Toronto based fashion designer, Mani Jassal recently launched her newest collection which is sure to grab every bride-to-be’s attention. This is the designer’s first bridal collection and embodies all that a Mani Jassal bride stands for.
I had the pleasure of visiting the Mani Jassal showroom located in Brampton, Ontario, and was in absolute awe when seeing the pieces from this collection, in person. There are truly no words I can use to describe the fine details, and originality in these pieces. My favourite thing about all of Mani’s collections is the uniqueness within them. Each and every piece is so finely crafted, and versatile. This bridal collection breaks all traditional boundaries of an Indian bridal outfit, and brings something fresh, and new.
I also had the pleasure of speaking with Mani and asking her a few questions about this collection, her fashion inspirations, and her role as a designer.
Q – What was your inspiration behind this collection?
Mani – The inspiration behind this collection was what I envision what the MANI JASSAL bride to be. I wanted to offer brides a way to not only celebrate their day but celebrate themselves. This collection is a celebration of individuality, and self-love. I have designed collections in the past where I have been inspired by architecture and cities I have visited and my travels. This collection however was about the girl that would wear Mani Jassal and what she stood for. She is elegant, effortless, fearless, a little bit of a rebel.
Q – For me, you’re the first designer I saw who gave a Western spin on Indian attire. As of recently, there are so many designers here in the Greater Toronto area making customized Indian wear, or with their own labels of westernized Indian clothing. How does that make you feel? What’s your reaction to this?
Mani – I got into the Indian market almost by fluke I feel. I never actually wanted to get into this, but it just so happened that I stumbled upon an issue of Vogue India and was fascinated by the fashion scene that was happening there. So, for my final year at Ryerson, my collection was a non-traditional and very experimental Indian bridal wear collection. I received a lot of good reviews from the collection, and I had people that wished to purchase the pieces, so then I thought why not pursue this further. I seem to be good at it. So, I continued to do so. I think when I first started out a year after graduating from design school, I was the first designer doing what I was doing, someone that was bridging the gap for the market.
The thing with my designs is that I don’t do custom wear, it is designer wear. I am a designer, and I offer made to measure pieces for my clients.
I think it is really cool that there are a lot more companies now in the GTA that are also catering to the same market. There is room for all of us to grow of course. Everyone has their own touch to their own pieces. I know that people can recognize a Mani Jassal outfit from far now.
Q – I love that you play a major role in creating each piece. Does it ever get stressful at times or extremely time consuming? Is there a reason why you chose to take part in this process rather than solely having a team to do so, or outsourcing a team to create your pieces?
When I initially first started, I was sewing all my pieces myself. Then, I had my mom who started helping me out. After that now this year I have hired on interns and design assistants who now also help me out a whole deal. It is very stressful doing your own production and is quite time consuming. It gets hard when you are doing all of these things at once, and it gets hard. I know that I can’t keep doing this forever and that I need to build my team even more now. It is time to let go, and begin delegating some tasks to others so that way I can focus on the design and creation. I want to be putting out at least 2 large collections a year, but I need to have my production team sorted before I can do that.
Having the knowledge that I do about producing my own pieces definitely gives me an advantage because I understand the fit, fabric and styles better. I also believe in supporting fashion students here in Canada with job opportunities and this is why I want to keep my production in Canada. Furthermore, I believe in ethical production, so by having the pieces made here in Canada you know that everyone is being paid fairly.
Q – Who/what are your fashion icons or inspirations?
My fashion icons and inspirations have to be Coco Chanel, the late Alexander McQueen and Karl Lagerfeld. I always say that I want to embody the classiness of Coco Chanel, but have Macqueen’s aesthetic with Karl Lagerfeld’s work ethic.
I get my inspiration from everywhere whether it by my travels, music, fashion magazines, social media, or just people watching.
It’s no surprise that I’m in love with this collection just as I have been with all of Mani’s previous ones. Pictures don’t do justice to how stunning each piece truly is. I think most women can share the excitement for Indian attire when it comes to wedding planning, and this collection really is something that will make you feel all types of ways! For all brides interested in a Mani Jassal bridal piece, you can visit the Mani Jassal showroom located at #1-72 Commuter Drive, Brampton, Ontario, L7A 0R3 or visit www.ManiJassal.com But for now, take a look at some of my favourite pieces from the collection!