The concept of ever-changing and frenetic fashion has been renounced by socially-conscious fashion houses
The concept of ever-changing and frenetic fashion has been renounced by socially-conscious fashion houses

What will fashion be like post pandemic?

The fundamentals of design after lockdown will look vastly different: consumption will become more sensitive and conscious of quality
By Sujata Assomull | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON APR 26, 2020 03:13 AM IST

The Covid-19 pandemic will be a watershed in the history of mankind. As with every other domain, the rules of fashion will be rewritten too. As Vogue’s Anna Wintour, perhaps global fashion’s most powerful voice, said: “There’s no way we’re going back to the way things were.”

It may seem frivolous to talk about fashion right now, but let’s keep in mind one fact: with so much economic disruption, the local textile industry will be a major employer and will help many – worldwide – to get back on their feet. Clothes are also part of everyone’s life and many of us enjoy fashion

“I see a redefining of the very concept of fashion. More versatile clothes will be in demand.” —Anita Lal, Good Earth

There is no question however, that the pandemic will have an effect on our purchasing power, and fashion buys will no longer be a priority. India, of course, has its own unique relationship with fashion, thanks to textile and craft being at the very heart of our dressing traditions. The current buzzwords of global fashion, repurposing and upcycling, are traditional here. For example, kantha embroidery, a popular technique used in contemporary Indian fashion, is a traditional technique from Bengal. It was used on discarded fabrics as a way to breathe new life into old garments.

The current buzzwords of global fashion, repurposing and upcycling, are traditional in India
The current buzzwords of global fashion, repurposing and upcycling, are traditional in India

While I am no fortune teller, this moment in time will change the way we dress. Fashion, after all, evolves and has always spoken of the times we live in. So here’s what I think will happen.

1. On repeat mode
“Instead of pre-draped sari dresses I’m pairing blouses with something simpler and unstitched for recurring wearability” —Amit Aggarwal

Many of us already have too much stuff so we will not be buying more – a concept that renowned trend forecaster Li Edelkoort has called “quarantine of consumption.” Designer and stylist Pernia Qureshi says, “Because we lived in this consumerist culture, we are completely unaware of what we even have in our wardrobes at home. So this is a great time for spring cleaning. It will help you create a fresh, new, upcycled wardrobe.”

Pernia Qureshi (left) wears a Gucci dress that once belonged to her mother to set an example of upcycling; (Right) David Abraham’s designs show that Indian clothes are non-confining
Pernia Qureshi (left) wears a Gucci dress that once belonged to her mother to set an example of upcycling; (Right) David Abraham’s designs show that Indian clothes are non-confining

Since every neighbourhood market has a tailoring shop, and access to beautiful fabrics and trims is so easy in urban areas, repurposing is easier in India than in most countries. Re-wearing, recycling and repurposing will have style cred. Expect designers to be more open to working with a client’s existing wardrobe. One of the first designers to embrace upcycling was Amit Aggarwal, who says, “Our structured blouses are loved with our pre-draped sari dresses, but I’ve consciously created a line with the same blouses paired with something much simpler and unstitched to entertain the dialogue and the purpose of recurring wearability.”

It’s a trend that will go beyond clothes, as Jaipur-based jeweller Sunita Shekhawat explains. “Jewellery is considered a form of investment. In the olden times, it was called stree dhan – wealth for women. For us as a jewellery brand, reworking or re-assembling jewellery pieces is a great way to give each piece a new design.”

2. Blown away!
“What was seen as essential, like weekly blow-out services, will now be looked at as luxury” —Rod Anker

Over the years we’ve taken for granted the services offered by neighbourhood salons, going to them for blow-drying, manicures and threading. Since the lockdown began, however, women have been forced to DIY their own grooming. Hairstylists such as Delhi-based Rod Anker, make-up artist Savleen Manchanda and author and beauty expert Vasudha Rai have started tutorials over social media on how to groom at home.

Author and beauty expert Vasudha Rai has started tutorials over social media on how to groom at home (Photo courtesy: Good Earth)
Author and beauty expert Vasudha Rai has started tutorials over social media on how to groom at home (Photo courtesy: Good Earth)

Says Rod Anker, “I think some of these ‘weekly blowout’ type services were never needed and with life being put into perspective because of the pandemic, they will drop off to some extent. What was once seen as essential will now be felt as a luxury.” Instead we will go to salons for things that last, such as a good cut or colour. Vasudha Rai adds, “In beauty, therapies such as laser hair removal, ultherapy and derma rolling, which have long lasting effects will be enjoyed much more than before.”

3. The lounge choice
“The kurta’s popularity this summer is going to be strong”—Manish Malhotra

The kurta has emerged as the lounge outfit of choice in this time of #WFH. Fashion designer David Abraham of Abraham and Thakore says, “Lounge wear is clothing that is easy, adjustable and not confining. Much of Indian clothing, from kurtas to salwars, falls in this category.”

Indian clothing like the kurta, says David Abraham, has emerged as the lounge outfit of choice in this time of #WFH
Indian clothing like the kurta, says David Abraham, has emerged as the lounge outfit of choice in this time of #WFH

Bollywood’s favourite designer Manish Malhotra advises: “Kurtas are beautiful and versatile, you can wear them with linen easy pants, shorts and salwars, so it’s a fabulous style mix. The kurta’s popularity this summer is going to be strong.”

4. Mother’s days
“People will turn to their mothers’ and grandmothers’ wardrobes because of the sentimental connection with the pieces”—Palak Shah

Shopping our closets has become the catchphrase of fashion during the lockdown. “I have no immediate desire to shop. I have come to realise that we actually need very little to look good and feel good. It is about quality, not quantity,” says Pernia. For festive clothing, she will mix and match her pieces with pieces from her mother’s and grandmother’s closets.

The focus will be on buying less but better quality clothes feels Tarun Tahiliani
The focus will be on buying less but better quality clothes feels Tarun Tahiliani

The reasoning behind this will not simply be economic or ecological, says Ekaya’s Palak Shah. It will be emotional too. “The overwhelming impact of the pandemic has made all of us think long and hard about many things including our families. People will turn to their mothers’ and grandmothers’ wardrobes because of the sentimental connection with the pieces,” she says. And social distancing has made us realise the importance of that human connect.

5. Old is gold
“We want to make waste a resource and give old clothes new value,” —Dhatri Bhatt, H&M

In lockdown, we have the time to reflect on our style buys, especially the impulsive ones. Anita Lal, founder of Good Earth, explains, “I see a redefining of the very concept of fashion. It need not be frenetic and ever-changing with a constant demand for newness and its inevitable redundancy and waste at every level. More versatile clothes will be in demand.”

“Post-covid, there will be a new sensitivity and understanding of what we have done that needs to be enacted in the way we live”
—Tarun Tahiliani

While there may be a period of “revenge buying” after the lockdown ends that will benefit the purveyors of fast fashion, this segment of the fashion world had already become more mindful before the pandemic. H&M, for instance, has a garment collection programme where customers are encouraged to drop off their old clothes in exchange for a voucher towards their next purchase. The brand sorts and recycles the old clothes. “We want to make waste a resource and give the old clothes new value,” says H&M India’s communication manager, Dhatri Bhatt.

There will be a demand for more versatile designs rather than new clothes
There will be a demand for more versatile designs rather than new clothes

Veteran designer Tarun Tahiliani sums it up best when he says: “Post-Covid, there will be a new sensitivity and understanding of what we have done that needs to be enacted in the way we live. It may mean many of us will buy less, but better quality.”

Auhor bio: Dubai-based fashion journalist Sujata Assomull is also an author and an advocate of mindful fashion. She was the launch editor of Harper’s Bazaar India.

From HT Brunch, April 26, 2020

Follow us on twitter.com/HTBrunch

Connect with us on facebook.com/hindustantimesbrunch

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
Armaan Jain says that even when he made his debut as a leading man in a movie called Lekar Hum Deewana Dil in 2014, his passion for food was a notch higher than his interest in films; Make-up: Shibu Khan; Hair: BBlunt; Wardrobe:Anushka Khanna (Rohan Shrestha)
Armaan Jain says that even when he made his debut as a leading man in a movie called Lekar Hum Deewana Dil in 2014, his passion for food was a notch higher than his interest in films; Make-up: Shibu Khan; Hair: BBlunt; Wardrobe:Anushka Khanna (Rohan Shrestha)

HT Brunch Cover Story: The Kapoor family’s best-kept food secrets!

UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 08:45 PM IST
Raj Kapoor’s grandson, Armaan Jain, 30, shows how the love for food runs as strong in India’s premier film family as the love for films
Close
Prateik Babbar being his sporty self while posing for a picture exclusively for this HT Brunch column
Prateik Babbar being his sporty self while posing for a picture exclusively for this HT Brunch column

“I slept like a bear in hibernation during lockdown,” says Prateik Babbar

UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 08:40 PM IST
The actor confesses he’s a guy version of Monica Geller from Friends and is still crushing on Karisma Kapoor, in an intimate chat with HT Brunch
Close
Rohena Gera’s latest movie Sir has received rave reviews in India and abroad
Rohena Gera’s latest movie Sir has received rave reviews in India and abroad

Maid for each other

By Shunali Khullar Shroff
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:14 PM IST
Rohena Gera’s new film shows a wealthy homeowner falling in love with his domestic help. How did the writer-director do away with Bollywood’s rich-poor clichés and address this with realism and sensitivity?
Close
In India, the only Western condiment we were really familiar with for decades was ketchup
In India, the only Western condiment we were really familiar with for decades was ketchup

Rude Food by Vir Sanghvi: It’s time to ketchup!

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:13 PM IST
From chutney to mustard to Sriracha, it’s the condiments that add a kick to your food on a regular basis
Close
Ricky Pond’s Bollywood numbers like O Betaji have garnered over 500K likes
Ricky Pond’s Bollywood numbers like O Betaji have garnered over 500K likes

Social Media Star of the Week: Ricky Pond

By Karishma Kuenzang
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:12 PM IST
Meet the American dad in his 40s, who has become a rage amongst Indians worldwide for his Bollywood dance Reels
Close
Kamna Chhibber is a Clinical Psychologist and Head, Mental Health for the Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences at Fortis Healthcare
Kamna Chhibber is a Clinical Psychologist and Head, Mental Health for the Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences at Fortis Healthcare

HT Brunch Game Show: Which personality type lived through the pandemic better?

By Shruti Nair
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:12 PM IST
The introvert, extrovert or ambivert? Three different personality types talk about productively spending time during the pandemic
Close
Leslee Lewis with his first electric guitar, he brought from Singapore, which was shaped like a gun
Leslee Lewis with his first electric guitar, he brought from Singapore, which was shaped like a gun

“At 22, I had left home to make it on my own,” says musician Leslee Lewis

By Shruti Nair
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 08:43 PM IST
The musician talks about earning 1,700 per month, marrying his girlfriend and making it on his own in the industry
Close
Sex and the City’s new season out next year will not star Samantha Jones
Sex and the City’s new season out next year will not star Samantha Jones

No sex without Samantha!

By Moksha Hegde and Reeti Kohli
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:11 PM IST
Two fans argue the elimination of Sex & the City’s most progressive character in the upcoming revival show
Close
What really grabs your attention are new headlights capped by a striking LED strip that lift the looks of the car
What really grabs your attention are new headlights capped by a striking LED strip that lift the looks of the car

Sunday Drive by Hormazd Sorabjee: The comeback car

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:10 PM IST
Audi’s A4 marks the start of an onslaught of new models from the German carmaker, which has been starved of models for the past year
Close
The Olympian exudes an unattainable coolth with perfect poise and a worn-out T-shirt, or none, if you’re Milind Soman!  (Parth Garg)
The Olympian exudes an unattainable coolth with perfect poise and a worn-out T-shirt, or none, if you’re Milind Soman!  (Parth Garg)

Humour: The five kinds of runners

By Rehana Munir
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 10:16 AM IST
From form snobs to statistic addicts, the streets are just packed with all types of runners come morning or evening
Close
Bridgerton, the new series on Netflix, is set in Regency London and based on a series of novels by Julia Quinn (Aparna Ram)
Bridgerton, the new series on Netflix, is set in Regency London and based on a series of novels by Julia Quinn (Aparna Ram)

Spectator by Seema Goswami: Facts about fiction

By Seema Goswami
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:08 PM IST
Many may try, but only some writers can actually bring a world alive in their books. Especially when it comes to regency romances
Close
Sohrab gives tips on how to lose weight efficiently and how making the muscles around your knees stronger can help
Sohrab gives tips on how to lose weight efficiently and how making the muscles around your knees stronger can help

Sohrab Khushrushahi: Of planning your weight loss diet and strengthening your knees

By Sohrab Khushrushahi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:07 PM IST
Get back on track with a weight loss plan that focuses on your diet and how you can work on making your knees stronger
Close
Ranveer Allahbadia gives tips on social media etiquette you should follow
Ranveer Allahbadia gives tips on social media etiquette you should follow

Ranveer Allahbadia: Does posting selfies make you get taken less seriously at work? And… should you follow your boss?

By Ranveer Allahbadia
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:07 PM IST
Is it okay for a doctor or teacher to post frivolous on their social media handles? And should you send a request to follow your new boss if their account is private?
Close
Here’s how you can flaunt the lungi to social events
Here’s how you can flaunt the lungi to social events

Rahul Khanna: Where can you wear the lungi to?

By Rahul Khanna
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:06 PM IST
You can now flaunt this garment beyond South Indian weddings to make a style statement according to the style icon
Close
Tahira Kashyap talks about why self-love is crucial and why you shouldn’t run away from those who crave your love
Tahira Kashyap talks about why self-love is crucial and why you shouldn’t run away from those who crave your love

Tahira Kashyap: Braving video calls and paying attention to loved ones

By Tahira Kashyap
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:06 PM IST
Not opting for video calls could be a sign of low self-love; and why would should love those who want you around
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP