Her seven-year-old label Bodice, best known for liberating Indian fashion from its gendered confines, won the International Woolmark Prize for 2018—an honour previously conferred upon the likes of Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent. After Suket Dhir and Rahul Mishra, Delhi-based Ruchika Sachdeva is the third Indian to win the award. Sachdeva’s locally dyed anti-fit separates in neutral colours, inspired by costumes of 18th-century nautch girls, stayed true to the label’s androgynous global aesthetic.
I want to create clothes that embrace modernity on our own terms, not in the garb of something else or a narrow idea of Indian culture and aspirations
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With over 20 stores in India, Bodice is the new face of Indian fashion. Sachdeva’s clothes, especially the lighter pieces, can often be worn inside out and rarely require ironing. And while there is careful detail—Kantha work, pleating and upcycled buttons—the restraint in her designs and her focus on tailored staples are a tribute to the modern woman with a mind.