The lockdown has affected our beings in various ways. For couturier Rahul Mishra, battling daily challenges of business is par for the course, but it’s hard to dismiss what this gap in time has also awarded him with. After his success of showcasing on the official haute couture runway for spring couture 2020, the designer and his team already started working on the next lineup. Between January and June, boundaries became more permanent and the distance of flying across a continent suddenly felt like too wide a chasm. However a letter signed by Ralph Toledano and Pascal Morand, president and executive president respectively, of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, inviting him to showcase again this season, really turned things around. “I have to say, being a part of the calendar is very exciting and the ray of positivity we needed,” Mishra says, the smile evident in his tone as he commuted to his factory one Saturday morning. Who would have ever imagined, haute couture, the most revered, exclusive form of fashion showcase that exists would ever be as democratic as to go digital? The great leveller that the virus is, has now allowed for fashion shows to be more accessible than ever. This season, the Federation has invited the designers to present their collections by way of a short fashion film.
Is it possible to fall asleep in Noida and wake up in Giverny? Rahul Mishra has been musing over Claude Monet’s water lilies—what if the impressionist legend had a bird’s eye view of the lake? Working on that chain of thought, he is ready to present a capsule collection for couture this season. Not unlike his work for the Woolmark Prize, Mishra sees himself keeping the lineup between six and ten pieces. “No matter how good a digital illustration, till the time you don’t actualise it, without seeing a physical sample, it’s like shooting in the dark,” he shares his struggles of working virtually for a process that’s so reliant on tactile sense. “We started working in the factory mid-May with sampling keeping to only 30 per cent of our normal capacity.”
As Mishra watches nature wake up from the abuse of human impact, he has time to metaphorically and quite literally stop and smell the flowers. From observing birds taking flights to witnessing an abundance of butterflies in his garden, Mishra is certain that nature will correct itself, despite the limbo we are stuck in. Masks, which are an essential part of lives now, to him are a simple reminder of the limitations of our race. How will his humbled stance against the power of nature see realisation as a garment? We’ll wait to find out.Also read:
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