Delhi-based designer Ruchika Sachdeva became first Indian woman to win prestigious International Woolmark Prize last year. But she’s not one to rest on her laurels. She’s been chipping away at a new line, called BODICE STUDIO, which in many ways is a more refined take on her homegrown label. We caught up with the designer to know more:
What’s the idea behind BODICE STUDIO?
“The idea behind BODICE STUDIO was to create a premier, luxury line that enables one to expand creative boundaries whilst using exquisite luxury textiles and time consuming artisanal methods.”
In what ways is it an extension of Bodice, and how is it different?
“It is an extension of Bodice as it imbibes the same principles of impeccable construction techniques aligned with functionality.”
What artworks or artists inspired the Resort 2019 collection?
“The 2019 collection is inspired from the colours of expressionist artist Tyeb Mehta his way of using blocks of pure colours to represent the human condition was fascinating.”
What materials and techniques did you find yourself experimenting with?
“We’re experimenting with the way the handloom fabrics are developed, by using the extra weft technique to create self-patterned fabrics.
We’re blending naturally-dyed cotton and silk yarns to create fabrics on the traditional handloom. This was an unexplored territory for us so I got really engrossed in every step of the process.
The plissé technique is traditionally a heat set, permanent pleating technique done with the use of polyester. We’ve incorporated the same technique, but without employing polyester; the process we follow is very similar to what you may call binding. We use a contrasting strip of fabric to stitch two fabrics together. We try our best to refrain from anything that might have a negative impact on the environment.”
What challenges did you face as your workshop adapted to the new direction?
“Building a strong backend team and putting systems in place was the biggest challenge that I faced in the studio, initially. Making my production team stronger and setting the quality standard extremely high is something that I have been working on rigorously.”
What has the response to BODICE STUDIO been like so far?
“The response to BODICE STUDIO has been incredible and heartwarming. The pieces with multi-colour pleating have done really well for us and have been favoured by both the international and Indian market.”
Tell us about one piece that’s a personal favourite, and why.
“The pink silk satin dress with hand bound pleating is the piece that I love the most. I have worn it to different occasions and it always just works!”