Designer Rahul Mishra’s colourful and daring couture collection, Maraasim, from the India Couture Week 2018 runway has walked its way straight into our heart. On Saturday at his couture show, Mishra left no stone unturned to merge the past with the present in a bevy of unique Mughal era architecture-inspired lehengas, sarees, floor-grazing jackets, anarkalis and capes embellished with dizzying geometric and floral motifs in a spectrum of colours. For the first time, Mishra also presented menswear with vivid embroideries.
“There is a cross-pollination of ideas for this collection. I have tried to give everything a fresh look, and historical art a new space,” Mishra, the first Indian designer to win the International Woolmark prize, told Hindustan Times in an interview before his ICW 2018 show, presented by Hindustan Times and Sunil Sethi Design Alliance.
Wishing for anything but head-to-toe sparkle? Mishra’s lehengas and anarkalis adorned with his signature 3D embroideries can be a serious standout in a sea of occasionwear dripping in sequins. Colours, like, corals, greens, whites, gold and blues made their presence felt. And so did soft pastel-hued handwoven fabrics, like, kinkhab Benarasi, organza, merino wool, muga silk, georgettes, chiffons and chanderi (enhanced with golden and silver warps, traditionally known as zari). Mishra’s explosive usage of bright colours was made glamorous via luxe details, like Swarovski crystals and regal zardozi.
c embellishment from India, Zardozi carries a long standing royal lineage. Satin and stem stitches traditionally done with metallic gold thread on the slate frame called ‘Adda’, add luxe details to our intricate resham thread work. Along with beads, sequences and pearls, this ornate style of embroidery complements our couture pieces,” Mishra shared in an Instagram post.
With this collection, Mishra seemed to be fondly looking to the past in order to move forward into the future. Intricate resham thread work took center stage through clustering palms, budding lotuses, miniature carnations and complex geometrical patterns inspired from Mughal architecture and miniature paintings.
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“The 17th century Mughal architecture inspires us significantly for the extensive explorations done at the time, in the use of floral motifs and mixing of local art forms. The relatively less known Asif’s Khan’s tomb featured some of the finest examples of complicated architectural details in the form of stalactite vaults at the roof of its entrance portals and the internal dome. The virtuoso demonstration of the spatial geometry with facets shaped as stars and diamonds set at angles in actual three dimensions gave us an opportunity to explore our craft in terms of colour, design and aesthetic. We have revived and recreated the geometric patterns from the monument which seemed to be getting lost in time and remain relatively unknown to the world,” Mishra shared in an Instagram post.