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From a rockstar's wardrobe

Monica Dogra, actress, musician and now designer, speaks to author about what women can get from her eclectic and non-conformist fashion line

Asmita Aggarwal 

You would expect a rock singer to be a bit like Alison Mosshart, frontwoman of the psychedelic rock band, The Kills. She works the grunge-garage chic look in her favour — a brazen, unapologetic look with thigh-high boots, smoky eyes, messed-up hair and black nail varnish. Much like Alison, who is still remembered for her quirky fashion line, Monica Dogra, rocker of the electro rock band Shaa’ir n Func, wants to give discerning fashionistas a taste of what women really want. Her new clothing line will be available soon at

“I am hoping to dress young entrepreneurs, who embody a free-spirited approach to fashion,” smiles Dogra, who grew up in Baltimore, US. “They usually include who enjoy street style, like me, as I know better than to splurge my entire pay check on clothes.” She adds, “I am juggling cutting a solo album, travelling for stage shows and designing a line, so when it all falls into place I will launch it under my name.”

The collection will be priced between Rs 400 and Rs 4,000, and for Dogra it is tough to describe or bracket, but if she were to summarise it for prospective buyers, she’d say, “It is what my fans see me wearing”.

Dogra designs her own clothes for stage shows, and when she travels, she picks up outfits from flea markets which she then customises. “I layer them, chop off an arm, cut it up from the sides to give it a shredded effect, so nothing is too dressy or loud, embroidered or embellished, unlike most of Indian fashion,” she laughs.

Dogra proudly declares that she is not a label addict or a luxury junkie, and rather prefers high-street brands like Forever 21. For Dogra, there is a market for everything. “When I buy a label, it is like buying into a piece of someone’s spirit, so my line will have a bit of me in it — from ethnic prints, Boho chic to iconography inspired by rock ‘n’ roll,” she says.

Dogra admires women who are effortlessly stylish, unaware of their unadulterated charm, the ones who attend her gigs in their distressed jeans. In an ode to these women, her line will include high-waisted shorts, ponchos, T-shirts and dresses among other things, each one designed according to different body types. “Women are avant-garde in their thoughts and actions and I think the men need to step up soon or they will be left behind,” she giggles.

Inspired by the of this country, whether they are gay, lesbian, transgender, documentary filmmakers, free thinkers, human rights activists or musicians, Dogra admits she is not a fashion designer, but a “culturist”. “For me it is someone, who is inspired by the cultural fabric of a place and imbibes it in her aesthetics. Whatever I do is based on my training as an artiste and that’s why collection is not fashionable in the literal sense, but is rather relatable and wearable for all those who love a bit of wit and quirk in their clothing,” she concludes.

First Published: Fri, January 24 2014. 21:37 IST