• Roopal Vadgama
    Roopal Vadgama

Roopal Vadgama 

Roopal Vadgama is a slow clothing brand devoted to handmade, thoughtful fashion. Designer Roopal creates modern silhouettes designed to be worn often. Inspired by traditional eastern principles and textiles, every collection honours the earth's resources, celebrates the skilled artisans who weave the fabrics and preserves heritage crafting techniques. We asked Roopal a few questions ahead of her pop-up residency at The Crossing.

What inspired you to start the brand? 

I was inspired by my Indian roots and the need for well-made clothing that fit me.  As a self-taught dressmaker I was able to make garments for myself that were one of a kind, completely unique, handmade pieces that actually fit! I appreciated the luxury of a bespoke garment. Long-lasting garments meant fewer online purchases, both great for the environment and my pocket.

Friends and family soon took interest in my creations. Today, I focus on fusion wear, preserving traditional Indian textile techniques and prints on modern silhouettes. I create garments in a meaningful way that preserves the wisdom of artisanal creation, honours the efforts of makers and has little impact on the environment. I am committed to working with natural, biodegradable materials. Purchasing fabric directly from Indian artisans means I am contributing to the sustainability of their craft and their livelihood as well as caring for the planet.

What will people find in your store that they won’t find anywhere else?

As a creative, it is important that I create clothing with natural, surplus or pre-owned fabrics. It is so much fun to customise existing clothing, that's how I got into fashion in the first place. I was making clothes from my mother’s unworn sarees, updating them to look cooler and more contemporary, creating something unique.

I am currently trialing a made-to-order series focusing on a range of silhouettes that have a timeless appeal and allow for customisation and repairs. Each piece will be a collaboration between designer and customer, where clients can trial a silhouette before they commit to buying, choosing from a number of fabrics and print designs.

I have produced a range of silhouettes that will be available to rent at The Crossing (as well as online soon). I believe well-made clothes that fit, are unique, purposeful and functional have longevity and genuinely create happiness for the wearer.

What are your current favourite Roopal Vadgama pieces?

I love my Upcycled Scrunchies which are made from leftover materials, using a drawstring instead of elastic, and finished with gold cap ends and toggle.

The Aadhira Dress is another favourite. I love the simplicity of the shape and the fun details like hand embroidery at the waist, handmade buttons and the bishop sleeve.  This silhouette is available to rent in a sky blue, size 8-10 on the By Rotation app.

What are you hoping to gain from your residency at The Crossing?

I’m looking forward to the brick-and-mortar experience, meeting new customers face to face. The Crossing is a really cosy space, perfect for a conscious designer like me who doesn’t like to overproduce garments.

I’m really excited about getting my brand seen. I’ll be hand sewing while I’m there, so people can see that it’s really me who makes the garments. I’ll be there to tell my story and explain how made-to-order works.

What does the future hold for your Roopal Vadgama? 

I’ll be popping up across London during the rest of the year! #friendsofroopal can visit me or join my newsletter to stay up to date. I’m expanding my range to offer more transparency with the order status online as well as larger sample sizes. Expect a new collection launching soon! With each collection I make, I’m building relationships and learning what kind of garments my customers want.  My aim has always been to create long-lasting garments that can become heirloom pieces. I’m also working on a repairs service for existing customers.

Find out more at www.roopalvadgama.com

 

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