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Friday, July 10, 2020

The 2020 Indian wedding has a new essential: Matching face masks

Who would have ever imagined that surgical face mask covering mouth and nose would be worn by a bride? Covid-19 kind of broke all the must-haves of an Indian wedding.

Written by Anjali Jha | New Delhi | Published: June 12, 2020 7:10:57 pm
wedding, indian wedding, mask wedding matching lehenga, wedding in india post covid 19, coronavirus death, indian express After zoom weddings, we saw brides sporting wedding masks that matched perfectly with their lehengas or wedding trousseau. (Express photo by Vishal Srivastav)

If one were to look back at the history of fashion, they’d find that so many of what we consider staples in our wardrobe were first conceived and designed out of sheer necessity. For example, when Levi Strauss and a tailor from Nevada, Jacob Davis, made their first batch of denim pants in 1873, they made them for miners on the California coast — thousands had arrived at the Sunshine State to look for gold during the California Gold Rush (1848-1855). Nearly a 100 years later, during World War II, as women joined the armed forces and offices vacated by men who were fighting at the frontlines across Europe, ‘jeans’ or ‘denim’ was quickly adopted by them as well — they were called ‘divided skirts’ to make the outfit more socially acceptable for women.

In the age of COVID-19, a pandemic that shows no signs of abating, and has completely altered the way we live, interact with our surroundings and socialise with the people around us, one item has risen the ranks of all forms of protective coverings and is now geared to make its global fashion debut — the face mask. And in India, there is no platform bigger than the great Indian wedding.

It would be an understatement to say that the COVID-19 outbreak has thrown a spanner in the works for the wedding industry. It’s sent ripples of uncertainty through vendors, wedding planners, venues, guests, and families. But if the pandemic has taught us something, it is that couples will find a way to make their big day special. As early as April, Zoom weddings started trending, and with the ceremonies broadcast over the internet, several brides decided to practice safety measures in style.

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Neha and lakshay had been dating for a decade now and they decided to get married this year their excitement was at peak everything planned and pre booked little did they know that pandemic will make it impossible for them to stick to their plan of big fat indian wedding .They both had an option to wait for another year or choose an intimate wedding ceremony. To this neha answered ‘we might not have the wedding we have desired and planned for but we definitely want to start our marriage that we have prayed for. Govt regulations were followed arrangments like masks and sanitizers were made and the nupitals took place in a simple manner with the blessing of 10 family members. They got married and happily quarantined together. . Bride: @neha_2026 Groom: @lakshay_337_bunny MUA: @stylefixbyav #weddingbrigade #wedmegood #weddingplz #weddingsutra #weddingphotography #popxowedding #shadiwaliinspirations #weddingbling #wedwise #shaadisaga #weddwind #lockdownwedding #quarantinewedding #wedbook #shaadifever #wedabout #wishnwed #thebridesofindia #thecrimsonbride #wedmoons #bridalaffairindia #wedzo #theindianweddingplanner #shaadiwish #zowed #dulhaniyaa #wittywedding #wittywows #shimla

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On May 17, Neha, 26, held a small gathering for her wedding in Chandigarh, and asked her local tailor to fashion a mask from the leftover fabric of her wedding outfit. “I had to wear a mask throughout the rituals as there were very few relaxations from the government back then. Rather than going for the black, white and blue masks, why not make one that complements my outfit? After all, it’s my wedding,” she said in a conversation with indianexpress.com.

ALSO READ | Pandemic spins a new avatar for Assam’s eri silk: face masks

When Bhavdeep Kaur and her partner decided to tie the knot during the lockdown, she found herself inspired by the changes brought about by the pandemic. For her Anand Karaj, the 27-year-old entrepreneur and designer created a lehenga that featured humans trapped inside a castle, while birds, ducks and elephants roamed free. “I’d watched videos of animals freely wandering in the cities, while we were stuck inside. Those images provoked me to design something similar for my ‘Covid wedding’,” she said. For the mask, now deemed absolutely necessary for all occasions, Kaur used the same motifs.

“For my Mehendi outfit, I cut out my blouse and used the sleeve to make the mask,” she said.

The wedding lehenga was designed by Bhavdeep Kaur. (Source: Bhavdeep Kaur) The designs were inspired by Covid-19. (Source: Bhavdeep Kaur) She designed matching masks too. (Bhavdeep Kaur)

Till a vaccine is discovered, masks are here to stay, and weddings or not, people are finding ways to adapt it into their daily wardrobe. “Recently, a regular client came to place an order of a few summer shirts and he bought extra fabric to get matching masks made. The wedding wear market is also taking the trend seriously and a couple of male clients have also shown interest in custom-made face masks. A groom who bought a golden sherwani and maroon turban wanted a maroon mask to complement his wedding look, with some interesting thread detailing on it. Another client, who had ordered a peach sherwani with an off-white saffa wanted a matching mask to go with his ensemble. With wedding masks, we are trying to experiment with different blends of fabric. For example, if the sherwani is stitced in brocade fabric, a mask of the same fabric will never be comfortable,” said Ravi Gupta, owner, Gargee Designers.

Not all designers are on board with capitalising on the trend. Designer Ayush Kejriwal has his qualms about the “situational accessory” and believes that the trend will only last until a vaccine is found. “I feel the ultimate aim for us is to be in a situation where we won’t be required to use a mask. In the meantime, turning the production of it into a business opportunity does not seem ethical to me, especially when we consider the devastation this pandemic has caused and the plight of everyone that has been affected. In the absence of a drug or a vaccine, the mask is one of the key protective measures we can use — it should be made available easily without any financial gains whatsoever. My advice to designers is that they can use this opportunity and extend the profits to a greater cause and help those in need. I am not criticising the customisation of masks to suit varied needs, but I certainly do not believe in promoting them as a fashion accessory,” he said.

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