The French are hard to please; I am lucky to have represented India for the past 8 years, says fashion designer Rahul Mishra
Art is where the heart is and when you’ve been at your creative artistic best in the midst of a pandemic, you know you’re unstoppable. Rising above the odds and giving his best, fashion designer Rahul Mishra kicked off 2022 by showcasing his couture line The Enchanted during the recent Paris Haute Couture Week 2022. A love poem to nature, the collection is a humble tribute to the elaborate biodiversity of the Himalayas. Similar to Rumi’s thought, “Beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and righteous deeds, there is a field. I’ll meet you there, Rahul truly believes that beyond conventional and unconventional fashion, art and fantasy, there is a place where couture was created. Conscious fashion champion Rahul Mishra spoke to News18 about learning the craft of digital showcase filmmaking, the absence of chaos behind the scenes of live shows and why couture transcends the culture and ethnicity.
In January 2020, he became the first Indian designer to feature at Paris Haute Couture Week and for the past few seasons he has been celebrating India on the platform. The Enchanted showcase, which was originally going to be a physical show, had to go the digital route because Rahul tested positive for Covid. “I wanted to go back to real shows and this time it was all planned to go back and present. Nothing can replace life-size clothing [on the runway]. My whole family was Covid positive in December. So we decided that a physical show wouldn’t work given the circumstances, so we communicated with the federation that we would do a digital show instead,” Rahul expresses.
According to Rahul, a digital experience cannot replace the experience created by a live performance. Even though the digital showcase has been well received online, Rahul isn’t sure everyone has seen it. He says, “Especially at Paris Haute Couture Week, where people are rushing from place to place to see a show, you don’t expect them to see a fashion show. on a cell phone. It was a wonderful collection, but I don’t know if everyone saw it. When you’re talking about important fraternity people attending physical shows, a digital experience can’t do it justice. It can expand your fashion concept digitally, but it can never replace the experience of people sitting and watching your show.”
However, embracing the digital space gave him the opportunity to learn the craft of filmmaking. And every successful project needs an army of creative people. Filmed during the day, Rahul thanks his team and his wife Divya for making this possible. “Even though I miss doing physical shows, nothing can replace a live show. But yeah, the digital medium helped me create a message through film that might not have been possible in a physical show. Thus, both are equally exciting and beautiful mediums. So, I don’t think one replaces the other, but yeah, given the circumstances we’re in right now, it’s the best time to do digital shows,” Rahul says.
Asked about the possibility of bringing Indian couture to Paris, he replied: “It’s not a question of Indian couture, it’s a question of global couture. Couture transcends ethnicity and culture. What I present in India is my bridal collection. And what I present in Paris is India for the world. The French are very hard to please. They drop people off very quickly. There are cases when a designer presents for a year and the next season he is dropped. If it’s not global enough, it’s not good enough. I am fortunate to have represented India for the past 8 years.
Be it Zendaya or Janhvi Kapoor, Rahul Mishra couture and ready-to-wear ensembles have been worn by Indian and international celebrities on the red carpet. So, does he think the trip from runway to red carpet is helping the couture industry? “From a branding point of view, when celebrities walking the red carpet appear in your clothes, it’s a big high. But it doesn’t have too much impact on the French federation. For example, fashion giants Ralph & Russo dressed nearly every celebrity in the world and filed for bankruptcy.The business side and the creative side are slightly trickier than may sound like a formula.”
Reflecting on the critical and commercial success of Rahul Mishra’s couture collections, the brand is ready to embark on a collaborative journey with RELIANCE BRANDS LIMITED (RBL). “Our desire was to also focus on ready-to-wear and expand our universe by democratizing the fashion we cultivate. With this partnership for the new brand, we are sure to achieve conscious growth while giving the process due attention and care,” adds Rahul Mishra.
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