Exploring “The Dawn” of Mindful Couture with Rahul Mishra’s Second Paris Haute Couture Show
All of us have binged on Netflix shows and documentaries during the lockdown for hours on end. So did Rahul Mishra, except that for him, it culminated in a couture collection. Sir David Attenborough’s A Life on Our Planet was a much needed wake up call for all of us, including the designer whose collection “contemplates the state of environmental damage and imagines the world that shall live beyond the interference of the human species.” Along with the alarm of environmental degradation, Chernobyl showed the couturier how nature reclaims its way even at the sites of one of the worst man-made disasters in history. Specifically, a frame showing mushrooms sprouting out of a giant tree. “Mushrooms create rebirth in a real sense. They’re a masterpiece of engineering all on their own,” said Mishra in an interview with Vogue.
A departure from the designer’s signature that is exquisite floral motifs, models wore exotic mushrooms separately hand tacked over the glimmering tree-bark-texture hand-embroidered on tulle and silk organza that is further embellished with wildflowers in a stark white background of a marble dump yard in Rajasthan. What remained constant was the humanity, emotion, and poetry that define the brand’s creations expressed through an unmatched reverence for karigari and time-tested Indian hand-embroidery.
With “optimism” as the buzzword of this season, Rahul Mishra has captured an emotion that is an uncomfortable mix of the anxiety of the damage that has been caused and the hope for renewal. Much like the mushrooms sprouting in Chernobyl disaster sites, mankind also has found a way through the vaccine to float above this life-threatening wave of Covid. His collection, crafted meticulously over 6 months with karigars who would’ve otherwise faced unemployment, stands not just for hope, but the action that should follow to morph that into a better tomorrow.