If we walk away from this period with one key takeaway, it will be that much of our lives – much more of them than we had ever imagined – can be conducted online.
From work meetings to workouts and even 24-hour raves, our screens have become the medium through which we connect, create and celebrate.
But would you design your wedding dress over video call?
Leading bridal brand Pronovias has this week announced it will offer virtual consultations and expert advice to any brides still looking for their gown. The virtual meet-ups take place using whatever technology a bride has available to her at home, and feature a consultation on styles, fabrics and dresses.
Amandine Ohayon, CEO of Pronovias Group commented that “in every crisis, there is an opportunity and, in our case, it has spurred us to drive the change faster than we could have imagined. In any case, the ‘post-corona’ world will not be the same, and therefore we need to reinvent ourselves with innovation, agility and creativity.”
London-based bridal designer Kate Halfpenny has also adapted her service to include virtual consultations, which can take place via Facetime or phone, and offer an opportunity to discuss shapes, styles and preferences before an actual fitting can take place.
“We’ve been offering virtual appointment since the Covid outbreak for our precious brides,” Halfpenny tells theStandard. “We’re a company that’s foundation is based on human contact and listening to people and nurturing them on the journey to finding their dream wedding outfit. So the plan for online appointments is to still inspire our clients and to walk them through the collection online and discuss the ideas they have for their big so they can continue to get excited amongst all the sadness in the world.”
For other bridal designers, such as Chelsea-based Phillipa Lepley whose cleverly corseted bespoke creations have a loyal international following, virtual consultations have always been a core part of the service.
“We have always offered a virtual consultation service, as we work with a lot of international brides,” Lepley tells the Standard. “We are now just extending that offer. It works really well, thanks to modern technology! Brides love the hands on service and the in-depth advice they get right from the start.”
Lepley, who has had several virtual consultations already this week (mostly international still but some UK brides are starting to make enquiries), assures that a couture creation is possible without a face-to-face. “We can absolutely make a dress without seeing the bride, if we need to. If we can have the brides body at least once during the process that is a huge help, to prevent too many tweaks at the end. It doesn’t really matter at what point that is – we can work within the restrictions. Most brides are enquiring about kicking off the process though, and they plan to come in when the shop re-opens or they can travel again, to refine.
Virtual dress design is particularly relevant to bespoke bridal gowns, because, as Lepley explains, “If brides are having a completely bespoke dress there’s nothing to try on anyway – their dress doesn’t exist yet. We can design it with them, by talking, reviewing website images and videos, looking at silhouettes, necklines etc and doing sketches. We drill down on all the desired details and requirements and piece together the perfect bespoke look. Then we can start to create it.”
So, even if your wedding has been postponed, it doesn’t mean you can’t continue the process of designing your dream dress. The only question left now is, Houseparty or Zoom?