‘Like fruits ripening of a tree, like peacocks dancing over a flowery bed…’ Rahul Mishra’s first ever couture collection at AICW proved as to why he won the International Woolmark Prize. Inspired by the multitasking modern woman, this collection had a certain delicateness and airiness that went hand in hand with the effortless craftsmanship seen on each and every garment. Floor-length gowns were tiered with truckloads of threadwork interwoven onto delicate Chanderis and dainty mul muls. There was a perfect contradiction between the handloom textiles and the sharp tailoring, which included biker jackets, often built up or zippered at the end. Pearly white kurtas with asymmetric cutouts were worn over voluminous A-line lehengas, gathered at the waist with a silk-elasticated cummerbund. Floor-sweeping capes were carefully appliquéd with strands of gold brocade as each one was worn over a long tunic and a pair sheer palazzo pants. Flowery motifs as well as that of peacocks were embroidered onto the glitzy garments that came in muted tones of off-white, mustard, beige, purple and hints of jet black. Hand woven Banarasi saris were draped over a chiffon tulle jumper or a lightweight crop top. And you could see the elaborate craftsmanship done by the karigars as Japenese-like shift skirts, often containing a thigh-high slit, were patch worked with a gold embroidered brocade border. From peplum jackets to zippered bombers, each one was paired with a gold Maheshwari lehenga skirt that swayed across the runway like an ancient Victorian gown. Whether it were the contemporary elements put together for a modern-age bride or Rahul’s aggressive design aesthetic, this collection didn’t fail as he definitely revived India’s untouched craftsmanship to produce newer elements into his design repertoire.
Contributed by – Duhin Ganju
pics by – vidushi Gupta