A lot of people associate Indian couture primarily with traditional bridal wear, however designer Rahul Mishra, who will be showcasing at this prestigious platform for the first time has a different story to tell. The gifted designer, who has made India proud at a global platform, is excited to redefine the Indian silhouettes with his collection called the ‘Tree of Life’. He gives an exclusive behind-the-scene glimpse of what’s in store for those who will be rooting for this exceptionally creative designer.

“The collection “Tree of Life” takes inspiration from the multitasking modern women, in terms of strength and fragility”, says Rahul. He says, “In an era of destination weddings and multiple events, we intend to create a new look with international influences and strong traditional Indian elements. For this collection we are doing ornate Bomber jackets, intricate capes and new ‘IT’ saris. The sari’s are exactly the way they are in length just the aesthetics will be changed — we are taking old motifs and ideas and making it look very modern not just in terms of styling even the way they are being constructed. We are also doing jumpers like sweatshirts, that have strong Indian feel to them but with an international look as far as the silhouette is concerned. We are also redefining how we look at lehengas this season, where in they will look the same but they will have a very functional feel.”

He adds further, “We are showcasing 34 looks, and it was a long thought process so it took us conceptually two months to put together the collection. This collection has a lot of traditional textiles like Maheshwari fabric, Benarasi silk, silk organza, new age knit textiles and a bit of felt fabric to create entirely new looks. There is mix of textiles with a strong influence of hand embroidery — these hand embroidery’s are a process that we have started by reverse migration of craftsman’s from the slums of Mumbai back to their hometown and villages. These craftsmen are doing some great embroidery for us that we showcased at Paris, and it helped me win the Woolmark prize.”
It has been in a way almost of a decade from the time Rahul finished his education in Milan, came back and launched the brand in 2008 after doing his first Gen Next show in 2006. So participating in the Indian couture week is a special milestone in his career so far. He mentions, “I have always believed in creation of fashion which is production friendly at the same time wearer friendly. I really feel that the distinction between couture and ready-to-wear kind of blurs the way we work. If you see my Paris fashion week collection also, it has a lot of handmade, hand work quality and even in terms of handloom fabric it qualifies as couture. Today being a part of India couture week is very exciting at least we are now officially the part of the calendar. In terms of my design philosophy I didn’t have to change a lot, do a great deal of  translation, the couture week will focus on my Indian market where else our shows at Paris fashion week looks after our supply all over the world including India. There is no other platform bigger or better than India Couture Week in the country I hope we can live up to the expectations.”
~ JB


(left) A sketch by the designer; (right) Rahul Mishra
(left) A sketch by the designer; (right) Rahul Mishra