Minimal, polished, unexpected. These are the words we'd use to describe the aesthetic of Bodice Studio, an Indian label that has just launched in Australia. Designed by New Delhi-based Ruchika Sachdeva, each piece is an investment that would set your wardrobe apart for years to come. But it's not only the chic colours, cuts and shapes of Bodice Studio's pieces that has drawn us to the brand: It's the story of craftmanship and sustainability behind each one.
Bodice Studio first came to our attention earlier this year when it won the 2018 International Woolmark Prize for innovation in the use of Merino wool. The brand has a distinct emphasis on craftmanship, as each piece is created by local artisans, hand loomers and hand weavers in the Himalayas and villages in India. It also looks to up-cycle existing fabrics, and develop new materials to keep their manufacturing process as sustainable as possible.
Sachdeva's designs debuted in Australia at the David Jones spring summer 2018 showcase last week, and were introduced to the local fashion industry at an event at Parlour X yesterday. The collection is now stocked at the aforementioned two retailers, and Sachdeva says she is "thrilled and indeed very honoured" to be accepted into the Australian market.
Below, we spoke to Sachdeva to find out the inspiration behind Bodice Studio pieces, and which designs we should start shopping this spring.
Ruchika Sachdeva, Bodice Studio founder and designer
Welcome to Australia! What do you think of the style here?
It’s amazing. There are so many Australian women who seem to get the balance between being quite pared-back and classic, but adding a twist that pushes the envelope just right. That’s very in tune with the Bodice Studio approach to immaculately tailored classics that have unexpected details. I love the style of women like Amanda Shadforth, Eva Galambos and Pip Edwards.
Which Bodice pieces do you think will be key looks for spring?
The Bodice Studio Overlap Tie Pleat Dress ($1165) is both functional and versatile for spring, with front coconut shell button fastenings and a wrap skirt with contrasting pleats which have been bonded by hand at the sides. Style with an ankle boot or sandal for transitional seasons.
Where do you source inspiration for your designs?
Modernist Indian architecture, the geometry of Nasreen Mohamedi’s line drawings, and the colours of India. I love to travel and find many inspirations whilst encountering new people and places.
As an India-based brand, how does Indian culture affect your design aesthetic?
As a designer in India, one is incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such an incredible heritage of artisanal craft skills and textiles. There is so much, often too much, and it takes great rigor and focus to create something more refined that speaks the essence of Indian heritage but which is also relevant to contemporary global fashion markets.
Why is sustainability so important to you?
Because it’s so important to recognise the tipping point we are at right now with global warming. As designers, we have so much potential to effect positive solutions to how clothes impact our environment in negative or positive ways. Why not be part of the solution rather than adding to the problem?
In what ways do you ensure your brand is sustainable and/or ethical?
Firstly, we find ways to support traditional artisans in sustainable, meaningful ways. Secondly, we train our tailors and really invest time, money and effort in enhancing their skills so they have better earning opportunities which impacts positively in their families and communities. Thirdly, we are committed to sourcing from sustainable, renewable sources such as wool, and using new technologies for dyeing and recycling to minimise or eliminate negative impacts on the ecology.