​Fashion forward


Along with several other sectors, the fashion world has also taken a hit during the ongoing lockdown. But fashion designers in Goa have been using their expertise to develop some new creative ideas, finds NT BUZZ


From learning new skills to slowing down and doing some introspection, to planning some new creations, fashion designers in Goa, might be out of business, but they have certainly been keeping busy. 

Designer Leanne Alphonso Fernandes from Nuvem for instance has been using this time wisely to plan the way forward. “Learning from the recent past, we will have to focus on quality rather than quantity, towards a practical and sustainable fashion sense. Reviving our heritage and creating garments that keep us positive and happy will be the order of the day,” she believes.

From comfortable and easy to wear durable lounge clothes, linens, cottons and natural fabrics and of course bright happy colours, Fernandes believes that seasonal trends will not be as important as classic items or timeless pieces.  And the designer is already hard at work to develop a WFH (Work From Home) line. “Don’t we all want to be appropriately dressed for our face time or conference calls?”, she asks.

Designer Siddhi Mapxencar too, has been working on a collection that’s more relaxed and flowy. “Being at home in this lockdown, I have gotten so used to a more flowy clothing now. Loungewear clothing will be the norm,” she states. Thus, something relaxed yet outstanding and fashionable with emphasis on sustainability is the way forward for her.

Meanwhile, designer Verma D’Mello’s focus during the lockdown has been on healthy wear using unspun bonded polypropylene fabrics to create Personal Protection Equipment that can be of good help to the doctors and the frontline workers. Besides this, she says: “Nowhere-to-go-outfits, no-one-to-see-outfits, lounge wear and white clothes like tank tops will be seen and people will opt for simpler and eco-friendly wear.”

Indeed, Fernandes believes that the lockdown has been a time to redefine what feels safe and doable. “Although one can’t put a finger on anything as to which way things will go, one will have to play it by ear and brace oneself, both professionally and emotionally, for any eventuality,” she says.

Designers in lockdown

An otherwise busy Philu Martins, says this lockdown has done her good, even though it’s cut down on her sales. “I have the luxury of reading books now and making breakfast for the family at ease which was never possible,” says the designer. Post lunch she starts sketching, watches some TED talks, spends time with her pets, makes time for games with the family, and says a prayer of gratitude in these trying times before hitting the pillow.

Being a sustainable fashion designer, Ninoshka Alvares-Delaney has been busy working on sustainable designs. She has made products using minimal wastage by up cycling and recycling remnant pieces of fabrics and threads and using natural materials in designs.

For Verma D’Mello who is otherwise busy with the wedding season, this lockdown meant getting out of her cozy studio to be with the family and learn cooking. Always supportive of causes in Goa, she along with friends helped migrants and those without shelter and painted fun outfits for kids.

“I got some handmade masks done and handed these over to those in need, besides making sure poor kids get something to eat,” she says. She and her pals also visited a few old age homes to cut hair and to give the men whose beard had grown a shave to brave the summer heat.

Designer Leanne Alphonso Fernandes embraced a relaxed and simple vibe during this time although she misses her scheduled life. Appreciating the small things of life and not forgetting the less fortunate and being grateful for the safety of Goa and our homes, she has spent a better part of her time praying, organising, and rearranging her home, reading, and learning new things. “I have been improving my cooking skills and making the most of my time at home with my kids and husband,” she says.

Mapxencar has spent the few weeks on her new collection and new business strategies for mapxencaRS. “I have also been doing a lot of online tutorials for fashion design students across the country since I am actively into fashion education and have been cooking and baking like there’s no tomorrow,” she says.