First timers at AIFW A-W’ 17, Munkee See Munkee Doo dress ‘women’ as they play with rhizomatic contrasts and subdued elegance
By Asmita Aggarwal
They both met while studying at the Pearl Academy of Fashion, Delhi and decided to launch their label, four months after they graduated, in 2009. Utsav Pradhan and Teresa named it, ironically, Munkee See Munkee Doo, as a play on what generally happens in the fashion world—plagiarism and imitation, without knowing the consequences. “We started off as a high street label, contrasting minimalism with an edgy twist, or intermixing masculine with feminine accents, creating elegant, modern clothes with a distinct handwriting. If you see closely you will find some street wear references too. However, tailoring remained the key for us,” says Utsav.
Maybe that’s why colours don’t see a sea change, and are mostly muted, blacks, whites and greys, except some pops of colour like a brick red, as they concentrate on brand newness. Cut away from the body, autumn-winter 2017 brings in overcoats and jackets, with a play on the business of white shirts and of course, the flavour of the season, skirts. “We like skirts so we do a vast variation, from midis, maxis to the 40s and 50s fishtail giving it our own spin. But we dress women and not girls, so the line is rather evolved and away from this whole schizophrenic trend spotting,” he adds.
With Utsav coming from a family of hoteliers from Sikkim and his design partner Teresa from a political family in Manipur, they would like to revive the handlooms of the North-East. “Sikkim is more about carpets and woolens though Manipur has some really cool crafts. We were kind of less exposed to them as I studied in Darjeeling and Teresa in Delhi, but we have been seriously contemplating about it,” he admits.
With cottons being the mainstay, along with a few man-made fabrics like poly blends and nylon, the focus is on subdued sophistication. Talking about the future of fashion, where even luxury brands like Gucci are now appealing to a younger audience with Gucci Ghost and Louis Vuitton collaborating with a street wear label, Supreme, Utsav believes that associations are the way to move forward. “The seven years of our label have seen us withstand many ups and downs, but we have learnt from our mistakes. We had no clue where to start from, but at 30, it seems to be all falling in place. And we would like to do what Burberry did recently with the British artist Henry Moore, as art and fashion don’t make strange bedfellows,” he concludes.