RAHUL MISHRA may be enjoying the world stage and global applause, but who says it is easy? Nursing a viral flu and the stress of moving house, the Delhi-based designer is also neck deep in finalising his collection for Paris Fashion Week Sping Summer 2015, a little over a fortnight away. After last season’s Birdsong, featuring wispy skirts, delicate knits and the endorsement of international fashion editors, expectations have skyrocketed. Mishra, 35, is confident he will deliver. ‘‘Ours is a dialogue between 2D and 3D, and is very architectural in design. Hand embroidery will be used to create a trompe l’oeil effect, impersonating print, just the opposite, really, of current trends where machines are used to get hand embroidered-like results.’’ The colours, we imagine, in true Mishra style, will include gentle whites and other sophisticated shades. He hopes to make a futuristic statement with hand embroidery and innovative techniques. ‘‘My office people ask me, ‘how will you produce these clothes you have created for the Paris show when the orders come in?’ They are highly constructed garments, you see, and take many man hours. But how does one find something new if you don’t push the envelope?’’ asks Mishra, who champions the cause of Indian handlooms and has famously sent his artisans back to their hometowns from cities to work on his projects. This ‘reverse migration’ he has said, will ensure craftsmen don’t have to live away from their families to make a living. And in the bargain, clients get an unusual ‘mixed media’ of embroideries on clothes that are at home in any urban landscape.
Made for Chennai
Next week, Mishra will be bringing some of these hand-embroidered and custom-woven designs to Chennai. From his Tree of Life collection that debuted in July, they include mixable separates that range from bomber jackets and capes to sweatshirts, kurtas and lehengas. They celebrate Chintz motifs, with flowers and birds. This is couture but with the soul of luxe sportswear. Designed for the contemporary bride, Mishra says his clientele – well educated and travelled – is confident enough to curate a look. ‘‘I can see a bride wearing my lehenga with her mother’s old blouse and styled with a precious jamawar shawl,’’ he says. His muse continues to be a multitasking woman who is both strong and fragile, with a personal sense of style. It is an extension of his wife, maintains the soon-to-be father. Mishra will be following up his Paris show with a visit to Jakarta. His designs are now a big hit in Japan and China too. As for Chennai, he likes that we are ‘‘evolved, more so than Delhi’’ and looks forward to sharing our love for both old and new. Pricing from Rs 20,000. Details: 28333627