Rahul Mishra’s collection for India Couture Week 2020 talks about climate change and self-sustaining ecosystems.
Rahul Mishra, the first Indian designer to showcase at the Paris Haute Couture Week champions slow fashion with traditional Indian crafts. The collection is one of the most significant collections – an organic extension of Paris Haute Couture collection, ‘Butterfly People’.
The collection titled ‘Lotus Pond’ is an ode to the evolving ecosystem of aquatic plants, fishes, planktons, dragonflies and butterflies – all brought together by the sublime lotus. The brand finds its genesis in the ideas of sustainability that present fashion as a tool to create participation and empower the local craft community of India.
The design house that works on the philosophy of the 3 E’s – Environment, Employment and Empowerment, aims to look at luxury from the lens of participation and not just consumption. Rahul Mishra highlights, “A significant part of our New Delhi team is our “kaarigars” (hand embroiderers and tailors). We have been fortunate to be able to stand by them through this storm and are committed to continue doing so. It’s the very foundation of our brand values. We are a large family – that includes hundreds of people including local craftsmen and workers. Today, we collectively acknowledge the value of beauty. It gave us a deep sense of joy and nourishment to return to our studio.” The brand’s purpose defines the process. The achingly slowed down process of hand-weaving and hand embroidery allows to build sustainable livelihoods for more than 1000 artisans.
The clothes symbolise hope and optimism for a better future. The lineup of lehengas and sherwanis no doubt speaks of a more pared-down future for occasion wear in India. Interspersed with motifs of lotuses and dragonflies, there’s jaali work and architectural motifs. The brilliant designer concludes, “Through this collection as a creative expression we are served a reminder of the quote by Hans Christian Anderson, that indeed ‘Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.’ We are also hopeful to keep growing sustainably and empowering our communities.”