March 19, 2021 Asmita Aggarwal

Too early for the rainbow

Nidhi Yasha is bullish about the style market which had hit an abyss, as sunshine days are back again with her prudent deconstruction

By Asmita Aggarwal

It was that time of the year when no one anticipated the tornado that would sweep our collective lives, so Nidhi Yasha went into it totally unprepared. A store in Mumbai’s Andheri, close to swanky Juhu would have catapulted her to a new level. But providence had something else in store for her.

The pandemic swept our lives, forced us on our knees, the fury of nature and the helplessness of man was exposed. The store had to be shut and a lesson was learnt. Brick and mortar is now almost obsolete, as Gen Z is looking at online, the new and most potent means of communication, says Yasha.

But after the storm clears, there is often sunshine, just like Yasha’s business, things are slowly picking up, but in a more measured manner. “No one is looking to buy new stuff, as offices are not working on full capacity, but our online affiliations are doing well. Though the consignment concept should be archived, as blocking your inventory for so long is frankly unrealistic without a guarantee of it selling,” she adds.

Consumers are now discerning, women want longevity in their clothing, they choose wisely, even though there is a big boon of sustainability, and seasonal ups and downs have vanished, she foresees revenge buying once the vaccine is disseminated. “People may like to explore, so I am expecting a surge in the market,” she adds.

Her collection this year, is based on a song by Leonard Cohen song The Gypsy’s Wife, a theme close to her, as it talks about taking a heart breaking trip to the deep end of the tunnel and making it back. Pain to happiness and the suffering of the global community, due to Covid; this is in continuation of her line last year “Take me to the water”, which was about being in denial. “This year it had to be about rejuvenation, like new leaves after fresh rainfall, so we used our dead stock, leftover fabrics, patchwork and represented our embroideries in newer ways, to mirror gypsys, which we all have become. Kind of travellers blending in broken pieces, was the mood. As I am trend agnostic I am not looking at following what global catwalks do, I go with my instinct,” she adds.

Yellow or the hue of joy make accents in garments, prints are subtle, and even though Yasha likes to keep it androgynous, this time she has explored femininity, yet shown the underlying strength that it reverberates with. “I felt women need to celebrate who they are and what they have become, we are always running away trying to fit in society’s boxes,” she explains.

The future of fashion is about being conscious, as millennials have seen the worst and Gen Z which is coming next is super aware of what we need to do to save the planet. Including her 8-year-old daughter, who tells her to close the tap, not let water overflow, effects of global warming and urgent need to recycle waste. “Technology will play a huge role in how we perceive fashion, and my generation even though is not so well equipped will have to adapt to survive,” she admits.

What has been the biggest bane in modern social media culture, according to Yasha is what she terms as the “influencer Pandemic”. Here everybody wants clothes for free from celebrities to stylists, they wear, borrow and return! “So who will buy?” she smiles. “The graph is rapidly changing, some designers are surviving only because they have huge celebrity clientele and those who don’t serve page 3 are finding it too hot to handle,” she confesses.

Pret is going to be the next big thing, it will define designer sales, as the girl next door is someone Yasha says everyone should be targeting, as she aspires to look fabulous. “Luxury is moving slowly, so when women become prudent and judicious we must too,” she affirms.

And last but not the least! “The FDCI and LFW joining forces is an exciting time to be doing fashion week, and I remember there was only one platform when it began, the camaraderie now is uplifting,” she concludes.

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