The Lifestyle Journalist Magazine July Edition 2020

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Monica Shah & Karishma Swali New Vocabulary of Designs

‘Jade’ by Monica Shah and Karishma Swali is an eponymous bespoke which masters the flattering bridal designs. Their collection reflects the love of interesting, playful takes on designs and cultures. ‘Jade’ tops many prospective brides’ dreams dress designer line. Timeless in style with incredibly exquisite designs and finest materials, the kind that make you twinkle as you walk down the aisle.

How has been your journey so far?

‘Jade’ by Monica Shah and Karishma Swali is an eponymous bespoke which masters the flattering bridal designs. Their collection reflects the love of interesting, playful takes on designs and cultures. ‘Jade’ tops many prospective brides’ dreams dress designer line. Timeless in style with incredibly exquisite designs and finest materials, the kind that make you twinkle as you walk down the aisle.

How has been your journey so far?

It has been an incredible journey of learning and creating. When we started off it was a dream to bring in our international learning and experience to India through JADE, and now it feels like a dream come true. We have learnt so much about art, the relationship between fashion and culture and the role our traditions play in everyday life through our travels within the country and across the globe. But our work is far from done.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

We find our inspiration from our travels, the art that surrounds us and the women we are so privileged to know and interact with.

What’s your expert advice to brides preparing their look for the big day?

Do multiple trial runs in the weeks leading up to the big day. Take plenty of rest. When you’re stressed and tired, it’ll show even through all the makeup. It doesn’t matter if a colour or style isn’t in trend right now. What matters is that you should feel completely comfortable and confident in it.

What are the bridal myths you would like to burst?

1. Plus-size brides have to dress “modestly” to “hide” their bodies
2. Red is the only bridal colour
3. Indian bridal-wear is too heavy and cumbersome
4. You will wear pieces from your bridal trousseau only once

What should be on a bride’s checklist?

Heirloom jewellery
An embroidered jacket
A Chantilly Lace saree
A top that works with sarees, lehengas and skirts alike
A cocktail gown
An embroidered cape-jacket
A statement yet functional handbag
Shoes that comfy yet glamorous
Fragrance that always puts her in a good mood
A lipstick that never lets her down confidence

What change would you like to see this season?

We definitely encourage brides to understand the process and labour that goes into making a bridal outfit. We’d love to see more and more brides experiment their bridal look. Reinvent the quintessential Indian bridal look, by giving it their own contemporary take, while still being rooted to traditions.

How can a bride integrate something old into her look?

Heirloom jewellery, handed down by her ancestors is a beautiful way to add that emotional connect. We had quite a few brides who came to us with their mother’s silk blouse, and wanted a look designed around that one piece. It’s a beautiful gesture.

Tell us about your bridal collections this season.

Monica & Karishma Couture launched its bridal couture collection ‘La Muse Mystique’ recently. The collection is homage to the brides who have inspired us over the years. It has a gorgeous mix of limited-edition signature pieces for the bride and lightweight pieces for the entourage. We’ve used our signature Tone on Tone embroidery, Ek Taar and Pitta techniques on lush fabrics like raw silk and organza. The palette is luscious – ranging from antique gold to midnight black to scarlet red to aegean blue, offering a couture piece to suit every mood.

Three words to describe your collection.

Glamorous, Rare and Luxurious

What is your favourite historical era in terms of fashion, and why?

Within the Indian context, the Mughal Era. The deep appreciation for art and poetry, the use of rich fabrics like silk, wool and cotton and the intricate and exquisite embroidery left a deep mark on Indian artistry and fashion.
One item everybody should have in their wardrobe.
A couture piece – something handcrafted and of cultural significance.

What is the most treasured item in your closet?

The first ever silk saree my mother gifted me when I was a young girl. It pulled me further into the world of handcrafted fabrics and Indian artistry.

According to you, what was the most defining moment of your career?

There are so many, it’s hard to point to just one, as it has been a series of events that led us here. But, I would say working with Maria Grazia Chiuri, now the Creative Director of Dior, who told us all those years ago to just go ahead and follow our passion for design and Indian artistry. Another would be when we opened the Chanakya School of Embroidery last year. It was the most gratifying moment to be able to give back to the community and do our bit in empowering young girls and continuing the legacy of Indian artistry and craftsmanship.

Who, according to you, are the best-dressed people globally?

Rihanna, Zendaya, Amal Clooney, Michelle Obama and Cate Blanchett.

After so many years of designing, who is the one person you still dream of designing for?

Marion Cotillard in a Chantilly Lace saree by Monica & Karishma Couture would be a sight to behold.

Contact information:
Address: Jade by Monica & Karishma, ground floor, Mewar Apartments, Peddar Road, Mumbai
Tel: 09167285495
Website:Jadecouture.com
Facebook:Facebook.com/JADECOUTURE
Instagram:@jade_bymk

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