Wendell Rodricks: The nomad from Goa

The person who made vogue, modern within the 90s and rightfully put India on the worldwide map left everybody shocked together with his premature dying.
We glance again at his effervescence and his admirable ardour by an previous article.

This text was first printed as a chapter within the espresso desk guide ‘Trend Truthful – The Journey of 13 modern designers’ by Vinita Dawra Nangia. The guide, revealed by Instances Group Books in 2012, carried work profiles and interviews of 13 main vogue designers.


Wendell Rodricks has swum in opposition to the tide extra typically than he has swum with it. And but settled in his quiet village Colvale in Goa, he’s one with Nature, permitting her sights and sounds to permeate his being, to circulate out within the form of beautiful easy-flowing clothes which can be one with the wonder that surrounds him.

Eschewing the razzmatazz and alternatives of life in Mumbai, in opposition to higher judgment, Wendell opted to settle with companion Jerome in his native village, in a ramshackle home that he restored to pristine magnificence. The strategy roads have been tough and fundamental facilities corresponding to electrical energy and water whimsical, however Wendell was decided to make this his base, fairly positive that the world would discover him. And it did.

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Proximity to Nature ensures that Wendell’s creations mirror the wonder and magical high quality of his environment. He makes use of pure materials and even makes his equipment out of pure supplies corresponding to feathers, coconut shells and sea shells. Having led a nomadic life until his native village referred to as out, Wendell’s garments mirror inspirations as assorted because the Tibetan monasteries, tribal symbols of Shiva and Vishnu, the tattoos of ladies of the Lambadi tribe, or the Harem at Istanbul. Says the designer, “I discover my inspiration all over the place — from Tibetan monasteries to the harem in Istanbul; from making garments for the visually challenged to the Goa Police uniforms. Put any design problem underneath my nostril and I’ll bounce at it. Design is a really attention-grabbing, stimulating world!”

After a six-year profession in resort administration, Wendell saved sufficient to coach himself in vogue, getting a level in Los Angeles and later doing a yr of vogue design in Paris. He returned to India in 1988 at a time when modern Indian vogue had began evolving itself into an trade. Two years designing for Backyard Vareli, Lakme and DeBeers, and Wendell launched his label in 1989. From right here on, the trail was clear. He shifted base to Goa in 1993. “I wished to reside in Colvale as a proud Gaoncar. This was my future.” From right here on life took on a gradual, settled word for Wendell and his oeuvre flowed.


Wendell has a really particular design philosophy. “Other than the minimal strategy, I hold Goa within the clothes and I reduce in a novel method primarily based on Indian geometry. I reduce my garments myself, use no embroidery and evolve every season conserving my parameters and philosophy on the core of every garment. Unconsciously the garments are additionally timeless. I see girls carrying a 20-year-old garment and it nonetheless seems modern. I gave India minimalism, resort put on and eco- pleasant clothes earlier than the phrases have been coined.”

The turning level for Wendell got here when he was the primary Indian to be invited to indicate at IGEDO! Dussledorf, the world’s largest garment truthful. “I knew then that my designing profession wouldn’t be the identical once more. That yr 1995 was the turning level in making me a model!”


Wendell realized he had a winner on his palms and caught to his weapons. He writes in his guide ‘The Inexperienced Room’, “Fame was at my threshold — and I used to be euphoric. In the future you might be nobody; the following day your title is splashed all over the place.”A recurrent theme in Wendell’s collections is fluidity. He has mastered the artwork of constructing a garment look like it’s floating in air. “The key,” reveals the designer, “is the fantastic seams and superfund hems that my studio has perfected! It’s my job to make ladies slimmer, taller and really feel lovely. To that finish, I take advantage of each couture method to realize the very best end result. I make use of sheer cloth, uneven traces, color play, vertical traces and layering. When used collectively, the result’s a garment that slims and elongates the determine. That’s what all ladies need…to be slimmer and taller!”

The designer is understood for his whites and is in his component when utilizing it in its pristine virginal kind. His minimal cuts and flowy silhouettes together with the fluid materials he makes use of look dreamy, whimsical and ethereal in whites. Nonetheless, as he proudly declares, “I can do color. I’m unafraid of vibrant colors and for Blenders Pleasure Trend Excursions particularly, the brighter the higher.”


The textiles the designer likes working with differ from present to indicate. Nonetheless he favours cotton, linen and silks, ideally dyed with pure dyes. Uneven hems, plenty of flowy air-weight cloth, and a sense of being afloat are what Wendell’s clothes are about. Says Wendell, “Since I reduce the garments myself, I do know precisely how a garment will fall when it’s being reduce. I Don’t have to drape a garment and barely accomplish that. The algebra and geometry is in my head and I conceive the patterns very clearly earlier than placing scissors to material. I take advantage of a method referred to as Chopping On Squares. My subsequent guide is on this methodology of reducing that’s utilized by mist Indian tailors. They use it by intuition and can’t clarify it. After years of observing them, I’ve cracked the code.”

The one factor Wendell steers away from is bling. Clear, neat traces, no gildings nor texturing is his clear mantra. “I don’t want to be recognized for garments that make a grand entry. I favor if folks see Sonam’s character relatively than the garments. A garment shouldn’t enter a room. The character ought to. The garments are simply an extension of her thoughts. And sure, a girl ought to be capable of sit within the garment as comfortably as a person will slip it off. It’s a distinctive sensuousness when an individual views a garment and thinks in his thoughts that only a slip off the shoulder and the costume will fall to the ground!”


Wendell as soon as revealed what he had learnt in Paris concerning the strategy of “creating freshness for collections!” “You must get into the emotion of your theme and every little thing follows from there. I spend a month considering of the items, then draw them out. After this I lock myself up, not exit wherever for about three weeks as I develop my assortment.” Residing in a small village retains Wendell remoted and away from visible bombardments that create chaos. This helps him give you collections which can be “Indian and Goan in spirit, however worldwide in wearability.”

Ask him what vogue means to him and the designer retorts, “Trend means nothing to me. I detest the phrase ‘vogue’ as a result of it has the sense of ‘what’s in vogue now?’ I’m a timeless, trendless designer. However I focus on type; for me, vogue is type. It’s all about growing your individual type and taking it ahead!”

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Wendell declares he has no real interest in the worldwide market. India offers him enough enterprise; in reality they will barely meet the demand right here! He participates within the Wills India Trend Week and Lakme Trend Week and calls the remaining impostors. Wendell’s flagship shops are ‘Wendell Rodricks Design House in Campal, Panjim Goa’ and ‘Wendell Rodricks Made in Goa at Goa Marriott’, whereas he additionally retails from numerous different shops throughout the nation.

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