Mona and Pali, the formidable sister duo from Bengal, who have placed Kolkata on the National map share a home and a cause for designing. These designers gave in to an inner compulsion, a natural aesthetic urge and opted out of their respective professions to pursue a dream in design with total dedication and determination. They were amongst the first few designers to hit the catwalk more than a decade ago. They started from home in 1985 at the behest of their friends, who had persuaded them to create their clothes, which they executed competently and successfully. In 1987, they flagged off their gracious boutique ‘Monapali’ in Kolkata making their dream a reality. After that, there was no looking back as they moved on to become stalwarts of the Indian fashion Industry retailing through their outlets in New Delhi (Hauz Khas Village), Ahmedabad and other prestigious showrooms all over India.
Mona and Pali have held several shows through out the country and abroad. Along with other designers their shows were a yearly event at Ffolio (Bangalore) and Glitrratti (Mumbai). Time and again they have been invited by the government of India and NIFT to participate in various events all over the country. They represented India in China in the ‘Festival of India in China’ in 1994 and Bridals Summit- Asia Pacific in 1999 in New Delhi. They have been a part of the Lakme India Fashion Weeks (2000-2003) and the Bridal Asia. It is as rare as a compliment; Lakme India has launched a lipstick named after the designer duo called ‘Monapali’.
They have held as many solo shows in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkatta and Ahmedabad and were inducted in the Kingfisher hall of fame in the year 2000. These designers have also showcased their collections at Femina Miss India. They held three shows at the Saturday Club and Swabhumi in Kolkata and also at the New Delhi International Fashion Week 2002 where they shared the platform with international designers.
In October 2002 they were the first designers from the sub continent to participate in the Toronto fashion week.
In 2003, the designers have already showcased their collections at the launch of ITC Sonar Bangla in Kolkatta and at a midnight show organized by Tantra at Park Hotel Kolkata. The spring summer collection 2003 of these designers was also raved about when showcased in a solo show at the Grand Hotel, Kolkata.
Quite, reticent and self-effacing, they are considered by fashion pundits as ‘Silent Contributors’ of the fashion world, who the livening up of the India Fashion scenario. Rohit Khosla, the father of Indian fashion industry, had applauded their work and remarked that they were one of the most innovative and original designers. (Appeared in the Economic Times- E.T Esquire). The design Philosophy of Monapali revolves around creating garments, which are a work of art. Their endeavor is to craft ensembles, which are unique and enhance the wearer’s personality. These designers have created clothes, which make style statements and strike a balance between Indian and international fashion. The garments offered range from casual to heavy formals. Their clothes are an eclectic mix of design elements generally inspired from the ethnic cultural roots of India. What make the designs distinctly Monapali is the unconventional mix of mediums: be it in textures, prints or embroidery. The designer duo were the ones who revived kantha, folk (Madhubani, Worli, Patta chitra) tribal motifs and the alpana from the realms of oblivion and elevated it to the status of Haute Couture culture. They have also combined block print with spray/smudge prints and hand paint, cut through layers of fabric to create distinct patterns and torn fabrics to create anew. In essence the Monapali garments have a signature look which brings forth the best of the east and the west.