LFW Grand Finale Preview: Rimzim Dadu on her collection, pandemic and the desire to experiment

Rimzim Dadu's desire to experiment and push boundaries isn’t new. It has been omnipresent in all her collections ever since she started her eponymous label in 2007.

Heena Khandelwal Published :  25th October 2020 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  25th October 2020 12:00 AM

LFW Grand Finale designer Rimzim Dadu (L), Sketches of Dadu’s creations that will unveiled tonight (R)

Rimzim Dadu's desire to experiment and push boundaries isn’t new. It has been omnipresent in all her collections ever since she started her eponymous label in 2007, as a 21-year-old, fresh-out from college. Over the years, she has used several materials, from silicone to leather to paper and metal to create new surfaces. This experimentation has created a brand that had created a stir in international fashion when Sonam Kapoor wore Dadu’s metal sculpted sari at Cannes 2016. This year, Dadu is one of two designers to close the five-day bi-annual Lakme Fashion Week. Ahead of her show tonight, we ask the Delhi-based designer to take us through the collection:

Q: Run us through the mood board of your Lakme Absolute Grand Finale collection.
This festive collection takes inspiration from our sculpted metallics and signature cords. We are introducing geometric and floral patterns in our signature materials. The focus is on flow and movement of textiles, and micro-units coming together to create larger surfaces. 

Q: What would the collection feature?
The collection would present my debut line of clean, minimal yet statement lehengas, signature metal saris, short metallic dresses and sculpted tops for the upcoming festive season in shades of yellow gold, antique gold, fresh silver, black and rich emerald green.

Q: Cord work is very much a part of the work that you offer. Why?  
I was interested in playing with materials – breaking them and then re-engineering them back together to form new surfaces. Over a period of time, I discovered that I keep going back to cord work to re-engineer my textiles and that’s how cord work remained as a signature throughout all my collections. We used leather chords to reinvent the patola – the traditional Indian weave – which actually made its way into the Vienna Museum in London.useum in London.

Q: What made you look beyond fabric for your raw material?
I was never interested in just picking up any fabric from the market and creating garments out of it. I have always been interested in experimenting and playing with different material. For instance, even if I pick up a delicate fabric like chiffon, I would always change the nature of it from being inherently pretty and delicate to making it more brunch. That’s how we come up with signature chords.

In the past, we have worked with a lot of different materials, for example, paper, silk, leather, acrylic, silicon... basically a lot of different material that is not necessarily considered textile but the emphasis has always been to make them very easy to wear and approachable and function.

Q:  How lengthy a process is it to design a new collection?  
Creating these textiles is a labour-intensive process. For example, for a steel wire textile, each steel wire, which is almost as thin as a strand of hair, needs to put individually to create a surface for it to look like a sheet of metal. Plus, there is a lot of back and forth between your drawing board and studio and considering that some of these experiments fail, I would take anything between two to three months to come up with a collection.

Q: What made you reinvent saris?
My intentions were not to reinvent. I have not experimented before with saris and as a designer, it was a fresh canvas to play with. My first sari was a metal one with which I wanted to bring a fresh perspective into how saris were seen. Instead of its usual delicate approach, I made it more strong and structured for the modern women, but also kept it fluid. I think women, in general, are strong and sensitive and I wanted to create that perfect metaphor for my sari, and that’s how my first sari came about and is now a signature for our brand. 



First look at @sonamkapoor at #cannes in our sculpted sari! Love! #rimzimdadu #cannesfilmfestival #cannes2016 #sonamkapoor

A post shared by Rimzim Dadu (@rimzimdaduofficial) on

Q: Your first store was opened in Delhi in February this year, barely a month before the lockdown. How has the lockdown been for you?
It wasn’t a good time for any business and I was no exception. Plus, there was so much socio-political stuff happening that overall, it got emotionally overwhelming for me. But, at some point, I decided to cut the news out and slowly get back to life and start working.

Q: Who is the consumer of Rimzim Dadu? 
Anybody who is not a trend follower, who is happy to experiment, trend pusher, confident dresser, who wants to create a statement and doesn’t want to wear the same old same old. 

Q: Your showstopper is Mrunal Thakur. How exciting is it to dress her up? 
I absolutely adore Mrunal. I think she is very easy to work with and she is very young, fresh and happy to experiment, which makes her a perfect muse for me. 

Quick questions:
1. If not a fashion designer, you would be: Clinical Psychologist
2. A material you are most comfortable working with: Steel
3. A saying you swear by: What’s meant for you won’t pass you by
4. A designer you are in awe of: Chalayan
5. A technique you had the most fun with: Cording
6. Your label’s aesthetic in three words: Futuristic, Clean, Unique
7. The future is: Digital