Designer Ruchika Sachdeva of the label Bodice Studio, winner of 2017/18 International Woolmark Prize (IWP) womenswear category, said that India as a design industry is opening up to global fashion trends.
“It’s a constant flow of influence between the two. It’s true that globalisation is making the world a smaller place and India is becoming more permeable to global fashion trends,” Sachdeva told IANS when asked if Indian fashion industry is affected by international markets and their designs.
“As a designer, it is actually quite interesting because in a way, my job is to provide a distinct point of view on global fashion. Bodice Studio is about transcending trends and creating globally relevant clothing that draws on its Indian roots,” she added.
Her IWP-winning collection, which will be available to buy in store from this month via the International Woolmark Prize retail partner network, is made up of wool. She said it is a versatile material.
“There are bomber jackets, sleeveless coats, box pleated dresses and easy overlap tie pants. All are made from different weights of wool in a colour palette inspired by mid-twentieth century artist Tyeb Mehta.
“The collection also incorporates Kantha, traditionally used by women in Bengal to stitch together old saris into quilts. Traditional beliefs hold that the quilts are auspicious and will help protect the newborns wrapped in them through imparting the bonds of love between mothers, grandmothers and aunts that are stitched into the fabric, quite literally,” she said.
Pieces of the capsule line will be available to buy online on Farfetch and Mytheresa as well as Boutique 1 (London and Dubai), Takashimaya (Tokyo), Tata CLiQ Luxury (India), Parlour X (Sydney) and David Jones (Sydney).
Indian textiles, she said, is something that needs constant attention and more visibility.
“Our brand’s vision is to incorporate traditional hand weaving and surface ornamentation techniques where these fit with our brand aesthetic, and so, showcase how the rich tradition of Indian textiles can find expression in cutting-edge fashion,” she said.
Sachdeva, after graduating from London College of Fashion, moved to India to set up her own label. During her time in London, she got the opportunity to work with prestigious designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Giles Deacon.
She said winning the IWP is a huge boost as it was then that her brand got the space to showcase the line in Paris, which further opened up doors for her.
“We intend to keep working incredibly hard and sustain the momentum winning the prize has given us. It’s an enormous privilege and incredible opportunity that we take very seriously,” she said.
Does she feel the Indian fashion industry is open to new talent and giving them ample opportunities?
“I think there has been a lot of really good work done for young design talent… What is really encouraging is the slow but sure growth of the consumer market in India. There is definitely more willingness to experiment and a growing appreciation for good design,” she said.
As someone who now has a global reach, what is the one thing that she wants the western market to notice and endorse about the Indian fashion industry?
“The huge pool of design talent and the artisanal skills. It’s a winning combination that embodies international ideas of luxury using fine materials and highly skilled artisanship. Indian design and craft, when applied in a considered way, is hugely competitive both in terms of price and quality,” she said.