'I design for the average Indian woman. She is the inspiration, the final buyer, the one who makes me happy that I have achieved my job of making her look taller, slimmer more beautiful', says fashion designer Wendell Rodricks who pioneered the concept of minimalism in the Indian fashion circuit. He admits as much, saying that his clothes are, 'Minimal, eco-friendly, have a resort flavour and international wearability. I try to use new fabrics that are exciting. It isn’t just about how clothes look but about how they feel'.
Wendell Rodricks says “When I first designed the kurta shirt, I took a cue from Chanel, which was reduce, reduce until you get the essence. A normal Western shirt may have a cuff and a placket but I realised that I did not need all of that'.
Another thing he is passionate about is sizing, “I detest people telling their wives and mothers that they are fat. I hate that word and I refuse to have sizes like large, extra-large etc. Clothes can’t always be in a skinny size for skinny people. My sizes are called slim, medium, voluptuous and voluptuous goddess and the clothes in my shop are not hung by colour but by size. This way a woman doesn’t get frustrated—I’ve had women cry in my shop because they have found clothes that fit them.”
Talking about his latest collection for the Wills India Fashion Week he says, “It is called Source Of Youth where I have travelled to the source of humanity, which is Africa, as its central theme. When you say African everyone imagines loud, colourful, clothing. But there is a new Africa emerging that is elegant and youthful. I have played with very few colours and it is going to be a fun show and I am looking forward to it,” he says.
He admits however, that Indian fashion has a long way to go, “We have not yet arrived but we will get there eventually. Our fashion weeks are only 13-years-old. We used to have models wearing their own shoes and doing their own makeup and hair. That’s changed. Everything is more streamlined, more international. I am looking forward to that day when Indian designers begin to have shops all over the world — in London, Paris, Milan, Tokyo.”