Viva La Difference
Much water may have passed under the bridge and in Delhi since the curtains drew on the FDCI India Couture Week 2016, but Rahul Mishra’s collection continues to intrigue and create editorial poetry across the fashion universe.
I write from the heart. What you see is what you get. The same in person, as in the wardrobe. Much of it when intrigue meets respect. And there is much respect here. So if I like a designer’s body of work and it has consistency in keeping me attentive, interested and amazed, I unabashedly find lyric in its music and sensuality in its melody. Suddenly, everything feels like poetry. Perhaps it is the monsoon? A collection can do that to you as well.
A distinct voice and a true soul of a seeker, Rahul Mishra continues to inspire a generation of fashion followers and women, with a global signature that bridges — so very avant garde like — together the East with the West. India’s flag-bearer to the global fashion industry and needs to be seen more across international fashion weeks. For this and his craft, Rahul is much respected across the fashion universe beyond India.
Keeping the focus on a minimal and yet creating an illusion of being underwater and seeing upwards toward waves of light, flowers and fauna afloat, the shimmer of raindrops, a 3D effect of floating flowers on the surface of the ramp and across the MSA walls in white, many of which caught as motifs in the collection, Rahul kept the focus and everyone’s rapt attention on his clothes only – where it ought to be. No theatrics for this one. Don’t need to when what you see itself is so awe-inspiring. I had my breath catch in my throat many times. The effect was a water bubble, with enough air to surface up, to breathe.
Minimal to the highlighted cheekbone. Chic, classy and clean. Sided swept sleek hair with a little 1920s feel of sophistication and a tight bun, lips almost nude and gloss. Neat. Again, charmingly disarming.
Presenting `Monsoon Diaries’ inspired by German biologist and artist Ernst Haeckel’s `Kunstformen der Natur’ (art forms of nature, 1899), Rahul broke the norm — as seen across the couture week where almost every designer equates Indian couture with bling and more and we seriously need to re-invent ourselves fast as audiences are changing and so are tastes — with solid classic colours. Under-stated and muted, mysterious and playful, chic couture and bridal wear ensembles for the everyday modern woman. Blending day colours with evening wear with such elegant, effortless ease. Rich creams, solid blacks, pista and mint, moody blues, pale greens. Birds, flowers, leaves, petals, fauna meeting structure and contours, form and silhouette. Drawing deeply from technique – Rahul Mishra’s forte by far if you remember his earlier work `Tree of Life’ ICW2015 and his 3D Point Paris Collection which is now considered Art – each garment in this `Monsoon Dairies’ brought to confluence traditional Indian techniques with amazing handwork, depicting the skill of his gifted artisans, embroiderers and the designer’s vision itself. Of course, Rahul thinks outside the box. In fact, he creates with the curiosity of discovering a design, as an artist-scientist. With precision – that’s why Ernst Haeckel, I’m guessing? Germans are known for concise precision, be it in their art, structure, architecture, music, including automobiles. Understanding how fabric behaves, how curves and lines work, how to coax an idle textile into a garment coming to life. Make it a canvas. Make it art itself. Being a poet myself, I understand the deep recesses of being that goes into willing your soul to create for you (Eve’s Revenge, Stories of Nemesis, 2008). You need the hand of God to direct, move, stir, drive you to insanity and then bring you back to rest, to recover…
Rahul’s abundant detailing of the monsoon’s generous spring of life and earth’s fertility danced across his collection, creating beauty, poetry with flow, grace and craftsmanship. The palette like watercolours… Sharp cuts and curved cuts. Exquisitely individualistic.
I tip my Fedora, Rahul. May you take India far.
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