Rimzim Dadu’s Contribution to Changing Indian Fashion Runway
It has been two years now since I haven’t attended fashion weeks either in Delhi or Mumbai. Updates from various fashion blogs and magazines have otherwise assured me that a lot has changed in how the runway shows are being presented. In last two years, the change in Indian fashion runway has been more revolutionary than evolutionary. Now in 2016, there are probably more street style images shared online than fashion show images itself. The increased participation of fashion bloggers in Indian fashion weeks also means that now we have more people who know shit about textiles, surface techniques or aesthetics, adorning the front row of nation’s prestigious fashion events. More than all the internet-driven change, the show format itself has changed drastically. The grand finale has found a new course in form of group shows. When Amazon India Fashion Week showcased the Benarasi weave themed finale a season ago, it was the craft – the Benarasi weaves which well-deservedly commanded the attention instead of a big designer name who probably has more financial support and dedicated page 3 space than the craft itself. In a similar push to craft and artisans, Anita Dongre’s artisans concluded her runway show a year ago. Good or bad, the change is essential. Change is what runs fashion cycle. It was only a week ago that I provided my inputs on these quintessential changes in Indian fashion runway to a friend who is working on a project at CSM, London. Had I provided those inputs now, on 19th March 2016, I’d definitely mention Rimzim Dadu’s AW2016 show that concluded a couple of days ago at Amazon India Fashion Week. Rimzim Dadu’s show caught my attention when fashion designer Kallol Datta shared images from the show in Facebook. It’s been a while since I got to see Rimzim’s creations on ramp and I eagerly checked out the press release sent by FDCI team via email.
In past two years, fashion shows have been pushing boundaries with every presentation and Rimzim Dadu took the game a step ahead by letting her kaarigars to interact with the visitors. Rimzim Dadu decided to put the spotlight on the surface development techniques which is easily the first thing anyone looks in a Rimzim Dadu creation. Surfaces have always been her strength and in her AW16 show, she wore her strength like armour with pride. Her press release clearly specified the surface treatments like chording and wire ombre to name a few.
It’s the material exploration which made me follow this young designer way back in 2010 when I was still a student at NIFT Delhi. It was a big deal back then for a designer to entertain fashion bloggers. Yes, in 2016 many Indian fashion designers have opened up to collaborating with fashion bloggers but back in 2010… Not every fashion designer understood what fashion blogging meant in the first place; so forget them entertaining you in their stall. Rimzim was kind that way. In her stall, I’d study surfaces made from wire, leather and even zillion sequins which were individually ombre dyed. There was a black and white woven shorts, appliqué floral surfaces on black dresses and other iridescent metallic textures. It was all about material and how they were treated. Rimzim’s AW16 collection continues to carry the signature Rimzim Dadu surfaces textures however, there’s a much bigger emphasis on the process itself… an interactive education about surfaces techniques which are distinct from the regular mill-manufactured ones. Rimzim has presented her collection after a two-year break from the runway. Breaks are good in way. It helps you analyze what’s happening and widens your perspective.
My own break from fashion weeks helped me understand why it’s not a necessity for a blogger to be there at fashion weeks. As a young fashion blogger, I got a big break when I had an opportunity to write fashion show reviews for FDCI’s Designer Node magazine at then Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week. After relocating to Mumbai, I collaborated with Jabong at Lakme Fashion Week. It was important for me to be there at the fashion week on those circumstances. But otherwise, does a fashion blogger even need to be there at fashion weeks only to post selfies on Instagram and say aloud – “hey, I attended fashion week”? Or live tweet every show and say, how they absolutely love and relate to everything from traditional bridal lehenga to punk leather jacket but eventually call their personal style boho-chic? Sometimes I wonder, who even reads those fashion show reviews? Do readers visit your blog only to look at show images or they do bother to read and engage in the larger conversation? If yes, who are they? Are they industry insiders like designers and stylists? Or is it other fashion journalists who read their reviews? Or is it fellow bloggers themselves? The break from fashion week helped me answer these unanswered questions. Back in 2010, almost every other article I wrote on this blog was a fashion show review and it’s no longer the case. I no longer write show reviews unless something really makes me go WOW and naturally compels the blogger in me to review it. In recent months, Comme des Garcons has made me go WOW. Marc Jacobs has made me go WOW. This time, it’s Rimzim Dadu who made go WOW. Welcome back to runway, Rimzim. Lots of love.