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How Rimzim Dadu Puts Together A Collection For Fashion Week

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Rimzim Dadu

Rimzim Dadu is not your typical cut-and-sew Indian designer. She refrains from working with a particular theme in mind and instead focusses on the materials that will shape her collections each season. If you’re among those who can’t stand run-of-the-mill creations, Dadu’s aesthetic sensibilities will definitely impress you.

Her brand is not your regular Indian fashion label, and this is in no small part thanks to her formative years spent watching karigars embroider, sew, and create garments at her father’s export house. Naturally, the designer was inclined towards a career is design but her approach to fashion is nowhere close to what you’re accustomed to seeing. Dadu has a unique ability to work with materials other than fabric, and transforms the structures of specific fabrics via the use of experimental techniques.

Showcasing her new collection tomorrow at Amazon India Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2016 after a two-year-long hiatus, we’re excited to see what the designer has in store. What Dadu is mostly excited about this time is her approach to her show — the process has taken precedence over the end product. We talk to her about her new collection, pre-show jitters, and what’s in the pipeline. Excerpts…

You’ve done shows in the past. But now that you’re back after two years, has the pre-fashion week preparation been any easier?

Frankly, it’s been a lot crazier. When you’re working on shows continuously, you kind of get used to it. But after a break, it is crazy. There’s so much work to do, it is very exhausting.

Are you nervous?

I’m more excited than nervous. You know, it’s a completely new direction and approach in terms of the presentation, and not like other fashion shows. So I am very eager to see what the feedback will be like.

So tell me how you work on a particular season. Do you plan on a concept? What after that?

I concentrate a lot on surface texture, and it is usually about developing many new textures and surfaces. Exploring new fabrics, materials and surfaces is always the starting point of my collections. In the past, I’ve worked with leather, metal wires and unique materials.

Unlike other designers, I don’t really start by sketching. I start with developing new surfaces and working with new materials. I take a look at the material of the season and see how I can innovate with it. Earlier, I have woven, shred, and even burnt fabrics just to come up with new surfaces, and to explore how different it will look eventually.


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You’re showcasing your collection on the ramp after a long break. What can we expect from the new collection?

Though it’s been two years since I showcased on the ramp, I’ve still worked on my collections. So even this time around, it’s going to be a lot of the stuff I usually do. The audience can expect a signature Rimzim Dadu collection as it has always been. Though this time around, a lot of stress has been giving on how we present the collection. Unlike other times, the emphasis is more on the process rather than just the end product of the show.

How about the inspiration behind this collection?

Usually, designers get inspired by an era or a theme or something similar to be precise. For me, my inspiration is always the fabrics and materials I work with. I then develop my collection from there.


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You’ve mentioned in a recent interview that this collection will be more retail-friendly and approachable. Could you give us an idea of what we will be witnessing?

You know, I’ve turned more observant and I think I now have a better understanding of both the market and the consumer. I am more in sync with what sells. So yes, the stuff is more retail-friendly. I have revisited archival techniques but have made it softer and more approachable for people. The idea is to make the brand more accessible, and that’s what I’ve worked on. Earlier, it was very structured stuff, but this time I have ensured a mix of structure and flow.


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What sells best for Rimzim Dadu?

You know, that’s very difficult to know. There’s no definition of what sells most as different markets work differently. The European market works very differently from the India one. In India, the focus is more on placement textures and pieces that are simpler and softer. So that’s difficult to answer.

How about the price point?

Even in terms of the price point, I have started with more consumer-friendly prices, and it increases with the more signature pieces. The prêt pieces start at Rs. 10,000.

What techniques have you used for this particular collection?

I have created surfaces with metal wires. I have even used tie and dye with faux leather, and that’s my favourite technique for the season. And then there’s the signature 3D applique work… these are my three core techniques for this collection.


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Do you only look into the design aspect of your brand? Or are you actively involved with the sales as well?

So far, I have looked into the design and marketing of the brand. But now, I have a team that manages it so I am more focussed on the design.

Can we expect any collaborations with other designers in the near future?

At the moment, there’s no collaboration to look forward to. I just got done with a collaboration with the Devi Art Foundation where I created a silicone jamdani sari.

That sounds unique…

Yes! The idea was to shred silicon rubber sheets to work on this particular piece. It took me two years to complete it.

What plans next?

Right now, the whole focus is to just get done with the show! We’ve invested so much time in this so I can’t wait to see how it turns out. But yes, there’s a lot in the pipeline… like product design. I also want to get into menswear, but that will take some time to happen.


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