Saturday 13 June 2015

A UK Exclusive Interview with Sulakshana Monga

The Park Grand Hotel sets the stage for my interview with the legendary Indian designer, Sulakshana Monga. She's won several prestigious awards and continually produces elegant designs that transcend seasonal trends and phases. 

A big name in the fashion world, I was super excited to have the chance to sit down with her one-on-one thanks to Canvas International. I was eager to find out more about her collection & what she had to say about working in an extremely competitive industry. So sit back & relax with a cuppa (or champagne, why not) & gain an exclusive insight into her world...

First of all, I have to congratulate you on the success of your UK trunk show and the boutique in Birmingham... how do you think the overall reception has been here?

Everything has been very positive so far... the people in the UK are ready to wear experimental styles and it's been an amazing experience for me. People appreciate fashion here and they enjoy something different from the usual. When people enter the boutique we've found that one of the first things customers generally say is 'wow, this is different!'

Recently, we've seen that Western women really want to embrace Indian clothing. Years back, there didn't seem to be any in-between for women going to a party. You either had to wear a cocktail dress or a sari/salwaar... Do you think you'll continue to make modern hybrid piece that cross over the two cultures?

I think we'll make more in-between pieces with a global appeal. With our clothes, you can take the same look from an Indian wedding to a red-carpet event, that's the unique selling point. We try and cater to a diverse audience so that any woman can feel comfortable wearing the outfits. For instance, we have sari-dresses which retain the unique draping of a sari but have a modern touch and ease of wear, as though its a gown.

Do you think you tend to follow seasonal trends or do you keep to the classic & elegant looks?

We have to definitely follow the trends and we can't avoid them because if you want to stay in fashion, you have to stay young at heart. We still want to look classy but we try to live in-between classic and fun. There are some really playful unique pieces in each collection that the younger customers love to go for so we don't want to leave any demographic out, there will always be something no matter what the age.

So we've seen a lot of Bollywood actresses support your collections, with the likes of Deepika Padukone & Ileana D'Cruz for instance. What do you look for when working with these stars?

Everything depends on their bodies. For instance, when I worked with Ileana she has a heavy hip line so we have to give her something beautiful which can work with her body and with Deepika, she has a lovely tall height and a very long torso so she looks great in most choices. With every star we have to pay special attention their body types as each is going to be different but I love working with them as they understand fashion very well.

I was reading about your background including where you grew up and how you have managed to get to where you are now. I think it's amazing how you've managed to create such a huge legacy and develop your brand to this level after starting so small. Do you have any advice for young people like me who want to get into the fashion industry?

If you have a passion for fashion and you can justify the hard work, the hours & the patience needed, go for it. If you want to join the field just to earn money, then don't bother. You have to love the industry from your heart. If you're not authentic then people will never believe you. You can't always focus on money as it will come, just later on in the game. You have to achieve so many goals first to see the end results but if that's all your focused on, it won't work out.

Further Info:

Follow Soltee by Sulakshana Monga on Facebook
Follow Soltee by Sulakshana Monga on Instagram

Boutique Details:

Unit 2, 90-94 Soho Road,
B21, 9DP
T: +44 121 554 7543

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