Friend of Svenklas : Ruchika Sachdeva
Bodice Studio Cruise 19' campaign, shot in the beautiful dunes of Marrakech
Winner of 2018 International Woolmark prize, Ruchika Sachdeva has earned quite the name for herself in the fashion world, following the footsteps of previous winners of Woolmark prize which includes the likes of Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent.
Ruchika Sachdeva’s label BODICE STUDIO combines elements of minimalist designs with India’s indigenous textiles woven by local artisans in the Himalayas. Fine gauge merino wool is used to create label’s pieces using an innovative binding technique which results in color-contrast pleats.
BODICE STUDIO has been featured in a range of international publications like BOF, Elle, Forbes, New York Times, GQ, Harper’s BAZAAR, Vogue, i-D and Grazia. We had a chat with the creative mind, about how her love for fashion came to be and what we can expect from her in the future.
You’ve made quite the name for yourself as a creator and fashion designer. Can you tell us how did you first get into design?
I was always interested in the essence of things, architecture especially. The forms, the way things are made and how design reflects the world around us. When I came to apply for university, fashion caught my attention because it seemed like a way to bring my interest in design and self-expression together.
I applied for the BA in Womenswear at The London College of Fashion (LCF) and found myself at the age of nineteen outside of India for the first time in my life. Yet I loved London and thrived in the atmosphere where museums and so much art is accessible to see and learn from. The tutors at LCF really pushed me to think about what I accepted as beautiful or what I thought of as good design. It was a very formative experience in defining what I wanted to do and how I saw the role of design and fashion in saying something powerful and relevant.
What inspires you?
A lot of different things. I’m passionate about the modernist architecture that formed such a key part of the post independence vision of India. People inspire me, especially strong women like my Mother.
I love art, especially Indian abstract expressionist of the mid-twentieth century. They were trying to create a new visual language of modernity, and in a way I feel fashion design has enormous continuity with that goal at this particular moment in India’s history.
“I was always interested in the essence of things, architecture especially. The forms, the way things are made and how design reflects the world around us.”
What in Bodice’s sustainability work are you most proud of and what is your vision for Bodice?
I’m proud of the work we’ve done with artisans. I have travelled all across India meeting rural communities and learning about their lives and the role of craft in their aspirations and livelihoods. I’ve spend time in the rural Himalayas with a third generation weaving facility and we were able to work with them to produce pieces that were part of the collection with which BODICE STUDIO won the Woolmark prize.
What’s the most fun and difficult part of being a fashion designer?
Ah! The most fun is the creative process, working with my amazing team, collaborating with creatives like photographers and graphic designers, bringing the idea of a collection all the way through stages of design, fabrication, sampling, and final adjustments to then translating that vision into image-making for the lookbook.
It’s the most fun part but that whole process is also the hardest part, it’s a lot of co-ordination and collaboration, a lot of moving pieces!
“I have travelled all across India meeting rural communities and learning about their lives and the role of craft in their aspirations and livelihoods.”
How has the fashion culture evolved in our country over the past few years?
Well obviously there is, as you know, a massive ongoing transformation of the economy and that causes a lot of broader social and cultural changes. These in themselves alter the way people consume fashion and the way they see fashion as part of their identity and daily lives. I would say that fashion is taken more seriously as a business and our base of clients who are happy to invest in more directional pieces, as well as our staple classics is growing.
How do you see the future for women in fashion industry in India?
A very good future! There have always been amazing female designers with a point of view, right from the very early days of Indian fashion. When it comes to all the other vital roles in a fashion business such as operations, merchandising or marketing, at BODICE we have an almost all-female team who are incredibly hard-working and good at what they do. I do feel that along the supply chain there is the potential to create more opportunities for women’s artisanal collectives to form and become thriving businesses. That’s something we would like to work on in the near future.
Where can we find about what BODICE STUDIO is upto?
We are on instagram @bodicebodice.