An Interview with Ruchika Sachdeva of Bodice Studio

An Interview with Ruchika Sachdeva

I’m always interested in how the essence of something can be translated into something new.

Masterfully designed and tailored, each piece of the Bodice Studio AW/18 collection is a work of art in and of itself. Each piece is wearable, yet beautiful and proportionately pleasing to behold – calming to look at, yet unexpected. 

Emerging Indian designer and creator of the brand, Ruchika Sachdeva, is synonymous with a new wave of Indian innovation. She draws inspiration from the feminine flowing lines of traditional garments such as the sari, combined with her own minimalist structural aesthetic. Unsurprisingly, much of her inspiration comes from art. 

“I constantly return to the work of twentieth century artist Nasreen Mohammedi. Her use of line and geometry to express universal emotions is very beautiful. At first glance her line drawings seem very simple, austere even. But the more you study them, the more they seem to dance with energy and meaning.”

Sachdeva’s work has received international praise, most recently being awarded the prestigious International Woolmark prize which she accepted in Florence earlier this year.

The judging panel of fashion designers, commentators and journalists praised Bodice Studio for it’s bringing together of rare Indian artisanal techniques with merino wool. They also admired the collection’s silhouette and lauded it’s sophisticated colour-blocking, strong proportions and architectural lines.

Obviously as I’m from India it’s a big part of what informs my design process. I want to introduce people to a much richer seam of Indian design inspiration, one rooted in craft, architecture and spiritual traditions.

When preparing for the Woolmark prize, Sachdeva drew inspiration from her roots and travelled extensively to find ways to create sustainable fabrics using renewable resources. 

“I travelled to remote rural areas across India in order to find traditional artisans with skills and knowledge that depend upon using local plants and centuries old weaving skills. On one occasion I travelled to a village area in the South West of India, about one hundred miles North of Goa. Here they use techniques that go back as far as the third century B.C. to extract colour from plants, roots and bark. What I loved about this place is how they combine ancient techniques with contemporary thinking on ecological conservation.”

Locally rooted yet globally sourced, Sachdeva also travelled to Merino wool farms in Australia, the source of the wool that features in her collection.

“It was an amazing feeling for me as a designer having worked so closely with Merino wool over the last year and half to have that sense of connectivity, that it’s here where everything starts with the sheep, their soft fleece and Australian sunshine!”

Sachdeva’s career has taken her around the world, initially to the London College of Fashion where she received her training which led to an internship at Vivienne Westwood. She sees travel as an enlightening and integral part of her craft, but her heart remains in India.

An Interview with Ruchika Sachdeva

I always felt like I needed to return to India to build on the artisanal skills that are so rich and varied here, but which are all too often undervalued. I believe if people have these incredible skills they should be supported and given opportunities for innovation and personal betterment.

Bodice Studio is available in David Jones stores Australia wide. An admirer of Aussie style, Sachdeva can’t wait see how David Jones customers will interpret her designs.

“I am very struck by the way urban Australian women balance wearing contemporary styles but in an individual way. It’s that feedback loop, that feeling that I can touch people’s lives with design, that really inspires me.”