The call for audition had gone out for models who would break the stereotype of the ramp — those of size L with an X or two included. More than 300 aspirants turned up to strut before one of the biggest names in Indian fashion. This was the first time that Wendell Rodericks would be doing a show entirely made up of plus-sized figures. The collection, in collaboration with a LL, a plus-sized brand, will be showcased at the forthcoming Winter-Festive 2017 edition of Lakme Fashion Week. Seventeen women and four men were selected by a jury that comprised Rodericks and Liza Golden-Bhojwani, a plus-sized model, among others. Excerpts from an interview with Rodericks:
Did you have a particular criteria while selecting
a candidate? I did not want to pick somebody who fit the typical idea of plus size people — the “flaunt and love your curves” kinds. We wanted women of all shapes and sizes, from apple to pear and carrot to rectangular and different heights.
What fabrics and colours do you plan to work with?
Everyone wore black to the auditions. I am going to debunk the myth that only black can make you look slimmer. We have no black in the collection, instead, there is a lot of white. The show will break a lot of stereotypes regarding form, silhouettes and colour palletes. We are working a lot with jersey fabric. Plus-sized women need to have lighter clothes. The clothes need not weigh them down.
You feel very strongly about fashion for plus sized women. Your store in Goa, Design Space, has a unique sizing method.
I believe that fashion should be democratic. It cannot only be for the rich or the super slim. In my store, I have very deliberately kept this system — women there are not called large or extra-large — they are voluptuous and voluptuous goddesses. That’s how we have segregated and labelled the clothes in our store.
The battle of the sizes has always been skewed. A man’s medium is a women’s extra large.
This discrepancy between men’s and women’s sizes is blatant misogyny at play. Men can be any size and get away with it. Women are expected to look a certain way. A woman working in the corporate world is expected to be a certain way, of a certain size. A man could have a paunch and buttons popping from all sides and it wouldn’t matter.