Who started it? Born and raised in Hong Kong, former hedge fund manager Prerna Chainani- Monsen began her fashion career in New York, designing Indian-inspired fine jewellery for high-end stores such as Neiman Marcus. In 2008, she returned home and began laying the foundations for Maison Monsen, a demi-couture label that combines Indian techniques with modern American tailoring, and officially launched this year.
Why we love it: Maison Monsen combines couture traditions from East and West. While all the embellishments are done by hand in India, the collection is constructed and finished in New York, at factories that work with brands such as Oscar de la Renta and The Row. And the details are flawless – expect bonded seams and silk linings on couture fabrics such as Super 160 wools and silk faille, and exotic brocades that take 90 days to weave. The silhouettes, in contrast, are minimalist with plenty of tailoring. Think of it as 21st-century couture with ethnic touches.
What we’d pick: Maison Monsen’s autumn-winter 2015 collection is inspired by Monsen’s passion for Indian heritage jewellery and European haute joaillerie. Dresses and tops come covered in intricate embellishments that could easily be mistaken for imperial jewels. Highlights include a Schiaparelli pink Patiala silk organza dress decorated with a maharajastyle necklace (above right; US$3,900) while a red silk faille Cardinal peplum top (top left; US$2,500) comes with gilded cap sleeves inspired by Faberge eggs. There are also chic separates for every day, including a tuxedo-inspired white shirt (US$1,050) and playful box-pleat red skirt (both top right; US$1,200). For summer evenings opt for the chic yet simple Benares dress (right; US$3,100) with panels of handwoven brocade and a sexy zip detail at the front.
Where can you get it? The autumn/winter 2015 collection is available for pre-order at www.maisonmonsen.com.