Want a possible solution to address the issue of environmental degradation or are you yearning for a dream gown on your special day? Two issues as different as chalk and cheese but ask Twinkle Tom to get solutions to both these questions, since she is an environmental engineer as well as a wedding gown designer. Her engineering studies were by design but her designing stint happened by accident.
Having completed her masters in environmental science from Stanford University in America and her engineering course from NIT, Calicut, Twinkle worked with the Public Utilities Board- the National Water Agency in Singapore which was responsible for transforming the choked and filthy Singapore River and the Marina Bay into well-known tourist spots. Marriage brought her to Kerala and she began the search for her wedding gown and to her dismay realised that there were no outlets to cater to the design she had in mind. She says, “I have seen how gowns of International standards are and I wanted something to match those but couldn’t find them here so I had to finally get my wedding gown designed from Singapore. My personal experience made me realise that there was a market here for wedding gowns. At that time even an anarkali or a kid’s frock was tagged as a gown because people were not really aware of what a wedding gown actually was.” Thus was born D’ Aisle in Kochi which caters to designer and customised wedding gowns which are largely procured from Singapore. A self-taught designer, Twinkle say that the trend of donning a wedding gown has increased in the past three years and that almost every Christian bride wants a gown as also the Hindu or a Muslim bride for their reception or mehendi ceremony.
Having stepped into her home on a rainy day Twinkle opines, “I have just come in off a flooded street and there is no holistic planning here. Every single drain has been used as a sewage canal and so there is no proper drainage system and the canals are so dirty and clogged. This is so different from the way people approach their water-bodies in Singapore; they are educated to take care of them but in India you are not taught to take care of your resources.”.Twinkle has eight years of experience in the field and mentions an irony, “ I wrote to Prime Minister Modi because he has been calling all the NRIs’ to come back and contribute to India but here I am waiting for an opportunity though nothing has materialised! My expertise is valued in Singapore, Holland and all across the world but sadly red tapism and bureaucracy make it difficult in India.”
Twinkle’s husband Joseph is in the Navy and she loves travelling and her favourite destinations have been Delph and Bali....