Goa has been an art and fashion hub for decades. There was the King of Design, Wendell Rodricks; the famous Savio Jon and the tenacious Philu Martins, when a young Monty Sally graduated from Dempo College of Commerce and Economics, Panjim, in 1997. He completed his HDSE in Computers, but always wanted to be in a creative field – be it art, music or acting – and, finally, honed in on Fashion, obtaining a Diploma in Fashion Design. He then launched his brand “Monty Sally,” which gave him the creative outlet which was his calling.
In order to establish himself among the leading fashion designers in Goa, he initially faced competition and challenges. “I just marched to the beat of my own drum; I still do. I did my best, and was "different". So from my first show, I would not say that I stood above, but I stood apart from others in a little oasis of my own. I cannot be a hamster on the wheel. I still do not label myself as a leading designer, but a designer who dared to change thought through fashion,” he enunciates.
Running a fashion designing unit depends on the number of people and their qualifications, while the working hours required to finish a collection depends on the scale of operations.
In a small market like Goa, a master cutter/tailor, a couple of tailors and persons to do embroidery, suffice.
BEHIND THE DESIGN
As for designing his apparel, he explains, “I have incorporated the holistic value of gems, the temperance of steel, the dynamism of oceans, the exuberance of light, the saga of love and war and other stimulating, surreal states of being in my garments. My collections – Agama Tirtha, The Silver Frog, Magic Mushroom Dreams, Réflexions sur la Plage, De-wine Hedonism, Construct – all attempt to weave a visual story.”
A collection could have 12 to 60 garments, depending on the show. Models are handled by agencies, model coordinators and the designer’s model roster. His preferred models walk for most of his shows, and works with Minette Pereira and Decima D’Costa, his favourite makeup artists. Choreographing shows and choosing music depends on the theme. The production is handled by experts. The cost varies depending on the scale of the show and its location, and he doesn’t find it viable or prudent to pay for participation.
“I don’t believe in the show-stopper concept as the show is about garments, not the model. My show-stopper is the finale dress, which closes the story, and is worn by a model who wears it best. But, there are times when a client insists on a Miss India, or a Bollywood actress, and I comply. I often jest that I’m the show stopper – when I’m walking on the ramp, the show has surely ended!”
Monty has organized shows for various organizations viz FTV, Mercedes Benz, Tata Hexa, Times, Fastrack, Very, GCCI (Goa Chamber of Commerce), Cygnus Jewelers, Crosscraft Ltd, Global Steel Conference, INOX, Rx, Sports Club of Goa, the Portuguese Consulate, Goa Tourism Development Corporation, Goa Style Week, La affaire Extraordinaire, Times Fashion Fiesta, as well as movie promotions, all of which makes him a highly sought-after designer. He has designed uniforms for Double Tree by Hilton, Cohiba, and done 60 plus solo shows in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Jaipur and Pune.
As for the challenges of maintaining staff, and a flawless functioning unit, he says, “Only a few persons can understand and execute your vision, they are those who you have nurtured over time. One can't afford attrition, and so one has to keep up with employee aspirations and make sure they keep in step with your vision.”
Working with colour predictions by Pantone, adding a few colours based on his travel photography and Indian sensibilities, his colour preference varies over time, but black and gold are all-time favourites. Silks, heavy satins, georgette, chiffon and organza are the preferred fabrics. He seldom uses prints as they are overtly visual and one can be worn only a couple of times as the look becomes memorable and can seem repetitive.
The bridal line leads into the realm of imported lace, tulle and net. He likes embellishments to be ornate so that the wearer can pull off the look with minimal jewellery, but embellishes some to accentuate the client’s jewellery, if she so desires.
Monty doesn’t design only for hourglass figures. Since his clothes are bespoke, he recently designed ensembles for a wedding, which included a 6-year-old girl, a matriarch in her 90's, the groom and bride, their parents, the bridesmaids and other family members, according to their respective sizes.
Currently, he is working on a series of fashion stores, called SQHQ, and an online show, The Masterpiece, scheduled to be drawn out over a 12-month to 2-year period, and also a Beach line. His leisure time and chill out activities is a new hobby – cooking – and he loves to belt out some tunes and dance!
Fancy a bespoke design by Monty Sally, contact +91 9650464799 or +91 9921688777