Rahul Mishra went full-on urban this season, which wasn’t a bad thing. Intricate Indian craftsmanship is the label’s mainstay, but he also worked in extra glamour this time, pushing it into a sexier and more modern place — with flower-embellished bikini tops; short, flouncy skirts, and sleeveless tent dresses. Adding to a red-carpet-friendly feel, the lineup included Baroque earrings from diamond house Zoya of the mega Indian conglomerate Tata Group.
Mishra continued his turn into 3-D territory with embroideries that pop off the dresses — first seen in his haute couture debut last season, all white and airy, some sugared with pink. This time, the rows of the buildings were stitched in white and sewed onto black organza — the motif and starkness moored his more fanciful inclinations.
“I was trying to develop the possibility where embroideries are imparting a shape,” he explained backstage before the show, spinning around to grab a jacket. He threw it open to show the rows of tiny squares used to attach the stems holding each individual building — ooh.
“Things are coming to life,” he said, flipping over a sleeve and sending the buildings flying in another direction, piling on one another like confused dominoes — aah.
Escheresque, the effect was a sort of two-fold 3-D — buildings outlined in 3-D shapes, while, hanging off the dresses, they added an extra dimension to the garment itself. One skirt was covered in buildings while the top was all squares; another started out with black shoulders, which spilled into rows of dots that evolved into squares, then cubes, and finally, the buildings — the Hong Kong skyline reflected in the bay. Most effective was a short, shift dress, covered entirely with the embroideries, for a shag effect. “I want to get a Boomerang of that dress,” said one woman backstage, asking the model to twist to the side. “Fabulous!”