I still remember feasting my eyes on Monisha Jaising’s show aptly titled, From Goddesses to Vampires in 2010 at the couture week in Mumbai. Choreographed by yesteryears’ supermodel Mehr Rampal, the glamorous evening wear collection was inspired by a painting entitled, Three Vampire Vixens, which she saw in a shop in London.
The vampires on the ramp wore skin-tight, draped and embellished gowns and dresses. As the show progressed from Goddesses to Vampires, the colour palette got darker — black, purple and blood red.
Jaising is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated names amongst India’s toffee-nosed couture buyers. Her majestic atelier nestled in the heart of the plush Pali Hill, Bandra in Mumbai is a cornucopia of jersy tunics, gowns and dresses, which can make even the most cynical fashion critic wobbly-kneed.
Monisha settled in London to study fashion design at The American College for Applied Arts and then The Royal College of Arts.
She started her career exporting knitwear so “jersey ” is always the leitmotif in her collections over the years. Jaising simply loves all things beautiful that are impeccably-constructed with rich and luxurious fabrics. Resort-wear has always been her forte. The relaxed ease of island living coupled with high creativity has always been her design philosophy.
I never miss her stunning ad campaigns which are stunningly realised and shot seasons after seasons. Her aesthetic is modern, subversive yet practical at the same time. It appeals to the confident dresser of today who wants to own every room she walks into.
Her unique choice of minimal yet placement oriented surface ornamentations (Swarovski stones, shells and pearls) has always caught my attention. Her creations ooze femininity and sensuality and never border on OTT (perhaps a great lesson for most Indian designers who shroud their garments with mounds of sequins). No wonder India’s leading actresses and socialites pick her designs for the most important evenings in their social calendar.