Residing in the remote village of Colvale in Goa, designer Wendell Rodricks has successfully managed to remain in the main stream of the fashion industry creating new looks each season which inspire and influence Indian fashion. The first Indian designer invited to display his garments at the world’s largest garment fair in the world at IGEDO, Dusseldorf, the designer has been actively involved in all areas of fashion : lecturing on World Costume History at SNDT University in Mumbai, writing for the country’s leading womens magazine FEMINA, Chairman of the courses committee at the Board of Technical Education appointed by the Government of Goa and member of the Industry Advisory Board of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, patron of the Kasturba Gandhi Memorial Trust, Goa and retailing at the country’s best stores including the celebrated Wendell Rodricks Design Space in Panjim.
Wendell Rodricks began his career in fashion after a successful tenure in hotel management. Trained in Los Angeles and Paris, he returned to India in 1988. After a brief span of two years, designing and styling for reputed companies such as Garden Vareli, cosmetic giant Lakme and diamond corporate De Beers, Wendell Rodricks established his own label in 1990. He moved to his ancestral village in Goa in 1993, creating memorable collections each season inspired by many emotions : Tibetan Monastries, Tribal symbols of Shiva and Vishnu, the Harem at Istanbul, Tattoos of the Lambadi tribe, “Clothing the Soul” and White Light. He has worked with renowned Kathak dancer Daksha Sheth, has been commissioned by Elite supermodels, collaborated with Indian cosmetic leader Lakme to create a collection inspired by lip and nail colours, is the first Indian designer to design the interiors of a bar at the Marriott.
Resort, Goa and created the internationally unique VISIONNAIRE collection transferring Braille onto fabric for the visually challenged.
A keen art patron and promoter of Goan talent, Wendell Rodricks has lent his support to local education, cultural associations, the Red Cross, the Alliance Francaise in Goa and the fashion industry. He has designed uniforms for the Goa State Traffic Police, the Four Seasons, the Goa Marriott Resort, the Vasco Sports Club football team and the staff of the Goa Tourism Development Corporation.
The Wendell Rodricks signature style is unique in India, blending ancient Indian geometry with a relaxed Goan attitude. Using natural Indian fabrics, cut in a linear line, the silhouette is sheer, layered, draped and fluid. Emphasis is on concrete themes, experimental colour combinations, exotic fibre weaves, structural simplicity based on geometric Indian shapes and hand-painted details. The garments are worn by a growing clientele from all walks of life that share a similar minimal spiritual aesthetic.
Wendell Rodricks has put the tiny Indian state of Goa firmly on the fashion map. He is presently researching the history of Goan costume as part of a programme that has involved interning at the National Costume Museum in Lisbon and the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. The designer aspires to open a museum in Goa based on this research, to document and exhibit this undocumented facet of Goan culture.
It is the sheer hard work and successive creative fashion expressions of the designer that has created a pioneering resort style statement in India and has made Wendell Rodricks Goa’s cultural impresario and one of the most respected names among the country’s leading fashion designers.