'I want to be an inspiration'

 Wendell RodericksIn the City recently, he spoke about his works and inspirations. “I love Bangalore because firstly, I have a lot of friends here and secondly, my designs sell quite well here. Plus, at this time of the year, who wouldn’t like Bangalore. It’s December and the weather is fabulous!” Does he have many popular Bangaloreans as part of his clientele? “Yes, Prasad and Judi Bidapa wear my designs, so do Laila Baker and dancer Madhu Natraj,” he exclaims.

Speaking of the collection On A Wing that he showcased at the fashion show, he says, “I didn’t want to showcase ready-to-wear outfits. I have completely ignored the wearablity factor.” The collection, inspired by birds, involved a lot of wings and feathers. What’s his personal style statement? He answers, “It’s relaxed, resorted and completely Goan in nature.”

Wendell admits that he doesn’t believe in the concept of showstoppers. “Every dress of mine is a showstopper,” he smiles. “Yes, my friends Malaika Arora and Arbaaz Khan have walked the ramp for me earlier, as showstoppers, but that’s because they know my clothes well.”

Who are his favourite designers? “Some of the new designers are extremely good,” he answers. “For instance, Rahul Mishra and Kalol Dutta.” Amongst his contemporaries, he is fond of the designs of Sabyasachi and Abraham & Thakore. “My ex-assistant Savio John is extremely good as well.” But his favourite designer of all times is Coco Chanel. He says, “Chanel is the best designer ever.” But ask him who his inspirations are, and he says, “I don’t seek inspirations. I want to be an inspiration myself to people.”

Wendell is not very keen on styling for Bollywood films. “I can design for a film only if its in my style,” he admits. “But two films that I would have loved to style for are — Peter Brook’s ‘The Mahabharata’ and Shah Rukh Khan’s Asoka.” He adds, “Asoka had minimal or in fact, no styling.”

With the younger brigade of fashion storming the scene, does he have any advice for them? “Put your culture in your clothes,” he feels.  “The place that you come from, your cultural inhabitance, should be seen in your work.”

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