Rahul Mishra presents the Couture spring summer 2023 collection in Paris.
We as humans, lie at a fascinating junction between two infinite worlds. Looking outwards, we face the boundless, ever-expanding interstellar space and inwards, we preserve the illimitable, all-containing human mind. Like a thin membrane between two identical planes—not separating but not combined either—our physical bodies are embraced by realities that are vast and bewildering.
Rahul Mishra’s Cosmos is a vision of physical reality founded in the utmost truth of our being—originating from the Sanskrit statement ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ which informs, ‘I am the cosmos’. It tries to understand if the world that surrounds us may be a construction of stimulations interpreted by the human brain, and if the universe within us may be a replication of the physical reality we are a minuscule part of. With this collection, we break the linearity of comprehension with inclusion of fantasy.
Light years apart yet set on the same horizon, there are galaxies in the vacuum constantly originating and fading. Who is to say that they aren’t contained in a single water droplet, and who will deny that the droplet lies in an ocean. The piercing gaze of an eagle comprehends the world below it, in a manner that a small ladybug cannot fathom. And this season, our ‘Cosmos’ expands from human landscape into the beyond — the sunken city of Atlantis, gleaming in gold over a vivid coral reef as streams of salt water flow above the atmosphere curtailing celestial bodies, planets and planetoids. The collection is explained by the beauty that surrounds us through nature and how humans may wish to interact with it.
Some pieces observe the gaze on human dwellings as behemothic ecosystems burgeoning towards the sky akin to weed, while others look to our fellow species experiencing life in imaginative habitats. While one person’s cosmos may be within the members of their family, another’s may be in the mirror. Like a million atoms enclosed in a water droplet, we observe several stories through this collection but most of all, our ‘Cosmos’ speaks of yearning. A yearning for a beautiful world, full of magic.
Realised in two and three dimensional hand embroidery complemented by elements made in hand casted recycled brass that are gold plated and encrusted with Swarovski crystals, this collection becomes our most exuberant effort at surface development. Hand crafted across villages of India, each separate generates employment for over three thousand human hours on an average. Articulated from age-old traditional Indian craft techniques, the application speaks to a global couture consumer of today. Striving to be ‘art’, while remaining ‘fashion’ the collection remains independent of trends and aspires to retain the whimsy of ‘classic’.
Each element from our ‘Cosmos’ is proudly made in India, with love, for the world.
About Rahul Mishra
Rahul Mishra, the first Indian designer to showcase at the Paris Haute Couture Week champions slow fashion with traditional Indian crafts. His eponymous label with two flagship stores in India and a thriving national and international distribution channel finds its genesis in the ideas of sustainability that present fashion as a tool to create participation and empower the local craft community of India.
The brand’s purpose defines the process. The achingly slowed down process of hand-weaving and hand embroidery allows to build sustainable livelihoods for more than 1000 artisans. Fashion critic and former International Fashion Editor of Vogue, Suzy Menkes, an avid follower of the brand’s work, regards Rahul as a “national treasure” while the late Franca Sozzani has praised him as “successfully highlighting the best and most peculiar features of his homeland.”
The design house that works on the philosophy of the 3 E’s – Environment, Employment, and Empowerment, aims to look at luxury from the lens of participation and not just consumption.