As we speak to designer Ruchika Sachdeva, it's evident that she has a LOT going on. Her label Bodice is gearing up to close the 2021 'phygital' FDCI X Lakmé Fashion Week, as the Lakmé Absolute Grand Finale Designer. Actor and Lakmé brand ambassador, the fresh and vibrant Ananya Pandey, is set to be her showstopper. As Ruchika tends to a thousand last-minute urgencies, we catch up with her for a quick chat to preview her exciting new collection. "We complete ten years as a fashion house this year," she shares." We have come a long way, and it's really great to be doing the finale in our tenth year." Read on as Ruchika takes us through her collection, discusses the future of fashion, the experience of taking part in a 'phygital' fashion week and more.
Designer Ruchika Sachdeva
Cosmo India: What is the design philosophy behind Bodice?
Ruchika Sachdeva: "It's a philosophy of wanting to elevate every day instead of waiting for a special moment, to enjoy the small things in life and pay attention to the journey, not the destination. Our clothes are not created for just crazy, momentous occasions. You can wear them through the day, from work to evening, depending on your personal aesthetic. I like to question the impact our entire operation has on the people who wear our clothes, but also on the people who make them. We try to be timeless, and that means you will be able to wear our clothes for longer and love them for longer. In a nutshell, I look at my brand as elevated, everyday clothing, rather than onetime wear."
Cosmo India: What inspired this current collection?
Ruchika: "This collection is inspired by Lakme's beauty theme #MiniPlayMegaSlay, and I interpret it as playing the game. During the pandemic, we all went through a million thoughts, and I found it easier to approach life as a game. It's a lot more thrilling, it brings out a different side in us as we compete, and if you do lose, you can always try again tomorrow! We have drawn inspiration from the entire experience of playing a game. You see a lot of elements inspired by games translating from the set to the clothes, and then there is also my take on the domino effect. I look at the repetitive nature of the pleats I use in my clothes like the cascading and opening up of a game of dominoes, and I love manipulating the volume they create."
Cosmo India: What are the key fabrics, colours and silhouettes used?
Ruchika: "We have been using these fabrics forever, cotton, silk and a combination of natural fabrics. India is a hot country and you need to be able to breathe in what you wear. We have truly questioned the number of elements going into each garment—how much is enough in terms of design and prints. It's come together as a collection of beautiful summer colours and summery silhouettes with flowy, breezy lines."
Cosmo India: Who is the Bodice customer?
Ruchika: "She definitely puts a lot of thought into what she's wearing, where she is buying from and who is making her clothes. She's not somebody who just wants to look pretty at any cost, she questions the value system of a brand and sees if it aligns with her. She is well-travelled, aware, intelligent and exposed. While at work or at home, she juggles a lot of things at the same time, and she wants to be comfortable. She is empowered, she's taking up newer roles, and she's breaking barriers. This is something a lot of modern women can connect with."
Cosmo India: How was the experience of taking part in the 'phyigital' fashion week?
Ruchika: "it's been great! We are doing a physical show, we are just going to be shooting it, and people are going to be coming in their cars instead of sitting on chairs. Bodice just completed 10 years, so it's been really wonderful to do the finale in our 10th year. We are excited to actually be able to put up a physical show in a public space next to the sea (in Bombay) given the times, where a bunch of people can come together and there's a collective energy. This combines it all, people on their phones, people on Zoom and people who are physically there, so it's very exciting for me."
Cosmo India: What is the future of fashion post the pandemic?
Ruchika: "I am too small a person to answer that (laughs), but I'm hoping we have learnt a lot of lessons and that we are grateful for all the things we took for granted. I have so much gratitude for being able to do the work I do. I realised that I supported 50 families and in my own humble way, that makes them independent financially and enables them to live their life. It's a beautiful realisation, it encourages you and inspires you to keep going, even if the going gets tough. I'm sure there will be some big changes in fashion. People have started to value clothes that last, that are more timeless, and that's what we endeavour to create."
Here's a sneak-peak at the designs from Bodice's upcoming collection, to be showcased at the FDCI X Lakmé Fashion Week Grand Finale on Sunday.