Lotus Dance

Celebrated fashion illustrator Katie Rodgers of Paper Fashion deconstructs her creative process of building her first Taxi Fabric.

Katie Rodger’s whimsical world explodes in an amalgamation of shapes, colours, glitter and gold. On her website Paper Fashion, she romances the quiet beauty of spinning ballerinas and enchanting women who walk around in trailing gowns. Having worked with the likes of Cartier, Estee Lauder and Swarovski, her work has gained a certain character over the years, moving from realistic to the slightly abstract. A fashion illustrator at heart, Katie grew up in rural Georgia, far away from the glitz of the fashion world. Perhaps that is what chiseled her love for the field.

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Recently, Katie joined us at the debut edition of Design Fabric Festival in Mumbai and in a much-awaited collaboration supported by Asian Paints Colour Next she created a dreamy Taxi Fabric. The design development began in her sunlit apartment in New York. In the pattern, her iconic Shadow Dancers twirl around with pink, blooming lotuses. “I am so excited to create my own Taxi Fabric. I have wanted to do so for a few years now, since I first learned about it. I took inspiration from Indian culture and the nature that surrounds it, melding it with my illustrative style. While ideating the piece I did a lot of research on different elements, shapes and colors to work with. From there, I experimented on paper through sketches and paintings until I came up with something that felt right.”

Inspired by the trend Alchemy of Memories chalked out by Asian Paints Colour Next, Katie dug into a trove of memories and let it guide her to the final interpretation and design. A few things changed at the last moment. The swirls of pink and white were flavoured with some golden splashes - a colour so intrinsic to her work and at once synonymous with life in India. “My biggest challenge while working with gold foil was my lack of patience! I’m a bit odd. I love to figure things out through trial and error instead of following step by step instructions. Sort of creating my own method, if you will. So it took me a while to figure out the best way to do foiling. And once I got a hang of it, I became addicted. The way foil glows in comparison to gold pigment and paint is beautiful. I love how it plays and moves with light.”

Deconstructing the art and her creative process, she said, “I created something with my typical Shadow Dancers series. This was my first visit to India. I wanted to bring in my love for nature by adding the lotus flower into the artwork.” Elaborating the element of memory, Katie added, “The Shadow Dancers are a part of my memory, as weird as that sounds. So I created them dancing with the lotus flowers, which feel dreamlike and are a very strong part of the culture in India. On the roof of the taxi, we created a starry night, which adds to the dreaminess and whimsical feel. Originally, I had wanted to incorporate the sari somehow but didn’t end up doing so because I decided to keep it playful. As time inches closer for my flight back to New York, it’s fun to think that there’s a taxi driving around India filled with some of my artwork! Hope to do another one next time I’m here!”

This Taxi Fabric is supported by Asian Paints.