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Indo-western clothing originated in Goa: Wendell Rodricks

The land of sun, sand and sea is the inspiration behind fashion designer Wendell Rodricks' new tome, Moda Goa: History and Style. Written over a period of eleven years, the book weaves a visually enriching yarn of Goan clothing. Sonakshi Babbar reports.

books Updated: Jan 23, 2012 17:11 IST
Sonakshi Babbar, Hindustan Times

The land of sun, sand sea is the inspiration behind fashion designer Wendell Rodricks' new tome, Moda Goa: History and Style.

"Clothes are not just about draping yourself with something. Every piece of garment has a history behind it. In the western world, we wear clothes for function, decoration and status. But Indians wear clothing in a spiritual way; we've a very strong notion of shringar", says the designer.

Launched at the Jaipur Literature Festival, the coffee-table book is illustrated with spectacular pictures by Mark Sequeira and Bharat Ramamurtham. The photos range from the common people to famous Bollywood faces dressed in Rodricks' creations.

While Goans had their own colourful traditional wear, the inquisition by Portuguese was a major influence on the history of Goa's fashion sensibilities. Wendell was sure that Goa's love affair with clothes is a 'story worth telling'.

Rodricks, who took eleven years to write the book revealed, "When the Portuguese invaded Goa, they banned all forms of Indian clothing. Women were barred from wearing saris to church as they revealed too much. It was shocking to see that after suffering such a brutal inquisition, the Goan people developed a Stockholm syndrome - affection for their captors. This reflected in the way they adopted the waistcoat, and boots style. In fact, the first Indo-western style of clothing first appeared in Goa."

Rodrick has woven a visually enriching yarn of Goan clothing right from the days of Kunbi sari to the modern sartorial style.

For the designer, fashion is not banal piece of cloth. "Clothing is an art and we should respect it. India is the only country in the world where traditional wear is a living legacy."

Known for his beautiful fashion creations, he has only one shlok to answer the detractors of fashion.

"The body is the suit of clothes that your soul wears, and what you're putting on the body is also important. So, why shouldn't it be beautiful?" he questions.

First Published: Jan 23, 2012 17:11 IST

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