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Indian fashion industry mourns the passing of stalwart Wendell Rodricks

The industry pays its respects to the designer who put Indian resortwear on the global map, planned the first ever Lakme Fashion Week, and was all set to open India’s first costume museum in Goa in 2020

File Photo: Internationally-famed fashion designer Wendell Rodricks.
File Photo: Internationally-famed fashion designer Wendell Rodricks. (PTI)

For Wendell Rodricks, the idea of “less is more" in fashion always stood steady. Apart from incepting the concept of resortwear in India, he also worked with natural fibres and sustainable techniques, having the best in mind for the environment. He was an LGBTQ+ activist, and always spoke up for equality. The fashion industry mourns his passing:

“He had a purist view"

“I will always associate him with white, all the wonderful draping and his contribution to bringing the Konkan style out. (He had) a very purist view of anti-embellished linen summer clothes that always reminded me of the seafoam. May he rest in peace and may someone take his work forward in the museum, which was his current dream." —Tarun Tahiliani, fashion designer.

“His spirit of generosity"

“Having Wendell as a friend, supporter and mentor since I was a teenager has shaped not merely my aesthetic sense but the ability to model his spirit of generosity, of bonhomie and unconditional love. He will live on through his work, his vision, his passionate mentorship. He must be celebrated as a trail blazer by India…" —Lisa Ray, model and writer.

“The designer who ushered less is more"

“If Indian fashion had different schools of thought and design, there was clearly a Wendell Rodricks school of thought. For me he will always be the designer who ushered in less is more, the deconstructed silhouettes, the natural fabrics, him telling me once that he made a garment out of pineapple fibre and coconut fibre. He was always thirsty to know more, do more." –Priya Tanna, editor-in-chief, Vogue India.

“Selfless enough to put himself back"

“He was huge source of affection and mentorship and was selfless enough to put himself back to see younger designers come through." –Anupama Dayal, fashion designer

“He stood for gay rights"

“Wendell Rodricks imagined design as well as he could create it. He could feel textures and textiles as intimately as he could style and stitch them. He was an author and writer of insight, a documenter of art, textiles and aesthetic. His promptness in creating content was enviable. He stood for gay rights long before we struggled for the right vocabulary. What I valued most was his outspokenness. Indian fashion will miss Wendell’s stark spark." –Shefalee Vasudev, editor, Voice of Fashion.

“A great designer"

“A great designer, warm, wonderful, caring human being and a good friend for over 35 years. He will be missed dearly." –Anita Dongre, fashion designer.

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