Ikram Goldman — or just Ikram, as she's best known — speaks, and the fashion world listens. She's garnered the trust and respect of a wide swath of top designers and other industry insiders, not only because they know that some of the world's most smartly dressed women stock their wardrobes from her eponymous boutique in Chicago, but also because of the uncanny insight and editing that she brings to a fashion collection.

Now, music lovers, whatever their fashion sense, will have an opportunity to heed her call as she makes her recording debut on Pink Martini's new album, "Je Dis Oui!" That's "I Say Yes!" in French, and it hits the market Nov. 18.

Her guest spot on the album, — the ninth for the internationally acclaimed band from Portland, Ore. — caps a long friendship with bandleader Thomas Lauderdale and singer China Forbes.

That friendship led Ikram to perform with the band that Lauderdale once described as "if the United Nations had a house band in 1962, hopefully we'd be that band" on some of the world's most renowned stages — London's Royal Albert Hall and L'Olympia in Paris, to name a few.

When asked how he reacted to Ikram's hitting the road with the band, husband and partner Josh matter-of-factly replied, ''With no surprise whatsoever. She has a beautiful voice, she has great presence, she's a larger-than-life character. Of course she'd be onstage. She's onstage every day.

I sat down with fashion's force of nature to talk about "Al Bint Al Shalabiay" — the iconic Fairuz song that she sings on "Je Dis Oui!" — and her other passions on and off the stage.

Q: How were you first introduced to Pink Martini?

A: I was introduced to Pink Martini from my dear friend Kim Hastreiter who is the editor of Paper magazine, and the band and I fell in love with each other, and we've maintained a friendship though the years.

Q: Pink Martini has been around for 20 years. Why do you think they remain so popular?

Culturally, they are the most diverse group I've ever heard, and politically, they are so spot-on in integrating and not isolating. It's Thomas Lauderdale's entire mission. He's the most inclusive person I've ever met. It's beautiful.

Q: How did your singing with the band come about?

A: We hosted a dinner here (at Ikram) for them, at one point. We would see them when they were performing, and we stayed in touch. Then I started wardrobing (singers) China (Forbes) and Storm (Large) for the band.

There were all these things that just led to me to saying to Thomas, ''You know, should really play a Fairuz song, and this is the song you should play,'' and he said, "Uh-huh," and I never heard from him.

Fast-forward five or six years later, I got a call from him saying, "I need you to come to Portland and be a backup singer on the song you introduced me to and also help China with the pronunciation of the Arabic dialect."

When Thomas called me to be a backup singer, I thought, "I can do that" because I had other people to carry my voice, but when he said, "I want you to sing it." I said, "OHHH Kayyyy. I'm honored, but I need to work on this," so I hired a voice coach that I worked with four to five times a week.

When I felt that I could sing this, I asked Thomas if I could come back and rerecord it for the album, and it was night and day.

Q: You have a packed schedule on a slow day. Were you hesitant about taking this on?

A: It wasn't something to consider. You don't hesitate to explore life's options that are thrown at you — especially when they're that good.

Q: What's your typical day like at Fashion Week?

A: At the height of Paris Fashion Week, you have fashion shows, appointments, meet-and-greets, meetings. That's an intensely intense time.

You'll see me getting out of the car for a breakfast meeting at 8 a.m., and by the time you're done at the end of the day — 9 or 10 at night — you go to dinner, but you're not done. You're still talking fashion and taking in the onslaught of culture that's come your way. Then you go home and answer emails because the time difference requires you to.

Q: That's an intense time.

A: For the Pink Martini performances, whatever I did — from sound check to the end of the concert — I was doing not just what I normally do, but doing it double.

Q: You sang to 1,700 people for three sold-out nights in Paris during Fashion Week. Were you nervous?

A: Yes, I was so nervous. At one point, (I) had to call Hunter Noack, who is my emotional coach, in addition to being my breathing coach. I called him 10 minutes before I was going on stage, and I had tears in my eyes. He said, "Ikram, redirect all of those nerves to your soul."

Q: You've cultivated a huge global family; the audiences at those performances were a who's who of fashion designers and editors. Where does your passion and energy come from?

A: For me, the idea of highlighting and respecting other people's work, in the way that they highlight and respect my work is essential to the growth and the creativity that keeps me going.

In order for me to keep going on that level, I need the support of my family, my friends. That solidifies your friendships and your core. But If you don't give back, in the same way that you get, then there's a disconnect that's very unfortunate.

For me, the give and take of highlighting and receiving is very important.

Q: You have an incredible support system in your husband, Josh. What did he say when you told him about this?

A: Please, he was elated. You know you're loved when your partner is your constant cheerleader.

Q: How did you choose the song "Al Blint Al Shalabiya" by Lebanese singer Fairuz?

A: "Al Blint Al Shalabiya" — "The Beautiful Girl" — it's one of her most famous songs. It's a really beautiful song that I thought would really be a fun song to engage people in singing and get to know.

Q: Did you listen to Fairuz growing up in Israel?

A: Nonstop. I still listen to her. My children sing her songs.

Q: You've performed at some of the most famous concert halls in the world, including several that Fairuz performed at. That must have meant a lot to you.

A: Well, I have to say, walking through those spaces and feeling what it might have felt like for her — being in the dressing room and singing her song — it's kind of an amazing thing to feel. You feel as if you're breathing (as) one.

Q: Where can we see you perform with Pink Martini next?

A: I'll be at Town Hall in New York on Dec. 13, and Disney Hall in Los Angeles for New Year's Eve.

But here's the really cool thing, I fly out in the morning, I sing that night, and I come back to Chicago to be with my husband and my children, wake up and go work the next day.Read more at:formal dresses adelaide | marieaustralia.com