21st Century
Features on the Future
World Travel
Destinations & Guides
Books and Film
Original Fiction
Opinion & Lifestyle
Politics and Living
Film Space
Movies in depth
Kid's Books
Reviews and stories

The International Writers Magazine
Fashion in Goa

Les Vamps - a celebration of the mysterious
  Marianne de Nazareth

Wendell Rodricks has put the tiny Indian state of Goa firmly on the fashion map. Residing in the pretty village of Colvale in Goa, designer Wendell Rodricks enjoys a huge following in the main stream of the fashion industry creating new looks each season which inspire and influence Indian fashion. Establishing 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 Monasteries, Tribal symbols of Shiva and Vishnu, the Harem at Istanbul, Tattoos of the Lambadi tribe among others.
Photo: Title : ‘Les Vamps’ based on occult tradition

Photocredit: (imp)

The Wendell Rodricks signature style blends 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. "My garments are worn by a growing clientele from all walks of life that share a similar minimal, spiritual aesthetic," says Wendell about his clothes.

His Spring Summer 2007 collection ‘Les Vamps’ is already unveiled and is a paean to his Goan heritage. Like the spirits and exorcists who are almost always beautiful women, the clothes in vapourous white, midnight black, dusk gray and blood red are a tribute to Goa’s other world. Emerging from dark Goan manors, swooping on bat wings, gliding over fields and floating on sea waves, ‘Les Vamps’ is about beauty, mystery, secrets and fear. And above all fashion for the woman of today who can take on many emotions : switching from coy innocence to fierce vamp with equal ease. Like the haunting beauty of Goa’s ghosts, spirits and ‘vampires’.

Wendell’s collection tells a story and he explains, "This is the invisible, dark Goa no one knows about. Unless you live in villages, which over time, bleed their stories. Whispers on the wind disclose dark family secrets of ghosts haunting the shimer (boundary lines between villages). Where devnsars or mischievous spirits steal your feni or cigarettes as they clear the way for the palkhi, chariot of the Gods. Behind the palkhi, arrive the terrible demons (shaitans). On lonely hillsides, one sees agtti (burning fires at night) that light the hills. The next morning, there are no traces of embers or burnt leaves. What are these fires and what was burning ?" asks Rodricks.

"The various crosses on hills are places where accidents or malevolent spirits reside. They are constantly appeased with offerings and promise. An angon, or pact is made between deity and the villagers. Some pacts are demanding and unreasonable. If St. Anthony does not fulfill a prayer request, his statue is ‘punished’ to face the wall or worse, lowered into a well……… until the prayer is granted. When this happens a large feast is celebrated. Hindus offer ‘sur vont’ (toddy offering) to Marus (evil spirit) residing in the forest. Fishermen regard drowning victims as offerings to the sea or river goddess for a bountiful catch, making no attempt to save the drowning person. Villagers constantly recount how a rakhondar or Gauv Purush (the good village spirit) will lead lost people to their homes or village boundaries at night. The Gaunv Purush then disappears in the mist. People possessed by spirits (bhar) are regularly taken to gaadis (among Hindus), pirs (for muslims) or dishtikars (for Catholics) who exorcise demons and recommend healings. Infants with ailments as simple as common cold are stripped, prayed over with dry red chillies and salt, which are thrown with a crackling sound into the home fire, to cure or remove evil eye," he explains.

"Goa’s supernatural world is deeply ingrained in the psyche of simple villagers, urban intellectuals and sometimes ‘encountered’ by tourists. A result of a pagan past over many thousands of years, blending myth, religion and races, Goans have learnt to live with the spirit world. They know it exists, never ridicule it’s presence and always strive to appease them. Over centuries, slaves from Africa, Arab merchants, Greek shipmen and Far Eastern shamans have added to Goa’s occult tradition," says Wendell explaining the muse behind his collection.

Rodricks is 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, member of the Industry Advisory Board of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad among others. He is presently writing a book based on his research, to document Goa’s clothing tradition. He retails at the country’s best stores including the celebrated Wendell Rodricks Design Space in Panjim.
© Marianne de Nazareth

Les Details:
Ramp photos from Wendell Rodricks Lakme Fashion Week Spring Summer 2007 collection
held on 1st November 2006 at NCPA, Mumbai.
Spring Summer 2007
Mysterious Beauty Vapourous White
Sheer Apparations Midnight Black
Vampire Time Dusk Grey
Haunting Memory Blood Red
Woven Cotton Silk Crepe/Charmeuse/Chiffon
Cool Linen Tulle
Wispy Chenille Pleated organza
Wool Crepe Metallic lycra
Crushed Silk Woven Damask
Vapourous and Voluminous
Fluid and Flowing
Structural Forms and Undulations
1980’s layering in 2007 looks
Floral tributes
Ripped Satin Inserts
Geometric Overshirts
Multiple Net Pleating
Angel wings and Bat wings
Circular drapes based on flight
Smoke shading
Draped pleat tunics
Looped Sari Paloo

Thanks to – Elite, Model Management, India for the beautiful vamps on ramp
Liberty shoes for footwear
DJ Troy, Goa for music recording.

 More Lifestyles


© Hackwriters 1999-2007 all rights reserved - all comments are the writers' own responsibiltiy - no liability accepted by or affiliates.