We are living in truly unprecedented times, the magnitude of the seismic changes we are all adjusting to right now are high. But what keeps us buoyant with optimism, is that we can slowly get back to work relying on the euphemistically called new normal rituals – sanitise, wear a mask, use gloves and PPE kit, wash your hands every hour and so on.
As the fashion circuit opens us to shooting and getting back to work, these rituals become challenging in the course of their work. Recently, stylist Aastha Sharma shot a fashion shoot wearing a PPE kit. It wasn’t easy, she says, “We shot after 93 days!We were in a PPE kit for 6+ hours and it was a challenge, “ she says. As a stylist working with a client means ensuring their safety is top priority, she says now one can’t shoot like before. “It can’t be like before, now we have to plan more, we got the garments and accessories in advance, they were sanitised before sent for fitting – garments were dipped in dettol, then sprayed with 99% alcohol and later kept to dry for 24 hours – once they came back from fittings, we had to do the same process again. We have to make sure the garments are not touched by multiple hands and sanitised before giving to the client,” elaborates Aastha Sharma.
While increase in planning and shooting time is one aspect, the other is change in the on-shoot experience. Stylist Ayesha Amiin Nigam, who shot after three months, says it was quite an experience to plan and execute the shoot. ”The biggest difference was of course that the client was not on set.That is a big challenge for a team as the client can’t see exactly what is going on – and also cannot feel the energy which is on set – so there could be a disconnect. We got the designer on a zoom call so that she could see what was happening. Secondly, for me as a stylist it was extremely difficult to not keep fixing the models. I tried my very best but with layered clothing or Indian clothes need flair or a certain structure which needs constant fixing which was quite difficult,” she confesses.
Moreover, receiving couriers was a challenge, as it wasn’t certain when exactly the clothes for the shoot would reach the stylist. “The courier services are becoming more and more challenging and they took almost 10 days to deliver the parcels to my stylist in Delhi from Nagpur. Due to which the date of the shoot kept moving,” says designer Nikita Mhaisalkar who recently shot her lookbook.
Another issue was less people on set and getting a model in times like these. “Finding a lot of options for models was also challenging as a lot of girls have moved back to their hometowns due to lack of work since the last three months,” adds Mhaisalkar.