes to phones, I try to put them away during the weekends when I spend time with family.” Lodha is a mother of two, and says that it was a challenge balancing her home life while running Saloni from different time zones (living in Bangkok, with a retail store in London and a studio in Hong Kong, and more). Her advice is “to take the hours that are required for some downtime to do whatever you enjoy” and try to “perfect the art of better balancing time and of decisively saying no.”

Fans of this collection can look forward to what the powerhouse duo of Lodha and Tang-Owen have planned for the rest of the year. Reflecting on their partnership so far, Tang-Owen says, “Our teams bonded quickly, and we’re all excited because there is more to come throughout the year. ‘The Voyage of The Dragon’ is just the beginning!”

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