They always say the first impression makes the last impression! With Wendell Rodrick collection Indica Emporia at the St. Regis Hotel in Mumbai- guests were stunned at the sight that greeted them.
The ramp was totally swept away along with the seating. The air was fragrant with roses, jasmines, and marigolds which lined the ramp. The public watched in silence, referring to the collection notes handed out pre-show at the visual beauty before them.
Twenty models were draped in hand woven bright silks that celebrated twenty-iconic Indian garment adaptations. No one has ever taken this concept before in Indian Fashion Weeks history, this was the first anyone laid their eyes on such a concept and collection. The vast space was transformed into a museum setting. White drapes trailed overhead from ceiling to floor while the soaring voices of the Shillong Chamber Choir fashionistas with their fusion musical repertoire of Hindustani and Western classic hits.
Standing on white platforms and against an LED panel of antique pattern pieces in sepia tones, twenty models preened before the lines thronging the MSA at Lakme Fashion Week. Among the celebrities attending were actresses Tisca Chopra, Sonali Kulkarni, Arshad Warsi with wife Maria Goretti, Dolly Thakore, supermodel Elena Fernandes among many others. The fashion Press were present in full force!
Coming back to the collection itself…
Indica Emporia references antique clothing icons, the designer spun every design rule on it’s creative head. Ghagras became capes, pajamas into off shoulder blouses, dhotis morphed into saris, cholis hitting the floor, capes skimmed over kurtas, saris hand woven into bright colors such as fuchsia, ivory, pomegranate, indigo, peacock blues, haldi yellow, and saffron gold. Materials used in this collection consist of khadi cotton, silk tussar, mugha, noile, dupione, and organza. The effect was Indian yet International. Minimal, yet extravagant-resort, yet urban.
The Goan designer mentions,
I re-invented what was expected of me with this collection. Whites gave way to colour, cotton and linen to silk and Khadi. I stayed far away from Benares silks and gold thread weaves to stay from an opulent look. What has been most satisfying is to use hand woven silks to optimum effect. My name may be on the collection and label but truly it is to the art of the cotton growers and silk cultivators, the dyers who use inventive alchemy and weavers who carry forward a grand legacy that are the real stars of Indica Emporia. This collection will always be special in my career. I owe thanks to Lakme and IMG Reliance for encouraging and collaborating with me for this memorable collection. Also to Ekta Rajani for the styling and Schulen Fernanades who designed many garments and will one day soon take over my mantle and studio as Design Head .
The vast emporium of India, the country’s legacy since ancient times, came center stage to the contemporary India of 2016 with this riveting collection by Wendell Rodricks.
Undoubtedly the Wendell Rodricks Indica Emporia collection was a fitting finale to India Textile Day 2016, and a tribute to India from a Padma Shree awardee designer who pioneered minimalism, resort and eco friendly garments. With this collection at Lakmé Fashion Week, Wendell Rodricks seals his reputation for creating an intellectual narrative to take Indian textiles forward to worldwide celebration.