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Opinion

Wendell Rodricks: Never get away from disturbing truths – editorials

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At 59, Padma Shri Wendell Rodricks, a man of many talents and the person responsible for the revival of traditional Goa sari Kunbi, left too soon. As a fashion designer, he will be remembered for his unique sense of style that took both international sensibility and Goa culture. His legacy will be one of those who care about the sustainability of fashion, from the use of indigenous weaving and tissue techniques to the care of the environmental impacts of fashion.

Born in a Catholic family in Goa and raised in Mumbai, Wendell Rodricks originally trained to work in the restoration, but he soon realized that his true passion lay in fashion design, and then he studied it in Los Angeles and Paris. At a time when wedding design was where the benefits were and ‘Indian’ meant the use of zari and bright and baroque costumes, Rodricks had the audacity to work extensively with white, preferring cotton and bedding to what was He has seen how ‘richer’ fabrics. His life was as brave as his designs: he lived with his partner Jerome Marrel in Goa, challenging social ostracism and even family rejection. At a time before Section 377 was removed, they had signed a civil solidarity pact to ensure that they would legally always be there for each other, and live together in Goa.

Rodricks was also a writer and chronicler of the heritage and history of Goa. He has written three books, including his autobiography. The green room (2012) His first book Goa fashion: history and style (2012) was an exploration of the history of Goa, seen through traditional clothing and attire. The book is meticulously researched and traces the history of the pano bhaju, a traditional Goa outfit, to the Silk Road. Since then, he has created a museum of the same name, Moda Goa, in his home to showcase Goa’s fashion as it has evolved over time. The museum is expected to house a collection of more than 800 artifacts dating from the 7th century AD to the present, including furniture, photographs, costumes, jewelry and even sculptures.

Rodricks also wrote a book about the Goa problem in 2017, adopted children from wealthy Goa families who live servitude lives and are often victims of various types of abuse. Poskem: Goans in the Shadows It was his first (and only) fiction book, with elements of magical realism, and tells parallel stories of four ancient poskem.

Wendell Rodricks was a fashion designer, writer, curator, historian, teacher, Goa environmental activist and much more. India, and indeed the world, mourn their loss together.

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