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Rimzim Dadu

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At The Amazon India Fashion Week:

For Rimzim Dadu, the core of the design process lies in creating her own textiles, as she pushes her limits to re-invent surface textures. Her work is known for the clever use of fabrics, yarns, sequins and the dexterity with which she turns them into surface embellishment. We caught up with her at the close of her debut solo show at Amazon India Fashion Week, ‘My father has been running an export house called DeeMan International, making clothes for the European, American and Japanese markets for the last 25 years. Our factory initially used to be in the basement of our house. I remember spending hours in the basement after school, touching the fabrics, watching people cut, sew and embroider. I’ve grown up with clothes, fabrics and colors all around me, and I think that’s where my fascination with textiles began.’ 

The avant-garde fabrics translated into approachable silhouettes is quite easily identified as the hero of her Autumn/Winter’16 Collection. As the models glide past, six artisans sit across the ramp, developing the same fabrics that formed Rimzim’s muse for the collection. Her eye for detail shines through the entire affair, as the story of every unique surface along with the name of the embroiders who helped develop them is handed out to each guest, printed on sheets of butter paper. Later, she tells us, ‘I am not a cut-and-sew designer, as I don't relate to picking up a fabric and making something out of it. For me, creating my own textiles is more exciting. Throughout the year we keep working on experimental surfaces. Sometimes, what we create is so different than what we had initially imagined, and that constantly surprises us and keeps us going. I remember my initial days as a designer, when being in the Indian fashion space, everyone expected me to work with sequins and shine. So I thought: Sure, I’ll do sequins, but I’ll do it my way; so I burnt them. We took each and every sequin, burnt them on a candle flame one by one and then assembled them to form one of my first unique surfaces. Till date, that remains one of my favorite techniques.’

Her Autumn/Winter’16 Collection delves into three mini stories. Fabric-on-fabric 3D appliqué work, faux-leather tie and dye and the metal wire story. For the first one stretches of fabric were chemically treated to prevent it from fraying as it was hand-cut and then sewn to form 3D appliqués. Tie-dyed faux leather, cut into specks and then assembled by hand forms the base of the second story. Plastic wires that are treated to look like metal are sewn on fabrics, juxtaposing the toughness of metal with the fluidity of the final silhouettes. The showstopper is Rimzim’s take on the Indian legend - the Sari. On a closer look, the ensemble reveals itself as a crop top coupled with a pleated skirt, finished with an iridescent, midnight blue metallic pallu. 

Her debut solo show also happens to be her best collection till date. If this was about Rimzim playing to her strengths, she played it strong. 


Text Ritupriya Basu

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