Power to women designer
Ruchika Sachdeva is the Creative Director and CEO of BODICE, based in New Delhi, India. She has created a new language of modernity that acts as an antidote to Indian maximalism without discounting the heritage of the craft. Ruchika enjoys a pared-back approach that is expressed as an impulse to refine and elevate while also allowing imperfections be
Ruchika's cerebral design philosophy and process is rooted and at the same time globally relevant. She practices her craft in a way that is unprecedented, by linking contemporary techniques with time-honored traditions and indigenous fabrics.
She shares that her journey has been exciting, frightening, and many more things that words fail to express.
She adds, "I'm still very much on that journey and figuring my way out as I go. But if I were to look back, I'd say I feel thankful for the immense support and love people have extended towards Bodice and for acknowledging and appreciating the language we speak through our clothes.
My journey started with a simple wish to reinvent our country's textiles and see it in a new light every time, and I wish to keep doing so."
Ruchika was the Lakmé Absolute Grand Finale designer at the FDCI X Lakmé . Ananya Panday was the Lakmé Absolute Grand Finale showstopper. It was the Phygital edition of the FDCI X Lakmé Fashion Week and the collection is inspired by Lakmé's beauty theme #MiniPlayMegaSlay.
She shares that the experience felt surreal to say the least. The road between GenNext and FDCI X Lakmé has been less of a linear path and more of a roller coaster.
"I'm so excited that Bodice is coming full circle with Lakme again and this time with the Lakmé Absolute Grand Finale. And I hope this journey we've charted becomes visible to people through our show," shares the designer.
The collection is called Ready. Set. Play. Which is inspired by games and the small things we find joy in. She shares that this collection is, in a way, about the delight of building Bodice from the ground up, piece by piece - adding two, three, five more blocks for every one block that fell out.
She says, "I also resonated with Lakme's theme of finding joy in small things. Making the collection itself was such an exciting and joyful experience for me, despite all the unforeseen challenges that Covid threw our way.
As the collection also coincides with Bodice completing 10 years, I wanted to experiment with colors, something we haven't explored a lot before. It came naturally to me amidst the somberness as I kept going back to colors for some cheer and joy.
The signature of linear designs and symmetry is very much there but this time, we've rethought it in a way where the lines in the garments intersect like in a domino effect which kind of breaks with the wearer's movement. The whole vibe of the collection is aimed to be playful and something that evokes joy."
The sensibility of the designs of Ruchika has always been minimal, functional, and focusing on the essential. She always questioned excess in anything and tried to simplify things, and that extends to my design sensibility as well. Linear patterns, architectural influencers, and geometry inspires her.
According to her, Bodice's creations are all about merging these elements with the great treasure trove of Indian textiles that they are blessed with. Comfort, utility, and practicality are always guiding their designs in their collections.
She shares, "Doing things sustainably was never a conscious decision for me.
I wouldn't have done it otherwise. I treat it as a responsibility and not something we do over and above everything else. Ethical decisions and accountability are good values to have. It isn't an added conversation; it is the foundation of every conversation at Bodice.
And I think it is the responsibility of every designer at this day and age; in fact, it should be a prerequisite to designing clothes."
Sharing about her lateral perception towards traditional Indian techniques, she shares, "From my household, from simply watching my mother and grandmother and what they wore and how they treated their clothes.
As I delved further into design, the absolute treasure chest, the Indian embroidery, weaving, dyeing skills opened up to me like a Pandora's box. It's available to every Indian designer to explore with respect and preserve and present to the world.
Bodice tries to bust the myth that Indian traditional techniques are only exclusive for traditional Indian clothes. Its wisdom can be applied to any design aesthetic."
The most difficult task for any designer in designing a collection during the pandemic has to be the lack of physical touch, the lack of a team presents in the studio.
"It's of primary importance to touch and feel the fabrics, to have trials and errors, brainstorm with your team, sit with your masterji and discuss things.
All of that was missing almost overnight. But having said that, I'd also say that despite these hurdles, the excitement of this challenge was also very high.
It gave me a certain sense of freedom to create without any stress or anxiety which I hope reflects in the collection," ends the designer.