Bodice, Antar-Agni make Woolmark Prize finals
Aside from creating gorgeous clothes, Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Laurent and Rahul Misra have one thing in common - the International Woolmark Prize. While Rahul won in 2013, the other two iconic designers bagged the prize back in 1954, in the second year of its existence. Conceptualised and organised by Australia-based Woolmark Company, the competition sees young designers working their magic on Merino wool to fashion a capsule collection that is cutting edge and craft centric. India has had a strong presence in the International Woolmark Prize, with names like Nachiket Bharve, Suket Dhir and Eka being nominated over the years. Earlier this week, a panel of judges picked Delhi-based Ujjawal Dubey of Antar-Agni and Ruchika Sachdeva of Bodice as the regional winners (for Pakistan, India and Middle East) out of 13 designers.
The judges were shown one key look, around which the rest of the collection is built. Ruchika found inspiration in easy, flowing silhouettes of 18th Century Nautch girls. The fabric and garment were created in five different parts of the country (including West Bengal for kantha embroidery and Himachal Pradesh for the Kullu weave) for a truly authentic representation of craft-rich India. Ujjwal’s piece, on the other hand, a nod to the clothing of nomadic tribesmen, was a luxuriously draped outfit created using layers of woven twill. “I am truly honoured to win this award because it gives Bodice the opportunity for real global expansion and provides the funding to allow me to create an incredible collection,” says Bodice's Ruchika Sachdeva. The duo, having won a cash prize of AUD 70,000, will go on to showcase their collections in the global final scheduled for early next year in Florence, Italy.