March 22, 2021 Asmita Aggarwal

“Dressing” on the Side

Clean and lean is what the world needs, both for body and mind, and if it gets translated to our clothes too, it’s a winning recipe, Ruchika Sachdeva gives us just that

By Asmita Aggarwal

Live music, a set that resembled a game of scrabble, a stairway to almost heaven and in that mix you had the queen of minimalism Ruchika Sachdeva. The ideology was always sporty and functional, with pattern cutting techniques elevated to a status where they hold their own, minus the need for embellishment in a country that can’t get enough of it.

The London College of Fashion graduate, Ruchika, this year’s FDCI X LFW grand finale designer, who launched her label in 2011 has seen a meteoric rise winning the International Woolmark prize in 2017/2018. In ten years, she has built her own studio resembling a retreat, grows her own food and is looking at what the world needs most — R & R (reusing and recycling).

She knew she wanted to always keep it austere, maybe she predicted ten years ago, the end of ornamentation and “back to basics” route that fashion will be forced to take looking at growing consumption and wastefulness. She has been an advocate of not using chemical processes and upholding natural dyeing techniques and indigo; the polyester in her line is recycled too.

She was raised in the city where the sari is not just a fabric of the masses, but also an emblem of national identity, so it had to find a way to be represented in her modern outlook. She effectively incorporated the pleats in her dresses and this year you had the sari too, but striped versions with a play on geometry minus the compass; just effortless dressing which will take you from a business meeting to a drink with friends. You can replace sneakers with flats as heels are now obsolete.  But comfort has been of paramount importance for Sachdeva, as the double buttons she adds in her trousers help you adjust if you become a size bigger or smaller.

Ruchika’s mainstay has been pattern cutting, which is why fabric manipulations hold sway over her brand devotees. She may not have worked with embroidery but her earnest moves combining different hues on an ensemble showed her mastery over the colour wheel. Collared shirts became longer almost a dress or a kurta and the dress resembled a long jacket in burnt red. Denim came sans fuss just striking stitching details to match her horse shoe inspired hoops, it wasn’t luck she was serenading but the desire to make sure the magic doesn’t end.

The line appealed to our finer senses, forcing us to think out-of-the-proverbial-box, like scrabble you look for clues and alphabets and put them together to form a word. Similarly, Ruchika allowed herself to manipulate different fabrics to create one ensemble.  And the beautiful daughter of Bhawana and Chunky Pandey, Ananya became the muse for Ruchika, whose lithe moves were in sync with the clean and lean appeal of Bodice.

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