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Alba Iulia
Saturday, February 27, 2021

From gowns to masks: Fashion during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Lilian Bermudez is a fashion designer and director of Lilian Bermudez Bridal and Formal. Due to the coronavirus restrictions, she has been unable to proceed with creating wedding gowns and other formal wear. She has however remained resilient and undertaken a new business opportunity.

“I was worried about the impact of the coronavirus restrictions because of my low income while trying to depend on sales online. My dressmaking involves two to three dress fittings and closing my studio to the public was scary.”

Since early March, Lilian started to received cancellations from her clients, including brides-to-be. “People as well in our community who had events planned from March to end of June also cancelled,” she says. “Normally this is the busiest time of the year for me because we celebrate Flores de Mayo, as well as Philippine Independence Day on every weekend for the month of June.”

Responding to the growing demand for face masks

An opportunity arose when the advice that masks were effective when during the first wave. There were however hesitations among the public about wearing masks, and it wasn’t until the Stage 3 restrictions in July that demand increased substantially.

“During Stage 3 restrictions, all the facemasks that I made, my customer will pick them up from my front doorstep,” states Lilian. “This reminded me when we used to have our milk jar bottle delivered in the 1980s. This time my customer will pick the masks up (I don’t see them). Otherwise, I also send by Australia Post”

“Now that wearing of masks is mandatory, it really helped to grow my business, as well as help our community.” 

To keep her business going, Lilian creates cotton face masks that are washable, reusable, and breathable with three layers.

Lilian's masks
Lilian's masks
Lilian's masks

Fabric shortage? Not a problem!

The recent fabric shortage across retailers in Melbourne has not caused a problem for Lilian. “I have bought a lot of fabric for my last business trip to the Philippines last February. The cotton woven fabrics were supposed to be used for my Runway Fashion Show last May for my Philippine Costume Collection.”

In late July, there was a shortage of elastic in Australia which caused her production to stop for a day or two. Lilian then created an ‘elastic-free’ face mask by using a bias binding for an ear loop or tied loop at the back. “I was worried no one would be interested, but I was surprised it became a hot seller in my eBay store Australia wide.”

“Most of the seniors love it and have received positive feedback.”

Lilian has also created several disposable and washable surgery gowns for doctors and a dentist in her local medical centre. 

Lilian Bermudez
Lilian Bermudez

Free masks for international students

Lilian has donated masks to Filipino international students and Filipino families who couldn’t afford to buy them, especially to the elderly. 

“I have created happy fashionable face masks that are comfortable and breathable. With my passion in fashion, I feel really blessed and thankful that I can help our community to survive and give them a smile under their masks and make them feel less stressed.”

Lilian is hopeful that her creations can help protect families from the coronavirus. “Together we all can survive if we follow the protocol and look after our health.”

“With my passion in fashion, I feel really blessed and thankful that I helped our community to survive, and give them a smile under their masks.”To order a mask from Lilian Bermudez, contact (03) 9795 5437 or send a message to her Facebook page: Lilian Bermudez Bridal & Formal.


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