Unlocking Happiness

Why kill the joy around wedding shopping when bespoke labels are doing all they can to ensure your safety, and giving you the dream outfit you want in the safety cocoon you are looking for. Go ahead and follow your heart, with video calls with designers, who give you the real feel before you choose your Wedding Day outfit.

Leesha Arora finds this to be a golden opportunity for couples to cut slack on the guest list and fulfil their personal wishes, like inviting the photographer that seemed out of budget, or the jewellery and clothes they no longer need to compromise on.

 

 Abhinav Mishra is busy with Zoom and Google video calls, helping clients make the correct choices. “Our team is readily available to address queries and help you make the right decision for your outfit,” states the founder of the magnificent pastels. 

 

 

With major retailers reeling under the impact of Covid-19, the effect on fashion brands is far from easing out too soon. Though the lockdown happened over a single day, the unlocking is not going to happen overnight—the economy is setback badly, and money is not likely to circulate like pre-Covid days anytime soon. A structured roll-out is a more correct way in how the events are likely to unfold. Nevertheless, it’s important to be upbeat and keep the wheels of the economy moving, albeit slowly and with caution. That’s what the fashion retailers are trying to do, adapting to the new normal, and focussing on livelihoods for the artisan community and all stakeholders.

 

Love is an inevitable emotion and the idea to seal love with the stamp of forever is what makes fairy tales so endearing, and life worth living for. Every bride has a dream, and every effort to make it come true, is worth it.

 

To ensure a healthy shopping experience, couture and wedding brands are working hard. Like the Delhi-based Qbik, owned by designer duo Vrinda Sachdev and Gurinder Singh, admits that while people have evinced interest, they are worried about the hygiene measures being taken, and the team is pulling out all the stops to ensure complete hygiene for all customers.

Another Delhi-based designer, Abhinav Mishra, states that the most frequently asked query is related to appointments, fittings and measurements, as they’ve curbed the access of walk-in customers as a safety measure. 

 

Another query in the post-lockdown scenario has been related to the working hours of the stores. I think we are blessed as we are being continuously asked if we have resumed operations and what our timings are,” says the team at Malasa, another well-known upmarket bespoke fashion store.

 

Leesha Arora of Prune, a bespoke label for gota and floral accessories, also agrees that by ensuring 100 percent safety and hygiene, customer interest will go up.

 

Weddings are becoming more intimate and will definitely require safety measures. I work on wedding designs and décor, as a partner at Rani Pink, and we are already designing winter weddings with a whole new different viewpoint. It’s the perfect time for us to experiment and personalise experiences. In terms of outfits, one is moving away from the traditional reds and maroons, and it’s time for prints, pastels and new silhouettes, instead of heavy embroidery and jewellery. It’s really all about the new-age bride who’s even more conscious on a global level and is unafraid to share her own viewpoint,” says Abhinav Mishra.

 

No bride and groom should compromise on anything for their big day. We are adapting to the changing mindsets and incorporating that into our collections in every way,” says the Qbik team.

 

 

 

Leesha Arora finds this to be a golden opportunity for couples to cut slack on the guest list and fulfil their personal wishes, like inviting the photographer that seemed out of budget, the jewellery, clothes and intimate decor of the new home, as the new intimate version of weddings will make budget available for all the right things. 

 

Another fashion label, Megha and Jigar, is taking full precautions. Says Jigar Mali: “We are ready with all hygienic and safety measures, starting with giving sanitizers before opening the door, masks and gloves if they want to change before or after the appointment. Our staff will be wearing masks and gloves, and will be checking their health and temperature every day before entering the store. All our garments are completely sanitised and we are keeping safe distance during the appointment. Multiple times usage of sanitiser before packaging, delivery, billing and measurements are some of the additional measures.”

 

The Qbik team has run an extra mile for the hygiene of everyone involved in the manufacturing, buying and selling of products. “We have hand sanitising machines installed outside the stores and factories. When inside, we are getting a form filled by everyone for contact tracing, and temperatures are noted. Our staff is wearing three-layered cotton masks made in our factories and latex gloves, that are disposed every day. All outfits once tried at the store by a client, are steam-ironed and kept away for four hours. At the factories, with the help of a fogging machine, we are sanitising everyone, who takes public transport, with a herbal neem-based mix, sourced from a reliable, local brand. In the evening, all surfaces are sanitised with an industrial fogging machine, so the chemical reaches every corner of the store, and on all fabrics.” 

 

Qbik also chooses to remain a vocal spokesperson for local businesses; even with sanitisers and other safety gear, they are choosing the local versions instead of Chinese products, and hence creating a wider statement with their action than words. 

 

 

The walk-ins at the stores have been highly affected since moving around is less of an option for customers, but as the Malasa team states: “In the past few years, there has been a shift towards online shopping, and it is more so during such trying circumstances. However, when it comes to choosing an outfit for the wedding day, people want to be involved, touch, and feel the experience. We don’t think there will be a massive shift for the wedding industry per se, vis-a-vis the personal feel of the clothes.” 

 

Abhinav Mishra is busy with Zoom and Google video calls, helping clients make the correct choices. “Our team is readily available to address queries and help you make the right decision for your outfit,” states the founder of the magnificent pastels. 

 

Megha and Jigar choose to go less on production this year, since quality matters. They plan to bring out pocket-friendly versions to recreate customer trust.

 

 

Summing it, Leesha Arora says: “This year is only about survival. My focus is to fulfil each order with more love than ever before, as with each order you place with us, you are helping families survive! I can only urge everyone reading this to support every homegrown business in these testing times.”

 

Adds Qbik: “The plan of action is changing every day. The number of rising cases in our country is directly related to the change in plans. For now, online sales and a new collection are what we are concentrating on.”

 

With official rules changing every day, the new normal is about adjusting and adapting in these testing times. But through the help of social media and with video conferencing, wedding shoppers can still get what they have been looking for, with all safety concerns well taken care of.

 

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