India, Feb. 13 -- Heaven is surely going to be a better dressed place now," insists textile conservationist Madhu Jain about the death of her friend fashion designer, Wendell Rodricks. The gay rights activist and Padma Shri awardee died on Wednesday evening following a prolonged illness.

Nilakanth Halarnkar, BJP MLA from the Thivim Assembly constituency and a longtime associate of the 60-year-old designer confirmed his death. "Yes, it is true. He died at 5.45 pm. He was ailing for a long time," Halarnkar said.

Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) is deeply disheartened with the sudden and untimely demise of him. "The fashion fraternity lost a legend today. Wendell, we will miss you," FDCI wrote on social media.

Rodricks studied fashi...