Three years ago, Shweta Bachchan Nanda along with Monisha Jaising, launched a prêt label, MXS. The idea was to create a fluid collection for women of all age and sizes. Realising that the last year and a half has changed everyone’s lifestyle, the duo further emphasised on the comfort factor. “The idea was to create something that is easy to slip into but also has a wow appeal to it,” shared Shweta Bachchan Nanda at the recently concluded FDCI x Lakmé Fashion Week where MXS made its debut with an athleisure collection, merging fun and functionality along with bling and colour. On display were relaxed sportswear, elegant cocktail dresses, kaftans, off-shouldered knits and buttoned sailor pants in bright colours (including purple rain, Miami pink, neon yellow and UFO green). After the show, we spoke to the designer duo about the collection and their partnership. Excerpts from the interview:
Q. Run us through your collection.
Monisha Jaising: We looked at functional dressing but gave it luxury treatment. So, although it is comfort-wear, it is made from luxurious fabric and has been treated with techniques of embroidery, making it special. So, even if it is a plain denim jacket, we have added embroidery and the right amount of bling so that it can be worn anywhere, even a party.
Shweta Bachchan Nanda: In fact, we were asking our models backstage and they were like ‘thank you so much for the sneakers and the outfit, it was so easy to get into and get out off ’ and I think that’s what women are enjoying now. They want something quick to slip into but they also want to look wow. So, if it is a pantsuit with embroidery work and trainers that they want, then that’s what we’ll make.
Q. We saw a lot of bright colours and neons. What was the reason behind choosing this colour palette?
Shweta Bachchan Nanda: Times have been so grey; we wanted to just lighten things up! Generally also western and evening wear is all black, blue and grey but we wanted to show the young and the old buyers that we, especially with our beautiful skin tone, can carry off an entire palette of colours and really shine.
Q. It has been three years since label MXS launched. What have you learnt from this partnership?
Shweta Bachchan Nanda: Monisha has taught me discipline, work ethic and the craft itself because I am not trained. She has guided me on each step of the way. The only thing she hasn’t been able to teach me is sketching so she has to do that... we share a student-teacher relationship.
Monisha Jaising: And, it works well! The thing is when you have been a designer for so many years, you stop thinking like a design student, you get into the whole commercial aspect — what sells and what doesn’t — and it starts influencing the collection. With this partnership, it is Shweta who comes up with the ideas, which are very fresh, and then when I, with my experience, work on turning them into reality, it becomes magical.
Q. Lastly, what is your dream for MXS?
Shweta Bachchan Nanda: We want every young girl with stars in her eyes to have something from MXS, even if it is just a T-shirt. We hope to design for all of India.