Booing the taboo.
By Sudha Hariharan
Hong Kong-based designer Mona Shroff launched her jewelry brand in 2011. With 18 years of experience as a designer creating in-house labels for Selfridges (London), Gallerie Lafayette (Paris) and 28 department stores across the UAE, her aim is to enhance every woman’s inherent beauty by designing and creating accessories that are stylish, trendy and affordable.
Mona Shroff, who opened India’s most awaited fashion and glamour extravaganza, IIFW, shares her thoughts in an exclusive interview:
What prompted you to associate with IIFW?
What prompted my participation is the subject of lingerie. It is a unique, edgy and taboo topic for a fashion show. But on the other hand it is a multimillion dollar industry where customers spend lavishly and don’t talk about it. It is time that India has a fashion show and brings awareness to the mass market of the different kinds of styling, designing and creativity of lingerie brands .
In a hush-hush-society which is still reticent about intimate wear, how do you propose to boo the taboo?
The only way to “Boo” is to have fashion shows which become topics of conversation, boldness , sexiness and that will help ease out the shyness of this subject.Every woman wants to look sexy and beautiful. We can match accessories with lingerie and make it more stylish, glamorous and elegant even though it is behind closed doors. As what is worn in the bedroom is also a major part of a girl’s personal life.
Your showing at the Gionee Fashion Week in 2015 was appreciated very much. Could you tell us what your 2017 line will be about?
Thank you for your appreciation. My pieces for 2017 will be based on trendy but sexy look again as it is the subject of the show. All my pieces are hand-made with semiprecious stones specially for the show. My pieces were made in Philippines for this event.
How does the intimate wear in India compare with its counterparts in the West? What are the areas we need to work on?
India cannot be compared with the West at all as India is far behind in this category and will take years to even reach even 10 per cent of the West. Women don’t give much importance to feeling and looking good underneath. Girls can’t discuss this even with their mothers or get guidance if required. What everyone appreciates is the external looks and the clothing which is so wrong.
What are your views about the resort/swimwear fashion sector since you have participated in many shows?
Resort wear is the most trendy, colourful and creative fashion as ‘Less is More’ in that category. One can mix and match to make the outfit look trendy, comfortable and sexy.
While accessorising for beachwear, “less was more”, what will be the key word, trends and challenges while doing the IIFW?
My mantra is – Less is more! Different is me! That is why my pieces are always very different, colourful, edgy and create a statement when worn. It fills the missing glam to the outfit and completes the look, with an effortless work.
Tell us a little about how you started off designing jewellery.
I am a Textile Designer, and passed in scholorship from Sophia College Mumbai. I worked as a designer at Garden Silk for a few years until I came to Hongkong and started designing for Selfridges (London), Gallerie LaFayette (Paris) and 28 department stores for 18 years until I launched my label in 2011. in 2012, I did Lakme-fashion Show, and was the accessory partner for Miss India pageant, followed by many shows all over India and internationally. In 2016, celebrities wore my pieces at the Oscar Red Carpet and at The Grammys 2017. I have Hollywood and Bollywood celebrites and actresses wearing my pieces.
Do you feel that IIFW will be the harbinger of wider exposure of Indian intimate wear on the global stage?
IIFW is breaking all barriers and someone has to take the initiative, break this hypocrisy and step forward. I am happy that IIFW is taking this bold step, and that is why I am supportive of their fashion show.