Wondering how to upgrade your holiday wardrobe? Here are some style tips for the season

December 7, 2018

Whether it is owning your look in a maxi dress, or enhancing your simple outfit with statement jewellery, we have you covered for what to wear to this year’s Christmas party.

The holidays are here and there is no better time to go shopping for new clothes. YS Weekender caught up with Vijayta M Ratusaria, Co-founder, The Monkey Brain Co, a sustainable clothing brand, to find out what the new trends of the season are and what their new collections will offer. TMBCo uses biodegradable natural fibres in their collections to preserve nature and they use hand-woven fabrics to capture their love of old-school art.

Edited excerpts from the interview:

YS Weekender: What you would you say are the best styles for the holidays?

Vijayta Ratusaria: The best holiday styles for this season are the halter neck and calf-length dresses. For the cold weather, adding a cropped leather jacket or a denim jacket will keep you warm.

Flowing dresses in shades of red are trendy this season

YSW: What are the top international trends for Christmas and the New Year?

VR: For Christmas and the New Year, besides red being the primary colour, black with gold highlights is also going to be a major trend for year-end parties.

YSW: How do you accessorise an outfit to make it look special?

Jewellery can add a special touch to a garment

VR: Jewellery can make the simplest outfit stand out, so whether it is floral earrings or a choker necklace – a fine piece of jewellery always does the trick.

YSW: Can you suggest two or three looks that will always look glamorous?

VR: If you are going to a party, I would suggest that you wear a waist-defining jumpsuit with a bit of glitter on the garment. My second suggestion would be a calf-length halter neck dress with a slit on the side. Both these outfits will not only define your waist but also make you look elegant and sexy.

YSW: What are the hottest colours of the season?

VR: White is always trendy but besides that, I would say black and pink are in vogue too. Sustainable fabrics are the talk of the town due to the increased environmental awareness.

YSW: Which of your collections is perfect for the holidays and why?

VR: If I’ve to choose one I’ll say ‘The Whites’. It’s perfect for a honeymoon, chilled out dinners by the beach, day concerts or relaxed weekends. For ‘The Whites’ we have used fabrics like khadi, linen and flowy textiles. We have incorporated hand-embroidered and hand-painted detailing for this collection.

YSW: How can you upgrade your wardrobe without spending too much money?

VR: It’s all about balance. Invest in some classic pieces and pair them up with not-so-expensive, trendy pieces. There is no point in spending huge sums of money on things that you won’t be reusing next year.

YSW: What are the highlights of Monkey Brain Co's winter holiday collection?

VR: Our aim is to make the wearer feel close to nature and help them relax with our hand-embroidered and hand-painted garments.  Each garment speaks its own story.  ‘The Whites’ is a relaxed daywear collection inspired by Mother Nature and comprises ensembles with unique embroidery detailing like snowflakes, hummingbirds, tropical leaves and dragonflies.

YSW: What are the international trends in fashion for the holiday season this year?

VR: This holiday season is all about capes, flowy dresses, some colour and lots of white. We are coming up with another SS19 collection of long flowy dresses and short dresses along with unique detailing and sharp cuts and modern silhouettes.

YSW: Why do you think hand-woven fabrics better than machine-made textiles?

VR: Hand-woven fabrics are a reflection of a skilled craftsman’s art. Every time you wear a garment made from a hand-woven fabric, you know what went into the making of the garment. It takes months of hard work to make hand-woven fabrics with all its irregularities. This is a skill that only a few artisans learned from their ancestors. It’s the process that makes hand-woven fabrics stand out, besides definitely encouraging our country’s art and generating more employment opportunities.  

YSW: What styles are most popular at the moment?

VR: We have used fabrics like cotton, cotton linen, chanderi, tussar, crinkly georgette, khadi and hand woven khadi. The most loved style of the season is the maxi dress.

YSW: What should you watch out for when upgrading your wardrobe?

VR: The most common mistake I noticed is that women don’t dress as per their body type. That’s the most important rule for looking elegant. Mix all the colours you like but wear styles that suit your body. Another style suggestion – don’t do too much. You can either make the accessories stand out or your garment stand out. If you want to make your chic ladylike dress to stand out, go easy on the jewellery and other accessories.

YSW: Are your clothes handcrafted in Jaipur?

VR: We have a manufacturing unit in Jaipur and everything is handcrafted there for now. My co-founder and I design the garments.

YSW: Can you tell us about the brand and how it began? How did it get its name?

VR: The Monkey Brain Co. is a sustainable clothing company focused on laidback clothing for nature lovers and handicraft art appreciators.  We love nature and believe in making whatever effort we can to preserve it. And that’s how we came up with ‘TMBCo’. The name adds the fun element to the brand. It was thought of very randomly while my husband was leisurely doodling a monkey with crazy brain. It signifies the spirit of TMBCo to never stop evolving. It is a mix of modern silhouettes, nature- friendly fabrics and old-school handicrafts with a touch of fun and glamour.

YSW: What are your design plans for the immediate future?

VR: We are planning to introduce more colours in sharp modern silhouettes and handcrafted detailing. Watch out for the new SS19 collection. It’s going to be fun and very unique.

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