Life has certainly undergone a drastic change over the past few months and so has the biggest occasion of our lives — weddings. Things aren’t the same for those brides and grooms waiting to be decked up in the most alluring of outfits or the ones in charge of designing them. With the wedding season now upon us, all eyes are on the present and the future of what is a booming billion-dollar industry. Offering ardent readers the perfect low-down about the latest trends of this sector, Femina’s latest October issue features six leading fashion designers shed light on the new normal in the fashion industry, the after-math of weddings post COVID-19 and the way forward for big fat weddings of India. In what is a riveting read on the wedding and fashion industry, the article sees celebrated couturiers of the country Tarun Tahiliani, Abu Jani, Sandeep Khosla, Falguni Shane Peacock, Amit Aggarwal, Monica Shah (Jade) speak about the temporary and permanent shifts, the future of physical stores and the change in choice of clothing for the bride amongst other riveting topics.
One of the most prominent trends that the industry has seen is the downscaling in terms of how one used to celebrate these boisterous occasions. As far as noted fashion designer Tarun Tahiliani, the change has been a positive one. He comments, “With the current economic depression and only limited guest-permit weddings, there won’t be many occasions celebrated to the scale that we knew of, since a whole new consciousness has set in. The grandeur has been reduced, the gatherings are intimate, the clothes will be lighter and/or upcycled from mother or grandmother’s wardrobe. So, the format in which we are headed is already very sustainable at its core. People will not be wearing the kind of clothes they used to, and that will, in turn, affect the way we produce.”
But ask Falguni Shane Peacock and Monica Shah, this duo of designers knows that people may choose to change everything but the way they dream of looking at their wedding. Falguni says, “Most of our clients, customers, and friends who were planning or had their wedding scheduled during these last couple of months, have pushed their wedding dates to a later date. The wedding day is one of the biggest days for many, and they don’t want to compromise on it. A wedding outfit is the last thing they want to compromise on. There will be no reduction in the grandeur of bridal couture.” Monica reiterates the same by adding, “The number of guests may have been reduced, but brides are not compromising on their bridal ensemble because weddings happen once in their life so we are excited about the future.”
As far as where the growth for the sector is going to come from, embracing social media and e-commerce is the way to go for Amit Aggarwal. He says, “Digital media platforms have simplified the buying process and helped in mobilizing financial support for the people affected most during these hard times. Embracing social media and e-commerce is one of the biggest ways forward. However, I feel bricks-and-mortar stores will remain to be the most effective way to give the whole experience of buying a couture product.”
With the festive season now upon us that sees marriages take place across the country, each one of these designers has ample room for optimism. Falguni says, “Once things start getting back to normal, the business is going to be almost double because there are so many people who have planned to get married the next season.” Monica, too, is as confident and positive that the best is yet to come for the industry, “While the pandemic has affected the fashion sector quite adversely, the darkest days are behind us. We are looking forward to the future with a lot of hope. As markets open up, small events and intimate weddings are all taking place.”
As far as the future prospects go, Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla say it’s best to take each day as it comes. The pair says, “It’s too soon to gauge the impact of virtual versus runway shows on the business. That will come after this first season of businesses reopening again. We have full confidence that we will not only bounce back to the good old days but come back even stronger as an industry. Indians are born luxury consumers, we love the finest and our appetite for beauty is unsurpassable.”
In addition to these designers share their thoughts on the market trends in the wedding industry, the latest October issue is one that’s heavy on marriage season. It’s got the best tips in the house to pull off on your big day along with smart savings to make when you’re planning your big fat or small and slim Indian wedding.
Catch these insightful reads on the future of weddings & the fashion industry in Femina’s October issue available on stands and in the below link for an easy download and share!
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