One of the most talented of the current crop of couturiers, Rahul Mishra says of his Lotus Make-Up India Fashion Week (LMIFW) SS 19 collection that was shown on the ramp last night, “When I was shopping for curtains for my home, I stumbled upon the Daraz work on white bedcovers. I cut them up to make curtains. And I remembered the great steel trunk where my mother stored these white curtains and pillows with Daraz work, a craft that is dying now. I remembered the weavers who wore the blue and white chequered lungis. I remembered my grandmother who wore Maheshwari saris and cotton lungis.
And that’s how I began to explore my intimate relationship with the things of my childhood – the pillow covers, the curtains, the tablecloth. I wanted to take the craft of Chikankari and Daraz and elevate them to luxury fashion. Because memory is a luxury. The way we hold on to smells, colours and textures. Fashion, to me, is an expression of what makes me. As a nostalgist, I want to bring back the 1980s in colour. When memory’s floodgates are opened, you are confronted with the precision of details preserved somewhere in your being. In an imagined sequence, hazy in parts, bright with sharp colour palettes in bits and even rendered in whites. In absentia, memory asserts itself in such interjections.”
The textile development for the collection has its own narrative that emerges from the collection’s theme. The fine cotton was woven in West Bengal. The Maheshwari textiles in this collection with their blue and white checks are an ode to Rahul’s memory of the village and also his growth as a designer working with weavers.
Gossamer, they say, is the very thin thread spiders produce to make webs. These are the threads of memory from which Rahul Mishra has woven this collection.”Truly with the delicacy of hand embroidery and the finest of traditional Indian textiles, this was a collection that mesmerised any lover of luxury fashion, handcrafted expressions of art and sheer beauty.