It was many years ago that Wendell Rodricks interned at The Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York. The acclaimed Indian designer has now been invited for a revisit but in an all new way. One of his garments, a gown constructed on a swimsuit, has caught the eye of a team of curators at FIT led by Valerie Steele, director and author at the Museum for their forthcoming exhibition, Global Fashion Capitals (June 2 –November 14). The chosen outfit was showcased at the grand finale of the Amazon India Fashion Week (AIFW) Autumn-Winter 2015 last month.
“I am indeed honoured and happy that Indian fashion has advanced on a global platform. It came as quite a surprise since I normally don’t show for autumn-winter but I did this time as it was the 25th anniversary grand finale show at AIFW,” said Rodricks, who is being joined by another celebrated Indian designer Manish Arora at the exhibition.
For the uninitiated, The Museum at FIT is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is the only museum in New York City dedicated solely to the art of fashion. The exhibition, according to the institute’s website, “examines the rise of fashion cities around the world, including London, Milan, New York, and Paris. The exhibition also explores the factors that enable emerging cities, such as Seoul, Shanghai, Berlin, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Sao Paulo, Mumbai, and Stockholm, to rise to global prominence.”
More than 70 garments and accessories by designers from different cities would be on display in the exhibition including those from the museum’s permanent collection. A breakaway from his usual whites, the fuchsia and the orange gowns feature floating orbs and circles in satin suspended from nylon wires. The dresses also boast of plunging necklines and revealing cuts and are a good representation of the designer’s signature style. “It was made using nearly 30 metres of net on a lycra swimsuit. It is visually quite arresting,” says the designer who “had some fun” with colours for a pop-art inspired collection showcased at Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 15.
For someone who has played around with silhouettes, Rodricks feels it’s time to standardize sizes in Indian clothing. “Indian body types differ a lot and today designers are mostly following international size charts. I have always kept a voluptuous woman in mind when putting together a garment,” said the designer, who is also looking forward to the release of his untitled book in the coming months. “Since it is still with my editor I can’t reveal much. It’s not about fashion and will include recipes,” he said. Now, that should be worth the wait.