An exceptional mentor, generous host, ace designer and a man, who cared for the world he lived in, Wendell Rodricks would be remembered by the world for all that and more. As the news of his demise broke out, the initial reaction was that of shock, followed by sadness and the hope that his rich legacy would live on in Moda Goa Museum.
Ashley Roebello has only fond memories of the designer, who he had resembled when he sported a moustache. “The fashion fraternity often addressed me as Wendell. At Malaika Arora’s wedding, even my mother mistook Wendell for me from far. Wendell and I had a good laugh about it,” opens up Ashley.
He remembers their last meeting and Wendell being the as gracious host as ever, “I and Waluscha, who was actually his discovery, went to his house in Goa about a year-and-half back. He took us in his boat, a sunset with wine, spotting crocodiles, he sure was the best host.” As for designs, Ashley is in awe of his photo-shoots with Maliaka Arora. “Their shoots were like ethereal. The fluidity, simplicity, silhouettes in his designs are so beautiful, thank god his legacy is going to live on through the museum.”
Before designer Riddhi speaks of Wendell’s designs, she puts in how generous he was. “One is yet to meet someone like Wendell. He was so encouraging, supportive to everyone around.” Riddhi and Siddhi are from Goa and when they started out in the world of fashion, Rodricks went all the way to support the girls. “He is a great designer, but he is even a greater mentor,” she vouches. As for designs, while you cannot do away with the fact that the credit to introduce minimalism in India goes to him, Riddhi avers, “Anyone from size 6 to 18 could wear his designs. That he designed for one and all is what I absolutely love about him.”
Designer Pooja Monga hails him for inspiring a whole generation to adopt minimalism. “When the world saw India as the land of colours and embroideries, the credit to bring to the spotlight the Indian aesthetics that is subtle and minimalist, goes to Rodricks,” says Monga whose brand Saltpetre tows the line of sustainability.
Also he was the key player changing the philosophy of Indian fashion and design. “He managed to catapult Indian design into international arenas with his aesthetics. He will be missed heartily,” says designer Mohammed Mazhar.
You will be missed
n Bidding adieu to the designer, author, environmentalist and activist, celebs took to social media to bid adieu to one of India’s leading designer.
@Wendellrodricks Trying to call you. Pick up.—Sona Mahapatra
n A trip to Goa felt incomplete without visiting #WendellRodricks. Such style & hospitality! I’ll never forget the exquisite meals at his homes, sunset cocktails on his boat, his passion for protecting the environment & his devotion to his dogs. Wishing @jeromegoa strength & peace.—Rahul Khanna
n I owe everything I am today to you. You discovered me at the age of 16 in my uniform & you never let go of my hand after that. U will forever be remembered my friend & mentor. We have beautiful memories together & they will live on... —Waluscha De Sousa
n A master couturier and his muse .... RIP our dearest @wendellrodricks .... I first sat and cried, and then I sat alone and smiled and laughed, just thinking of all the beautiful beautiful memories and moments we shared. – Malaika Arora
n Farewell ! Always true to your heart. The baton was passed on...The label lives! What a beautiful legacy.. – Shobha De
n Woke up in NZ to the sad news of Wendell Rodricks having passed away in his sleep. He was one of the most iconic and original designers in fashion and a champion for LGBT rights. He had given me an opportunity to close his fashion week show in Mumbai after spotting me in Bangalore at a fashion show and was gracious, kind and encouraging. He was one of the reasons I had the courage to move to Mumbai from Bangalore to pursue modelling when I was just 18 years old. RIP Wendell My love and prayers for Jerome and the rest of his family and friends. —Anushka Sharma
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