A graduate of India's National Institue of Design, Rahul Mishra has a number of impressive achievements and accolades under his belt. Already labeled a "talent to watch out for" by France's president of fashion, Didier Grumbach, Rahul has also become the first non-European designer to win a scholarship at the Istituto Marangoni in Milan.
Rahul believes in the importance of combining India's unique cultural heritage and history of craft with the evolving characteristics of global fashion. Strand of Silk went backstage at Alchemy to learn more about his latest collection.
The collection is called "Similar Opposites". It is inspired by shoes - one is left, one is right; they are similar, but they are opposite. In the same way, I've used silk yarn blended along with Merino wool - both are similar kinds of yarn, but they are opposite in nature. Plus, everything in the collection is handwoven/handcrafted. When you think about handcraft from the villages of India, you don't really think about it being a sportswear or street wear kind of look. I tried to present these two contrasts together.
I have been a relevant participant at WOW (World of Wearable Art, New Zealand). In my, in fashion, we are all creative artists who need to create business. For me, whatever I showcase for one season, in a 50 minute show, describes how thousands of people living in India are dependent on me. They will have bread and butter and be able to send their kids to school. So it's a very responsible job and I think that is a big part of fashion. It's not just about what I like doing, it's all about the look which I want to propose for a new season for the modern girl. Think about how the computers were 10 year back and look at iPads and iPhones today's technology has been simplified, things are getting lightweight. We need to infuse a modern technology, modern look: My inspiration comes from how simplified clothing can be, in a most unique way.
For me, the most important thing is that in India the cities are really growing, but the villages are left far behind. This is happening in every part of the world. My philosophy is that I can also bring villages along. I create my crafts and fabrics in local villages and I don't just employ the people there, I also try to convert them into entrepreneurs. These are people who are not very well educated and not very well read, but they know their art really well. So my entire idea, my ambition, is to create more and more entrepreneurs in different pockets of India and teach them to work according to a global understanding, a global aesthetic. Today, what is happening in fashion and technology and all other areas is that people can buy from anywhere. We have gone into a state of being a global village where style is constantly flowing from one place to the other. What brings a newness to my work is that my textiles are all woven and textiles have got this newness in terms of look, feel and aesthetics. In my opinion this has to be one of the best recipes for the modern woman who wants to look different but yet who also follows trends.
Yesterday I was saying, that Bombay is a melting pot for entire India. London is a melting pot for the entire world. It is truly one of the global cities. London is a place where people come from different parts of life and different areas and they all become one unit. Somehow London can leave us with an example of how the entire world should live. In my opinion London is in this way one of the most advanced cities in terms of cultural mix and accepting each other.
In Bombay people believe that when others come from outside they are going to spoil the culture of Bombay. But actually they improve the culture and become part of it. What can be more beautiful, than everybody coming together? Why are people worried about their identity? I think London is a clear cut example of how the whole world is going be.