The International Woolmark Prize winner Ruchika Sachdeva designer of Bodice is in town. Betta watch out, she is strong, determined and refreshingly honest. Her clothes are beautiful and well thought through, clever and imbued with the inspiration from her mother particularly and her Indian heritage. She is one cool woman to watch. On it.
We love your clever approach to the IWP and use of merino wool, what was the best discovery along the way?
“It was an exciting process of discovery to see what we could do with it. Wool is such a versatile textile to work with, it’s a very sculptural fabric, it drapes beautifully and takes on beautiful textures when combined with traditional Indian craft such as the Kantha stitch. As it’s also very sustainable, I wanted to build on that with processes of dyeing and making that have low ecological impacts. I travelled across India finding ways to incorporate traditional Indian crafts such a natural, chemical free dyeing and handloom weaving.”
Why did that discovery resonate with you? Did it push you?
“That process of discovery resonated with me because it inspired me to try new techniques and push the boundaries with my own design process.”
If you had to sum up the essence of your signature in 5 words what would they be?
“Tailored, Transitional, Geometric, Elegant, Artisanal”
Your designs are meticulous. What does “slow fashion” mean to you? Please share
“Slow Fashion is such an important concept for BODICE STUDIO. It’s really the core of who we are and our vision of how the brand can contribute to new ways of thinking about the relationship between production and consumption. We believe it’s important to implement principles of Slow Fashion in a holistic way. That begins with how we source our fabrics and the commitment we have to using sustainable fabrics like wool and where possible natural or waterless dye processes. In addition, we don’t do huge production runs, we don’t hurry or place demands on our tailors to speed up production at the expense of quality, we appreciate the time it takes to create well-tailored, immaculately-finished clothing.
“I always have longevity of use in mind for the consumer when designing. For this reason, BODICE STUDIO is not only about high-quality fabrics and classic pieces but also includes many design elements such as adjustable fastenings that allow pieces to go up or down a size.”
Tell us about India and how you manage to work with all the skilled craftsmen and women where you live? What do they add to your design?
“India is a treasure trove of craft techniques like hand weaving and embroidery. For AW/18 I worked with artisans on innovating with the Kantha stitch, which is traditionally used to stitch together and up-cycle worn-out saris into soft little quilts for new-borns. It is often logistically difficult to work with artisans who live hundreds of miles away in remote areas, but we allow plenty of time and do whatever we can to help them. That’s one of the key ways we put the principles of Slow Fashion into action. Artisans bring meaning and a dimension of unique detailing to clothes that can’t be found elsewhere.”
Your colours are so soft and subtle will this always be the way?
“I believe in never say never! However, I feel that loud or very bright colours don’t fit very well with the BODICE STUDIO signature. I believe in the power of colour, and I like to put that into play in very subtle ways that enable the wearer to express herself but with clothes that are still going to feel fresh and relevant in five or ten year’s time.”
India is undergoing such a massive transformation in so many ways, do you feel part of modern India?
“Yes I do feel that my generation has enormous opportunities that weren’t available to the previous generation. For example, I was the first woman from my family to travel abroad to study. With such enormous transformations happening in India society, especially in urban areas, a lot of people look towards the past for a sense of security. I believe traditions are important but you also have to make them relevant for modern life, which is why I’m so interested in reinterpreting traditional crafts. At BODICE STUDIO, we also connect craft to women’s livelihoods and empowerment, and we believe it’s a key way to become part of the solution for the many challenges that face modern India.”
India is such an incredible society, what do you love most about your fellow people?
“Their diversity and adaptability. Their “can do” attitude. Their warmth and the importance they place on family.”
Ten loves to travel, where would you recommend we visit right now in your country? And why
“Ahmedabad is very beautiful – it has incredible architecture – modernist buildings, as well as The Calico Museum of Textiles – India’s foremost textile museum. You can also visit the Sabarmati Ashram where Gandhi lived. Many restaurants serve the Thali platter, Gujarat’s iconic assortment of seasonal vegetarian dishes.”
You have been traveling a lot this year, what’s on your top ten playlist…
“I listen to a lot of different kind of music, depends on my mood and what I am doing. At the moment I have Badshah, who is like the punjabi Indian rapper and Drake when I am working out. I like to listen to Sigrid or Bonobo when I am working and Arijit Singh who is a hindi bollywood singer.”