‘Ambeanni’ Wendell Rodricks’ last Memoir in Fashion

Blender’s Pride Fashion Tour (15th edition) in collaboration with the Fashion Design Council of India.
Richardson & Cruddas, Byculla, Mumbai.

Bringing the universe of pride to life, the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour celebrated its milestone 15th edition by unveiling an exclusive collaboration with the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI). The tour celebrated the festival of fashion and reflected the ethos of pride through three themes; craft, identity and blend – across multiple cities. 

The tour spanned Kolkata (with its extraordinary craft), Hyderabad (with its consummate synthesis of the ancient and the modern) and Delhi (with its patent modernity), and concluded in Mumbai. The Finale was an extravagant and artistic display (museum-styled) exhibit of 45 of the country’s leading designers’ clothes and ended with a spectacular fashion presentation, featuring 15 design behemoths, that showcased iconic ensembles truest to their DNA.

The hour-long event kick-started with Bollywood actor and brand ambassador for BPFT, Priyanka Chopra paying homage to the late Wendell Rodricks. At a prior event in the day, a beautiful tribute video of the Master Couturier was aired that brought an endearing tear to many. The Chairman of the FDCI, Mr. Sunil Sethi along with Schulen Fernandes (Creative Head – Wendell Rodricks) announced that the legacy of the eponymous label will continue to successfully operate in the future, just as it has in the past. Thus, posthumously honoring the vision of the late Designer when he set a new standard for the industry by handing over the mantle to Ms. Fernandes in August 2016. She has been handling the business ever since, while Wendell had moved on to his next and soon to be fulfilled ambitious project, the Moda Goa Museum.

The ‘Ambeanni’ collection was Wendell’s last fashion work before his sudden demise two weeks ago and is a fitting tribute to Colvale, his village of belonging and his home state of Goa. Wendell’s last memoir in fashion is an extremely special collective of the late pioneering designer’s resort-style minimalistic design ideology; crafted in the early 90’s for India and inspired by it’s beach state of Goa. Staying true to the brand’s blueprint, the collection uses natural fabrics like linen and silk to create fluid effortless fashion in Wendell’s favourite and what eventually came about to be his signature colour, ‘White’.

The six ensembles celebrated the six ‘Ambeanni’ trees in the label’s classic design inventions like the backless crop top, sarong style tie skirt, anti-form fitting gowns in dramatic proportions and a beautiful knitted handcrafted detail in subtle hints of gold. The collection employed a very elaborate three-dimensional facet to every ensemble in the form of intricately knitted pieces by the extremely talented local artist, Reena Bino. The exquisite knitted details celebrated the beauty of the mango trees that were so dear to Wendell in the form of leaf, stem, veins and flowers.

The featured knitted designs are in styles of ginormous layered circles, aero-dynamic breastplates, cape sleeves in flair, oversized grand earrings and custom form-fitted necklaces that highlight the brand’s long-standing statement centre-staging slow fashion with an artisanal touch. In true Wendell Rodricks iconic style; gravity-defying necklines, ‘Cutting on Square’ drapes, zero fastening silhouettes, and spartan sparkle embroidery made a delectable appearance on the ramp.

Truly taking the legacy forward, Creative Head – Schulen Fernandes presented Wendell’s last pieces of fashion art to an enraptured audience of fashion enthusiasts and celebrities, taking a bow in honour of the legend that is Wendell Rodricks.