The second day of the FDCI India Couture Week opened to a packed house as Rahul Mishra showcased his couture collection, The Tree of Life, a manifestation of artistic memory, at the Embassy of France in Delhi.
The show began with an address from his Excellency, the honourable Ambassador from the Republic of France, Emmanuel Lenain, who lauded Mishra for being the first Indian designer to showcase his work at the Paris Haute Couture week in Paris, this year. He hoped he wouldn’t be the only one and wished more Indian designers would be included in the upper echeleons of French fashion, which was met with cheers from the crowd.
In a unique expression of total creativity, the show began with a beautiful and grand showcase of models in a glass enclosure. Slowly, they treaded their way on the walkway meandering through the crowds with utmost dexterity. Mishra’s collection is an ode to mother Nature and the culture surrounding it. “Growing up, I saw my grandmother tie a hand spun cotton thread around a banyan tree, not far from our house. The memory of this routine, of the ladies of the house worshipping the tree to bless their families is a precious one,” says Mishra.
An inherent part of Indian culture, worshipping of the tree
has been manifested beautifully in the collection with intricate embroidered and
embellished artworks that articulate scenes from a dense forest with
majestic century-old trees and ancient architectural remains in soft palettes.
Models sashayed the walkway in minidresses and bodysuits with big three-dimensional foliage embroidered exaggerated sleeves and sparkling gowns intricately layered with gold petal motifs. Known for opulence and glamour, Mishra infused innovative techniques in his meaningful collection.
Ballgowns and jumpsuits fitted with a bodice, replete with floral hand embroidery, representing scenes from a forest that lights up when the
first ray of the sun falls upon it. When the sun gives enriching golden energy at the break of dawn, every leaf comes alive and the sun’s energy prospers everything around it. Through his outing, Mishra has impeccably captured nature, a vital source that sustains us and helps us live a beautiful life.
“At the break of the dawn, when the sun shines from the horizon, how every leaf
transmutes to gold for a moment. It is that moment and the more vivid ones after
that we articulate in this collection. Fields of poppies and a diverse wilderness
taking over ancient architecture is rendered intricately in hand embroidered surfaces,” chips in Mishra.
True to the values of an ace craftsman, the pieces have been handwoven, embroidered with hand for over 10,000 human hours and sewn to perfection for clothing that is featherweight despite the intricate surfaces.
Comparing the Paris Haute Couture week with the India Couture Week, Mishra says, “Both are equally exciting and I have learnt a lot from both of them.”
Focused on sustainable fashion since the inception of his career, Mishra’s
aim is to focus on grass root empowerment by encouraging the artisans who
work tirelessly to make the clothes. He believes in not just fueling mindless consumption but catering to the existing demand of a responsible customer and cultivating a circular economy for craft communities in India.