This season’s memories came out of the chest where Rahul Mishra’s mother stocked the linen. Revisiting craftsmanship used for household staples like curtains and pillow covers, Mishra embellished his lineup of breezy dresses, oversize button-up shirts and a suit jacket with intricate stitching and embroidery. Much of it was all white, the best way to highlight such handiwork, and adding to the quiet confidence channeled by the collection.
The designer embraces his nostalgic bent — fuel for promoting traditional seamstress methods. The collection included a decorative seam technique mastered by a dwindling number of artisans called Daroz, which was used on fabrics for royals.
He also offered pieces in a delicate, handwoven material, made in villages — a form of production he seeks to increase. Too fine for tailoring, he left it loose, attaching folds with spare use of stitching.
With skirts mostly running past the ankles and seams split open to make room for wide panels of pleated fabric, fluidity was prevalent. The suit jacket was double-breasted, cut wide but ultralight — nearly transparent — with no lining.
“This collection is one of the most intimate collections I’ve ever done,” the designer explained, backstage before the show. He was referring to memories from his childhood and of time spent with his young daughter that inspired his designs. Hydrangeas sketched with his daughter became embroidered flowers on a dress, while the fresh dew drops they had observed together were transposed on fabric with Swarovski crystals in pale pastels.
One of the last pieces was particularly striking — a black dress covered in a colored embroidery in a garden motif with crowded vegetation that became sparse lower down on the skirt, like aquatic plants poking out of water.
“Full of greenery, this is almost like a lake, an ecosystem on the outfit,” he laughed.