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A moment of stillness, almost tranquil when the most majestic lady walks into the room. You watch the crowd, watching her glory and she watches you, watching her power. A part of her still lingers in your mind. Her striking poise and effortless whirl in that fluid ivory dress, looked as if it was just created for her. Well, it actually was! Such is the prowess and supremacy of a bespoke outfit that is tailor made for your liking. It is one of the few. It keeps your essence alive. It is your legacy. It is unique. It is not-made-in-factory and it is not frivolous consuming of clothes that don’t matter in only a couple of months.
Today, it’s become clear that people hold two opposing viewpoints simultaneously: The old view that clothing is valuable and that someone will appreciate it even when we are done with it, and the new view that it’s cheap and disposable. The latter has increasingly become the most popular view and many of these fast-run clothes end up in landfill which is a problem for the environment. But why are we throwing all this clothing out? Well because we don’t like them anymore or it became an out-of-date style or the quality didn’t last that long.
In contrast the joy of wearing something that is crafted on-demand just for you, imparting a power of individuality and distinctiveness last with you for yearsssss. It’s your heirloom to pass down and be cherished for years. It is not one-of-the-many bulk-designs you pull off the rack. Artisanal on demand slow fashion is a juxtaposition of exquisite fashion & morals, that aims at balancing innovation with reduce manufactured volumes.
To elucidate more on this, let’s start with describing the traditional manufacturing process that the on-demand model aims to replace. In the traditional made-in-factory model most factories produce enormous quantities to reduce manufacturing costs. Result? Excess stock at the end of every season in turn forces retailers to increase the markups. Not to mention, it is incredibly taxing on our environment as the over-produced garments that remain unsold are dumped to the landfills or as poignant as it may sound, in some cases are straight away burnt. Reportedly, 92 million tones of discarded items go into the landfill every year. We can definitely do better than this. At the front of the industry, everything is moving very quickly and there’s a complete disconnect between the front and back end. On-demand is a way of bringing those two sides closer so that we can work in unison and harmony.
When we indulge in the on-demand model, we say NO to overstocking, NO to monotony and NO to stagnant practices of the fashion industry. Several huge fashion houses have their own distinctive way to second this ‘NO’. They provide a very progressive and conscious method of retail therapy in form of the exclusive pre-launches and taking pre-orders before production starts. This not only promotes sustainable production practice but also allows to focus on fine quality of each piece. As the production starts after the order is placed, there will be reduced dead stock in the inventory and much less money wasted on excess raw material procurement. This allows to facilitate in-vestment into things that matter and to bring out long lasting quality of each made-to-order bespoke ensemble. A garment that doesn’t come from rabbit hole of bulk-made and is a part of the slow artisanal fashion is a beacon of refined sophistication. Isn’t that a beautiful golden mean between the producers, the consumers and the environment as well?
This is kind of indulgence where every little design detail, button and hook has garnered attention to detail from people who create it. It embodies you and is tailor-made to enhance your presence. Clothing which is so intimate in our daily lives must be made to enhance us. There is a unique comfort of being in a garment that’s been produced with care and with a certain involvement by people who love to do it. This conjures an intimate connection with the apparels that speaks to the senses and sets you apart from a row of similar looking prints, cuts and colors which you see flittering around you all the time.
Now that the on-demand model has become a part of your fashion lexicon, you no longer have to fret over the fact that you might stumble upon someone else too wearing the same prêt-à-porter cold shoulder blouse at the gala! Your wardrobe mustn’t fall out in bulk volumes from machines just like that. This is where your closet gets curated with intricately divine artisanal piece value, the beauty of which you can enjoy time and again. It’s spectacular finesse, time honed weaves and heirloom value will keep your essence alive in every room that you tread through.
Fashion for a Reason: Trans-Season
“That is so last season!” Has become the most used phrase in this day and age and right after you receive the delivery, you also receive a notification entrapping you on- “What’s new?”.
Brands that scoop you and rush you to future, make you enter this vicious cycle of ever changing trends. The wise requisite path out of this rabbit hole is to go for trans-seasonal intersection of fashion. This is the intersection where my pin-tucked ivory blouse from couple of years back meets my mint green throw jacket that was delivered today with some droplets of rain on my package, and now I am ready to go, though not too far from home!
In present times it will be quiet trivial to do frivolous indulgence into fads, like that of a frill saree or cold shoulder sleeve top which we know shall soon be a thing of passé. Its essential that we are investing in things with more value and longevity. This is the beauty of trans-seasonal dressing, where we indulge in thoughtful key-pieces that can be styled for now and later. This realm of mindful shopping brings heirloom value in our wardrobes and continuity in our style so that there is newness and permanency mischievously at the same time.
In the times when our pockets are cinched and outings are limited, we still look forward to meeting our close family and friends for bringing some joy to our guarded lives. We can still flutter in an elegant ensemble without an alarming concern that it will be left on some proverbial dusty shelf of passé or be forgotten in the wardrobe section where ghost of past are put in a box of – ‘had been merely worn, but are currently being put on hold.’ Our purchases now should mirror qualities that reflect wisely drawn such that it doesn’t wither with time. Indulging in season-less silhouettes & colors contributes to an everlasting timeless wardrobe that will be your best friend in cupboard for yearrssss!
Our color choices should be inspired by the duality of life. Going for a dainty thread work on Chanderi Kurti with natural tones and nuanced neutral hues for work-at-home scenarios, will not only be easy on the eyes but will also have a trans-seasonal appeal. So the basic aspect of trans-seasonal is when we streamline our wardrobe and avoid trend hopping by investing in quality capsule pieces that will look chic even when layered up next season with a glorious silk shawl or a classic robust jacket.
The path to achieve this everlasting sense of style is to pick your favorites that you can dress up or down, all year round: a quintessential silk kurti, a sophisticated throw jacket, a fine embroidered bundi jacket and a dhoti set- tailor made for your taste, a bespoke silk blouse paired with flared palazzo pants, a brilliantly tailored Angarkha kameez, a delicately embroidered artisanal shawl- these are items that are not bound to any season and can be styled, layered and adjusted in various ways to make you look divine and elegant all year long.
These key pieces not just make our wardrobe timeless but they’re also better for our conscience. This is because trans-seasonal fashion helps us shrink our wardrobes by having fewer, versatile and more useful pieces of clothing that in turn shrinks our fashion wastage footprint. We should champion this ethical and beautiful way of expressing ourselves through our clothes that will speak volumes about our style and morale.
So the next time you read ‘What’s new!’ on that website, I am sure, you will flash a self-assured grin at the screen while you build your absolutely resplendent timeless wardrobe with time honed classic silk pieces that’ll be your heirloom.
The Finesse of Less
We’re all holistic explorers with a filter now. The past couple of months has seen many of us casting around for things to do to keep our minds away from the daily news. And what’s more soothing than browsing through an old photo album and looking through your life’s cherished moments.
Just as your photo-album only preserves the finest memoir of your life, we all are now getting in touch with our lives in a deeper sense and uncovering what’s important and what’s excess. This is called the “finesse of less” and it just doesn’t circle around our photo-album, it now goes onto all spheres of our lives and even our wardrobes.
This testing period has taught us what we need, what we don’t, who we need, what we like, what we buy, who we call, who we don’t and who we express to. This time alone has taught us the art of letting go and we are now making holistic choices in our lives. And when it comes to our wardrobes too we must learn to embrace the idea of buying less, but better.
The low-cost shopping indulgence into polyester garments fills our wardrobe with variable choices, but just as quick as the delivery man came and left, so did the quality. These garments are only one season wonders and our choices have a ripple effect on this planet. Garment industry’s bulk manufacturing wastage is having an alarming impact on the planet with tones of waste contribution to the landfill & deep damages to our oceans.
We can be better & wiser than this! Fashion should not only be beautiful on the outside but also be ethical & timeless. There is an ardent need that we start to look for better quality in niche slow fashion design labels that have an artisanal touch with the focus on elegance & longevity.
Quality over quantity is an adage that is taking over the world and the fashion industry has been championing this thought like never before. We can indulge in time honed weaves, exquisite craftsmanship and treasured classic silk pieces that should radiate elegance and stand the test of time. Aim for long-term appeal, heritage designs and timeless classics that are have having a hand-me-down appeal and which will adorn the richness of your wardrobe even when pulled out a couple years later.
As the lines get blurred between work, rest and play and our home sanctuaries are expanding in its limits to make space for our work-from-home office, it is imperative to adapt apparels that now tick three boxes- longevity, comfort and versatility. With more people preferring to work from home and the movement of activities closer to home is on the rise, formalwear will become even more casual and casual will reflect more mystical elegance with a modern twist.
To adapt to our increasingly changing flexible lifestyles we must opt for transitional ensembles that fuse work, rest and play. As the relationship between feel good comfort and impeccable exterior is evolving, it is imperative that we make wise choices and adapt to shop that can flexibly go from home comfort to an online video event with ease.
We need to upgrade our sartorial game with a holistic approach and seek for buying quality artisanal pieces that speak exquisite timeless elegance and allow us to go back to those old times when we cherished & wore our favorite little cheery yellow dress a lot more than once.
A style that will stay with you for generations to come and a style that will be your fondest memory!