For his fourth runway show since winning the International Woolmark Prize, Mumbai-based designer Rahul Mishra eschewed the experimental for garments that hewed close to the reality of the streets. But that didn't make them any less lovely and will help them step out of the purely artisanal arena.
His women live in a harsher world and therefore their wardrobe reflects this changed reality. Despite maxi handkerchief hems and floaty transparencies, his dresses were what any woman would step out in, desiring elegance even on the go. Jumpers co-existed with long trailing gowns. When he tailored blousons and biker jackets, his collection took a relevant slant that didn't fade even when his designs turned out to be classically inclined. The patterns which he lifted from traditional porcelain didn't distract, despite their labor-intensive nature.
The collection relied heavily on its handicrafts to provide more than just a contemporary wardrobe. Mishra holds an unshakeable belief in the power of human hands. Last season, he highlighted intent as the alchemical bond between hands and technology in the quest to create. This iteration, he moved his cursor to the magic of craftsmen's golden hands. It was, as a whole, an ode to slow fashion, the kind that takes patience to achieve the desired result, where the reward to long hours spent is the delight the item brings throughout its continued use. There is no see-now buy-now to this, and nor should there be. It isn't so much refusal of a new way or adherence to old ones as it is about setting his own way.
Quoting the words of Albert Camus' Retour