The Covid-19 pandemic has been wreaking havoc on humanity and has brought the world to a screeching halt. From leading a global economic slowdown to locking up the global population indoors, needless to say, its effects will be felt for years to come.The pandemic has brought a sudden but a new breeze of change in the world of fashion. COVID-19 induced lockdown had choked the fashion ecosystem, forcing it to change its trajectories. Now, with everyone brainstorming on to revive the hard-hit industry,With the pandemic of COVID-19 spreading across like wildfire, many industries have come to a standstill, including fashion. Owing to public safety, both big and small designers had to shut down their workshops as well as stores.
Covid-19 caused a blood bath of unimaginable scale in the fashion business. The various segments of the industry are stunned into silence as they try to make sense of this global crash on all fronts.Lets peep into the fashion wardrobe to hear it from the Fashion Institues – Professor,Designers,Fashion week production and Models.
What is the future of the fashion institutes in India since they are the creators of future designers? Will fashion shows, which are the culmination of graduation, be as important? How will they change?
￼Head of one of the premier design and fashion institutes in India, Nandita Abraham, President, Pearl Academy, observes, “The Industry is engaged in re-imagining the future of fashion weeks. The way we approach or envision the business of fashion weeks or shows will change. Digitalization will further elevate the democratization of fashion industry, a world, which has always been associated with mystery and elitism; might start to become more accessible and ambiguous. It will create new opportunities and a path for diverse dialogue and cultural exchange. It’s a way to engage the ever-growing digital savvy consumer, to make it more relevant by transforming their 10 minutes event into something that lasts forever, which physical runway shows might not be able to achieve. Sustainability is not a choice anymore; it is essential. Fashion brands, big or small can no longer get away without having any stance on sustainability. It is more than mere lip service. A traditional fashion show is not an advocate of sustainability. Up cycling, rolling out menswear and women’s wear together, renting things and using organic materials are some of the key elements.In spite of all the uncertainties and paradoxes, fashion and its nature of business is a true reflection and spirit of the time that we are living in. It holds a mirror up to our culture and how we have evolved as an individual and global citizen.”
Fashion weeks are the basis for nearly every designer who wants to sell the latest collection so how do these vital segments feel about the coming months.
￼Designer Anjali Patel Mehta, creator of the label Verandah that specializes in resort wear feels, “Given the current scenario, traditional fashion weeks don’t really make sense right now. Designers will digitally send their message across. Fashion weeks could adapt to give an integrated platform to present their message. Currently retail and luxury spending takes a hit, conscious fashion and supporting local businesses takes precedence. I do hope the retail landscape turns for the better in 2021 and that fashion weeks find a new meaningful way to present creative work across the design spectrum.”
FASHION WEEK PRODUCTIONS
The fashion shows were at their peak right from the 50s to the 80s, with textile mills displaying their latest fabrics. At this time, it was the choreographers of the shows who doubled up as designers. With the advent of the multi-designers shows/ weeks, choreographers and models became the stars, as grand extravagant events, complete with lasers, strobes, background mapping, international models, limitless budgets, a front row of celebrities and movies stars as well as expensive showstoppers. But where will all this go with social distancing and falling sales?
Lubna Adam, ace choreographer/show director, states, “Fashion shows, and Fashion weeks are really important to the industry as they bring the latest product on one platform, which is then uploaded on social media, buyers and private audience. The designers get to show their latest at the Fashion Weeks, which are a great brand and marketing tool and very essential, or fashion would not be able to survive. After Covid-19 fashion shows/weeks will have smaller audiences, with more models, to space them out along the ramp. The audience will be slightly smaller or the venues will have to be larger, to allow social distancing, money may be required for marketing. Don’t know where or how it will go but without it the entire fashion industry will come to a stand still. It’s crucial to get more space, smaller audiences and still be able to give appealing presentations.”
Alesia Raut & Anjali Raut, Founders, Cocoaberry organize shows, contests and events all over the country. “The importance of fashion shows/weeks can never be undermined as they form a catalytic synergy between commerce and creativity alongside all the associated faculties on a singular platform. Even with the advent of technology and the convenience of digital/online display, the magical aura and captivating energy of live shows is irreplaceable and incomparable. With Covid-19 safety protocols will not only be a decisive factor but also influence designing. ‘SAFE TO WEAR’ could be the new fashion trend.”
While show organizers are putting their thoughts together, models too have their apprehensions. FASHION MODEL
Sucheta Sharma James, super model and Co-Founder of “My Fitness Trainer” admits, “Fashion is part of everyone’s life, some live it every day, some occasionally indulge in it. A fashion show displays a particular mood but fashion weeks cover everyone’s taste and requirement. Therefore, they both are equally important. The approach towards both will change, as fashion events will cater to audiences digitally. Cost cutting in huge sets or establishments, social distancing will force social media to surface, hence technology will take over from man power.”
Lakme Fashion Week economizing to Fashion Industry.
Lakme Fashion Week along with the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) had set up a COVID-19 Relief Fund for small and trying designers in the fashion fraternity to keep them going. This time, the former has presented a unique solution to aid the designers and artisans expand their business.
LFW is all set to take us to a ‘phygital’ world with its one-of-a-kind ‘Virtual Showroom’ in India.
LFW on May 28 announced that it is going to launch a “Virtual Showroom” to support the designers, artists, and the business of fashion by allowing them to showcase their collection on the digital platform.The Virtual Showroom is an initiative which can fulfil this need by leveraging technology. It offers many tools to make transacting more transparent and convenient.Virtual Showroom will bring the buyers and the suppliers of the fashion industry on the same platform to conduct B2B transactions. The coronavirus pandemic had forced the annual collection to stay behind the curtain, but, with the digital showroom, the long-stored inventory can finally be brought to the table.The platform will allow designers to upload their product catalogue and costing, while buyers will get pre-approved access to browse through designer collections and have the option of placing orders directly with the designers.
With the LFW Virtual Showroom, there’s hope for the fashion world to adapt in new ways that may provide better solutions. Lets support LFW and all the fashionistas and fashionovas out there bring it on.We hope that innovations such as the Virtual Showroom will provide the strength and support to fashion industry and we Slay!
– Sukanya Kandarkar