Cut to Finish

Book: The Green Room

Author: Wendell Rodricks

Publisher: Rain Tree

Pages: 354

Price: Rs 595

Many Indian fashion designers are toasting their silver jubilee in the business. While a few have hosted special soirees celebrating themselves, others have announced new business ventures with international companies. All of them herald a growing-up of sorts, a new phase. But it had to be Wendell Rodricks who would pen a chronicle of his life and times in fashion. He is one of a very few designers who plays several artistic roles those of an exemplary writer, as we have seen in his many articles, a hungry traveller and an insatiable foodie.

Rodricks's brilliance allows him to pursue all his passions with effortless vim. Interestingly, his first published book Moda Goa, a coffee-table keepsake on the charming costume history of Goa was published in January. In seven months, he brings The Green Room, his insightful memoir that also bulletins the evolution of Indian fashion over 25 years.

The green room, where butt-bare models are preened, primped and readied for the runway, is actually a makeshift black room. Models and designers have developed night vision as they scurry about over the smells of mustiness, hairspray and nicotine, over electric wires and dewy floors, careful not to touch the splintered wooden boards. "The black screens are moats," Rodricks writes, "to protect the princesses of the ramp from the outside world." The green room metaphor works as it is a sanctum, a glamorous space and for its intransient existence.

In less than two decades, Rodricks has become the voice and face of Goa, the land of his ancestors, ever since he moved home to an old Portuguese villa in the still beautiful village called Colvale. He has championed many causes for Goa fought reckless development, made police uniforms, pushed cultural promotions, revived the local kunbi sari weave and brought out his marvellous first book.

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