Rahul Mishra’s homage to Jamdani was a successful attempt at courting simplicity.
When Rahul Mishra decided to work with Jamdanis he didn’t know he would manage to address a younger audience with his careful tailoring and austere garment construction. Most Indian women avoid weaves thinking they are tough to maintain, and are ideal only for duppattas and saris. “I let crafts lead the way and wanted to avoid crafts and museum piece being said in the same line, so I modernized them without compromising on their essential beauty,” says Rahul, who is gearing up for Milan Fashion Week next year.
A believer in the philosophy that design is the best when it disappears behind the person, his Khadi Jamdanis needed correct tackling so that the fragile fabric was sturdy enough to withstand the test of time. “Generally, weaves tend to tear at the armholes, as the fabric weakens due to the tension, but I engineered it in a way that the seams were toughened,” he confesses.
Keeping Jamdanis in their natural colours, Rahul’s white, terracotta and indigo proved that they could be more intricately woven than chanderis. The warp and weft count soared from 300 to 500 counts sometimes, but Rahul balanced the look by keeping the silhouettes uncomplicated. “The challenge for me was to reinvent a classic, make it aspirational and of course, new. From a museum piece to make Jamdani with absolute purity, ready-to-wear,” he smiles.
Fashion for Rahul is where you create freshness by borrowing from the past, using motifs which are Indian, but the interpretation universal. “I am not dressing women who want to look like clones of Kareena Kapoor or Priyanka Chopra, I’d prefer women who admire the simplicity of crafts, like to be in touch with reality and don’t want an outfit to overpower them,” he concludes.