Designers of bridal fashion can work more closely with jewellery designers to create coordinated styling, fashion designer Tarun Tahiliani tells Moderator Prasad Kapre.
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What can the global jewellery trade learn from fashion during the lockdown?
The area that we deal with is mainly evening, occasion and bridal wear. One can only hope that there will be a resurgence of high fashion because this is normally worn at special events and is what most Indian designers do, although there are many who work on beautiful textiles and more casual clothing as well. If it is athleisure, people can wear it at home and at any time, which is probably why brands like Hermes have had a great surge in China. These clothes are usable at any time.
There will be the initial burst of relief buying. But I am afraid that unless the big events and weddings and celebratory occasions take place, there will be no need for a lot of clothing that the Indian evening wear designers work on and with which the best pieces of jewellery are worn. These might be bought for birthdays or more intimate celebrations but not on the scale that brides wear.
Why has jewellery marketing appeared to play “second fiddle” to fashion?
Jewellery is sold at much higher values per unit and can be an investment, whereas fashion tends not to be seen in this way. I think that fashion is a much greater visual medium, considering the shows that the fashion world uses to introduce new collections.
This is what gives it global mileage because certainly the clothes are morphed with attitude, sex appeal, beauty, high energy and more when on the runway, combined with the superb models and the theatrics involved in producing the shows. Jewellery, however, does not have this advantage. It is too small to be clearly visible in most shows and even on television and other screens. Jewellery is best shown in still images. Considering the amount of advertising done globally, jewellery turnover is enormous. So I do not think it is “second fiddle”: it is just a different business and needs a different marketing strategy. Also, fine jewellery is not as accessible to as many people as fashion is.
How will synergies evolve between fashion and jewellery beyond the lockdown?
At least in India there is a synergy between bridal fashion and fabulous jewellery and so if people want to piggyback on each other and show cohesive designs, then it stands to reason that people should be working together to show a coordinated styling.
What is your advice to up-and-coming jewellery designers who are seeking to make an impact in the jewellery and fashion arenas?
Everything is going to be much harder in the post COVID-19 world. Any way to create greatness takes time — and unfortunately the world had become too fast and too many people wanted instant gratification. This is not realistic or sustainable. Hone your skills, and develop your point of view. Slowly and surely, if you know your client, you will grow into something much more precious.