Wendell showed us that Goa was more than just beaches, says Meher Castellino

Updated: Feb 13, 2020, 07:51 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

Meher Castellino, India's pioneering chronicler and a very close friend of Wendell Rodricks, on her association with the designer

Wendell Rodricks,
Wendell Rodricks,

Former Miss India and fashion designer Meher Castellino had written an essay titled Pioneering Years in his 2012 book Moda Goa: History and Style, published by HarperCollins. 

Here are extracts from the piece:

Goa in new light
Wendell personally flew in the national press to Goa, inviting every high-profile editor to the opening of the Wendell Rodricks Couture Salon (in Panjim) and later to the fashion shows. The press discovered that, apart from the beaches, there was fashion, shopping and a bustling social life in Goa.

Providing photographs of Goan socialites and events to an eager press, I pushed the state in every magazine and national newspaper. Ritu Nanda, with Prasad Bidappa, held fashionable evenings at Camelot. The results are there for all to see. Goa has become a shopping destination with a vibrant fashion scene. 'This is my dream come true,' Wendell stated in 1995

Cutting-edge shows
Wendell has organised many shows in Goa around India and the world, but one of the most memorable was the Gravity Zone bungee jumping show in 1999 called 'In Mid Air' where models were perched on a tower.

Another amazing show was by the poolside of the Goa Marriott in 2001, called Craftworks: The Wendell Rodricks Experiment where Wendell dressed the models on stage in front of the audience and cut the clothes with tailors sewing the collection on the scene with split-second timing. Everyone loved his show in an old Goan villa garden, Solar dos Colacos, in 1998, called Embryo: The Womb of Creativity, where the audience was taken in luxurious boats across the Mandovi.

Style in the details
When I was planning a show for the visually impaired, Wendell was the only designer I could think of who could do justice to the theme. Such a project called for an unconventional collection and the 'Visionnaire' line if garments designed by Wendell in 2001 had Braille embroidery on the garments to enable the visually impaired not only to dress well but also check the colour, style and garments from the Braille lettering embroidered on them.

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