March 15, 2019 FDCI

Laws of Simplicity

Rahul Mishra talks about his three obsessions – Maheshwari, monochromes and tailoring

 By Asmita Aggarwal

A regular at Paris Fashion Week, completing ten seasons and five years this year, Rahul Mishra is not one of those who will rest on his laurels, rather he looks at what’s next?

For any artist a good line creates a void, and this time for LMIFW’19, Rahul is bringing his best pieces to mirror his ten-year-long trajectory in design. “It is an effort to show my product-wise evolution and how riveting this ride has been—emotionally, physically and mentally,” he explains.

A maverick in the way he fuses elements together and focuses on construction, resembling an 80s Armani, sans padding or Western cutting techniques. His PFW show saw jackets, made out of handloom (khadi and handloom) not woollen and the results were comparable to any designer jacket in the world. That’s where Rahul scores over his contemporaries, and this time he went with no embroidery as he felt compartmentalisation is the death of a brand. “I would like to explore, and I believe when you make clothes you don’t have to be a slave to a certain technique or technology, the fun is in trying and failing or sometimes succeeding,” he adds.

He adds the Indian fashion world is forgiving in contrast to the West, where you can’t repeat, as that shows no evolution, therefore taking risks becomes rewarding and the gain is pure learning. “I remember a few years ago, I did a show with caterpillar sleeves and I was criticised. No one liked it, as it didn’t have embroidery just construction manipulations,” he explains.

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Most of Rahul’s repertoire revolves around Maheshwari and some of these pieces found their way to the LMIFW’19 show, as he relooks at how they can be worn. Styling has now come into the spotlight. Strong, crisp looks, he hopes to bring a surprise with each line, whether it is form, shape or aesthetics. “Monochromes have never left my side and neither has hand cutting and patchwork. Maheshwari I have done ten collections with, it is clearly my favourite despite it being a duppattamaterial. I have added length, breadth and dimension to it creating almost anything out of it that you can imagine from tunics to coats. I have being doing 3D embroideries, which I greatly enjoy. This could be seen in the ‘Metamorphosis’ line, a few years back, where the embroideries rise on the fabric making them supremely graphic. At PFW I did a much advanced version of these,” he explains.

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The reason why Rahul dabbles in both couture and Western prêt is it shapes your ideology and polishes the rough edges. “I can’t keep doing lehengas, even there I look for adventure, whatever I do, even if it’s a collaboration, it must be harmonious with my core ideas and sometimes you have to unlearn, to move ahead,” he says.

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Fashion Design Council of India