For the modern bride

Debarati Palit Singh
Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Fashion designer Rahul Mishra, who will showcase his designs at Vogue Wedding Show 2018, talks about the inspiration behind his collection, who it is meant for and why he believes in the concept of ‘slow fashion’

Rahul Mishra is one of the most renowned names when it comes to the global fashion circuit. The man has showcased his collection at several international platforms including Paris Fashion Week.

Mishra, who has been working towards bringing Indian artisans to the forefront through his brand and is also providing them a livelihood, is also gearing up to present his collection at Vogue Wedding Show 2018, which will be held at Taj Palace, New Delhi, from August 3-5.

The fashion event, which is in its 6th year, will have Kangana Ranaut as the face of the edition. The three-day event will also have clothing and jewellery designers like Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Tarun Tahiliani, Anita Dongre, Shantanu & Nikhil, Gaurav Gupta, Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas, Farah Khan Fine Jewellery, Hazoorilal by Sandeep Narang and others showcasing their work.

Mishra offers a peek into his collection and how he is working for the betterment of artisans. Excerpts:

Your collection at Vogue Wedding Show 2018 is inspired from Mughal architecture and Mughal miniature paintings. What appeals to you most about the architecture?
Mughal architecture is a blend of geometry and ancient Indian art forms. The architectural structures, which were developed in the 16th century, consisted of intricate geometric details in the form of tessellating patterns, carved and otherwise. As the Mughal emperors changed, the styles absorbed local Indian art forms and started to show a play of organic forms, which grew denser and more explicit with time. That is what makes the Mughal style of architecture opulent and different from other Islamic styles. The cultural mix of elements and the fine attention to detail was a key inspiration for this collection.

Who have you dedicated the collection to?
The modern Indian bride, who is well read, and driven by her individuality. She is blatantly modern, and yet is respectful of age-old traditions. While she follows tradition, she’s unafraid to add elements of her own personality to her clothes. Since she’s constantly exposed to international fashion, she is highly aware of what she wants. The new-age bride is independent, responsible and opinionated. As a brand, when we interact with her, she adds a part of herself to our idea of the quintessential bride.

Do you think that Indian women are opening up to the idea of experimenting with their bridal look?
The tastes of brides have definitely evolved. Now, they are looking for modern yet traditionally rooted outfits. They seek to carry their culture and tradition along, without compromising on their individuality. They aren’t afraid to experiment. While looking their best at their wedding, brides want to stand out and wear an ensemble that means something to them. Brides today understand the sentiment connected to the wedding dress and want to build a story along with their outfit. 

You have showcased your work at both national (Lakme Fashion Week etc) and international levels (Paris Fashion Week etc). Is the experience any different and how much does each platform contribute to your ideas and designs?
Showcasing at Paris is very different from showcasing in India, more so because we showcase different collections. In Paris, we present the ready-to-wear collection whereas in India, we showcase at India Couture Week. When designing for couture, we have to start by thinking about the entire look, from head to toe, unlike our ready-to-wear collection where each piece is designed individually and then runway looks are put together by the stylist we work with. At Paris, we try to put our best foot forward with the most unique designs. Showcasing alongside some of the world’s most renowned fashion houses makes us want to step up our game. So, there’s a lot of experimentation done for the ready-to-wear lines, but it goes hand-in-hand because we are able to take those discoveries and explore them in the couture context, adding newness and bringing modernity to traditional pieces.

What are some of the trends that we can look forward to in the upcoming wedding season?
2018 has witnessed a lot of individuality in the field of fashion, even in the Indian bridal market. Both, the bride and groom, are looking for outfits that best portray their personality and is beyond aesthetics, importance is given to functionality as well. We can see capes and jackets making their way to replace the traditional dupatta and add to functionality. Prominently, pastels and statement hues are in trend, the mood is fun and bold, and a hybrid of contemporary and traditional silhouettes with an evident play of layers and volume are in vogue.

In an earlier interview, you stressed on the idea of ‘slow fashion’. Can you elaborate and tell us how it helps the hundreds of artisans you are working with?
In the past, garment manufacturing industries have majorly exploited resources, both human and natural. To us, it isn’t just about creating a piece of clothing for consumption, but how a piece of clothing can create greater participation. To begin with, we look at designing clothes that are more classic rather than creating a really fashionable, outlandish piece that can go out of fashion by the next season. We also think about the shelf life of each piece, 60-70 per cent of our productions use handloom fabrics, which creates employment for a number of artisans from across the country. Another practice that we follow is the use of hand embroidery, this slows down the process of creation of the garment entirely. We make sure to not dilute the hand embroidery because one machine embroidery unit un-employs more than eight artisans. This slowing of the process brings together more hands working on a single garment which in turn creates a cultural and ethical value for the garments that we produce.

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