Sarees with belts: MonaPali celebrate new India

In the world of Indian fashion, the designer duo of MonaPali, Mona Lamba and Pali Sachdev, hardly need an introduction.

In the world of Indian fashion, the designer duo of MonaPali, Mona Lamba and Pali Sachdev, hardly need an introduction. After making a modest beginning in 1985 at the request of their friends, this creative duo has come a long way to establish itself as one of the most sought after prêt line designers in both national and international fashion circuits.
‘India’ lies at the heart of MonaPali creations that incorporates an eclectic mix of Indian culture – an unconventional treatment of textures, mediums, embroidery and prints. MonaPali have revived long-established Indian art forms such as tribal motifs, Kantha, Worli, Madhubani and Pattachitra along with the fascinating use of block prints embellished with terra cotta, ceramic, mouli, ropes and gauze to name a few.

MonaPali has featured umpteen shows in both India and abroad and they are rightly referred to as the ‘Silent Contributors’ in Indian fashion scene. With India being their creative inspiration, MonaPali once again look forward to recreate their magic in the first ever Kolkata Fashion Week 2009. In a candid conversation with’s Aman Kanth , Mona Lamba of MonaPali shared her views on the changing trends of Indian fashion and its growing global appeal.

Aman Kanth: Being among the first few designers to hit the Indian fashion scene nearly two decades ago, how’s been the journey so far?

Mona Lamba: (Smiles) Well, it’s been a very good journey and if after two decades you are still able to create fashion then what more can you ask for!

Aman Kanth: Your ensemble reflects the cultural and ethnic roots of India – almost an eclectic mix of traditional Indian art and craft – would you like to elucidate a bit?

Mona Lamba: We cannot sell West to West, therefore, whatever we create is inspired by Indian culture. Our inspiration is the opulent Indian culture and its rich heritage.

Aman Kanth: With Indian fashion scene facing a split between FDCI and FFI, what’s your take on this great divide?

Mona Lamba: In such a big country, healthy competition is always welcome. With more designers on board, one gets to see more creativity.

Aman Kanth: Would you say Indian fashion has arrived on global scene with increasing number of designers participating at international shows?

Mona Lamba: With MonaPali doing overseas fashion shows nearly 7-8 years back, Indian fashion has been a familiar face in the international circuit and with increasing number of designers, it leads to greater display of novelty and creativity.

Aman Kanth: With global slowdown hitting Indian shores, is Indian fashion industry facing the burnt of recession? Has it hit you in anyway?

Mona Lamba: Well not specifically, as the effect of recession can be seen on every industry depending upon its magnitude. If we talk of fashion per se, in case of bridal wear, if there is a wedding in any family then its budget may vary regarding the bridal ensemble, nevertheless, wedding will take place. People will not stop buying good clothes.

Aman Kanth: Which Bollywood/Hollywood celebrity would you like to dress up?

Mona Lamba: For me, my every customer is a celebrity!

Aman Kanth: Apart from designing, what else interests you?

Mona Lamba: Apart from designing, I like travelling, painting, music, social work and meditation.

Aman Kanth: What will be the MonaPali collection at the Kolkata Fashion Week?

Mona Lamba: MonaPali at the Kolkata Fashion Week will be inspired from the roots i.e. India. Our creation will be concentrating on traditional Bengal – where saree was worn without blouses. We will be showcasing traditional sarees worn without blouse but with belts.

Aman Kanth: Do you think the fashion week has come too late to the City of Joy?

Mona Lamba: Well, better late than never!

Aman Kanth: Shouldn’t the FDCI organise fashion weeks all over the country to make themselves more popular and also so that designs truly reflect Indian taste?

Mona Lamba: Well, I would refrain from getting into the political intricacies, whether its FDCI or Kolkata Fashion Week, I am just happy to be a part of the show.

Aman Kanth: What’s the trend for men and women for this summer?

Mona Lamba: Since we are into prêt line, the trend will be different but it will definitely be India centric.


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