Rimzim Dadu has raised the bar in Indian fashion a number of times. A designer who’s work has been showed at The Fabric of India Exhibit at The Victoria and Albert Museum, conceptualizes the meaning of fashion in unconventional ways, knows the rules and breaks them, beautifully demonstrating the importance of thinking out of the box whether it’s the surface texture or a reinventing a new silhouette.
Her recent collection at the Amazon India Fashion Week showed her incredible eye for detail and rethinking Indian fashion and it’s interpretations. Glorifying her strength, Rimzim experimented with surface texture – fabric-on-fabric 3D appliqué work, faux-leather tie and dye and the metal wire technique.
Rimzim talks about her fashion challenges, while I am besotted with Rimzim’s take on the the Sari – a crop top coupled with a pleated skirt, finished with an iridescent, midnight blue metallic pallu.
Your fashion background…
Most of my training happened at home. My family has been in the garment export business, so I grew up playing with fabrics and it was only natural for me to take up fashion professionally. I studied at The Fashion Design at Pearl Academy in New Delhi.
Inspiration behind your your label…
When I first started my label in 2007, my label was called ‘my village’ and the idea behind it was to create a space that reflects my ideas, not necessarily limited to clothes or fashion.
The evolution of your label Rimzim Dadu…
I think my label has evolved into being recognized for its creative and progressive textiles.
Your design process…
I am not a cut and sew designer. My design process usually begins with material exploration. I love looking up new and interesting materials and experimenting with them to come up with new surfaces. I love to break down existing materials and re-engineer them back together to create an altogether new textile. Once I have created my own surfaces/textiles I work on understanding their nature and how I could sculpt them around the body to form clothes. Considering the nature of the material I sometimes works with – this is not always an easy process.
Your aspirations as a designer…
My aspiration as a designer is to dress everyday people.
The woman you design for…
I design for anyone who appreciates and understands the art and craft that goes behind each garment and is accepting of an alternative aesthetic.
What makes your design distinctive from other designers?
I cannot comment on other designers, I can only speak for myself. I work a lot towards creating my own surfaces and experimenting with materials, which in some cases make our products look distinctive.
Your work was selected for the Fabric of India exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum. What was the journey like? How did it feel?
Victoria & Albert Museum is so iconic. I had never imagined that I could be a part of their exhibitions and that too so early on in life! I was the youngest designer chosen to exhibit – definitely one of my career highlights.
The inspiration behind your recent collection…
The idea behind my latest collection was to explore my signature surface techniques further and make them more approachable and retail friendly. Our techniques like 3D applique, metallic wire, faux leather tie-dye techniques were explored further.
Very few designers break out of conventional design moulds and comfort zones to experiment and try something different. Your work reflects that. What drives you and how did you establish that unique sensibility when it comes to fabrics/textiles?
For me experimenting comes naturally. I just can’t pick a fabric off the shelves and cut and sew. So it’s not a conscious decision to break out of any “conventional mould”, I just do things that excite me – because that only feels natural!
Loved your fabric play in the collection showcased at The Amazon India Fashion week 2016. How did you conceptualize it?
The idea was to explore my signature surface techniques further. We have been experimenting a lot with 3D applique, or tie-dye on faux leather, I wanted to build on that further and make these fabrics more user friendly and approachable.
How challenging was it?
Of course it was very challenging to take unconventional techniques and materials to make them more approachable. One has to work with restraint, knowing exactly when to stop adding more. It’s easier for me to make more elaborate garments but to pull the breaks on your self to create something more retail-friendly was definitely challenging.
Your design aesthetic…
I would say my design aesthetic is something that comes across as very understated, simple and non-chalant at first glance but only reveals the craftsmanship and the laborious work on a closer inspection. For me it’s exciting when the wearer gradually discovers the intricacies in a garment.
If you had to design one thing you have not what would it be?
I want to design shoes and bags!
What’s next for Rimzim Dadu?