JADE by Monica and Karishma, the couture label that’s known for presenting India’s artisanal heritage in a modern and innovative context, have two reasons to celebrate. The sisters-in-law Founders Monica Shah and Karishma Swali opened two new stores; one in New Delhi’s Emporio Mall and the other in Santa Monica, Los Angeles (USA).
The New Delhi store has the brand’s newest luxury pŕet/diffusion line. The pieces of this line are crafted for the modern woman and feature chic jumpsuits, textured organza, tie and dye skirts and gowns, romantic separates, glamorous trousers, and stylish sarees. The fabrics silk, tulle and organza used are easy-going yet score high on glamour, and the colour palette is soothing and refreshing and the silhouettes prioritise comfort.
The designer duo celebrating JADE’s twelfth anniversary also launched their Summer Bridal collection called A Summer Memoir. The collection brings a selection of lehengas, sarees, wrap, trail, crop, and bow tops along with palazzos and skirts and jackets and bibs that can be worn over shirts and kurtas. The colour palette includes reds, berries, pinks, Aegean blue, greens, ivory, gold, and silver.
Monica and Karishma speak to Luxebook about their new bridal collection, wedding fashion trends and expanding their business abroad.
What has been the inspiration behind the bridal collection?
A Summer Memoir – Bridal 2021 is inspired by the idea of togetherness, the time a bride spends with her loved ones and the memories she makes with them. The pieces are handcrafted using our signature techniques like EkTaar (a technique where the entire garment is crafted from one single thread) ombre and hues (our signature tone on tone embroidery), and carry this very dreamy quality. The collection offers a diverse selection of ensembles—from gowns to lehengas, dresses and more. There’s something for everyone from the bride to the bridal party. The colour palette is also very refreshing and unique. The pieces are lightweight yet glamorous and are handcrafted keeping in mind the precious moments and allowing the wearer to immerse themselves fully and beautifully in them.
Why did you choose the colour palette?
We chose these colours because they carry this sense of softness and timeless charm. They have a ‘refreshing’ vibe that aligns with this season as well as with the beauty and dreaminess of an intimate wedding. The palette is unique and diverse, reflecting today’s bride.
What are this year’s top wedding fashion trends?
I see a deviation from traditional lehengas and a preference for lighter skirts, breezy gowns and versatile coordinated sets. The beauty of an intimate wedding (due to the lockdown) is in the comfort it brings. And the clothing is going to reflect that.
In the ongoing pandemic when many people are shopping online, what kind of response are you expecting at your two new physical stores?
We are offering one on one virtual consultations and exclusive bridal previews at our stores that promise a safe, sanitary and very intimate experience. Moreover, our consultants at the store make it easier for our customers make the right choices. We are very hopeful of a positive response.
Why did you decide to open a store in Los Angeles?
We have many bridal couture clients in the USA and Canada. We wanted them to have the quintessential JADE experience without having to come all the way to India. They can now touch, feel and personally be involved in their bridal ensemble without much trouble. The LA studio felt like a natural step in that direction.
How has the business adapted to the new normal?
Transitioning to online consultations was relatively easy, as we have been doing this for our brides abroad since the launch of the label. We used this time (last year’s lockdown) to set up a new website along with other add-on services that would make virtual consultations and shopping feel as special, seamless and exclusive as walking into a JADE Store.
How has bridal fashion evolved since the time you launched JADE?
I think the brides today know what they want. They don’t just blindly follow trends or traditions. When we started 12 years ago, there was a demand for only a certain kind of ensemble—overtly traditional and heavy. And it was very deeply influenced by the magazines. Today, women are far more discerning. They want their bridal ensembles to tell their stories and help them feel empowered in their own skin rather than weighed down.
The new bridal line will also be available via Virtual Bridal Consults on their recently launched e-commerce website: www.jadebymk.com