India Insight

Colour is India’s over-hyped commodity, fashion designer Rahul Mishra says

(Any opinions expressed here are not those of Thomson Reuters)

Rahul Mishra is the man of the moment in fashion. He just brought home the international Woolmark Prize, the most coveted prize in the fashion world, and one that has gone to some of the biggest names in the industry, such as Karl Lagerfeld.

Mishra, who made his debut at the Lakme Fashion Week in 2006, has created a new kind of fibre from Merino wool that can be worn in the summer. Mishra’s fashions will be on sale at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, Harvey Nichols in London, 10 Corso Como in Milan, Colette in Paris and elsewhere.

Mishra spoke to Reuters on day three of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in New Delhi. Here are excerpts from the interview.

Q. Tell me something about the fibre that you have created.
A. My idea was how can I change the entire notion behind wool being a winter fibre. It’s such a beautiful fibre, but half the world doesn’t even receive serious winters so it can’t be used by so many people. So I thought, can I make wool so thin and lightweight that it turns into a spring summer-fibre? Some of these garments are going to be far more comfortable than their cotton counterparts, and you can wear them in 50 degree centigrade (122 degree fahrenheit) temperature in Delhi.

Q. How did the idea of creating a completely new fibre come to you?
A. I am a control freak, I want to control my yarns, I want to control the fibre which I am using for my designs, that is what gives it uniqueness. I rarely work with ready fabrics which are existing in the market, I am never satisfied with those. If I can create something which is so unique a textile, which does not exist in any other brand in the world, I can express myself in a far more effective way. And this I can do because I am in India and I have got access to hand loom, and a huge archive of beautiful textiles which are woven in India. My idea is to look really far back into the past and create something for today, for the future.

Room for experimentation at Delhi fashion week

(Any opinions expressed here are not those of Thomson Reuters)

The collection that designer duo Shantanu and Nikhil displayed at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in New Delhi last week had all the right elements: it was beautiful, it had lehengas and gowns, it looked regal, it looked vintage. It was an instant hit and a big “sold out” note adorned the door of their stall the very next day. Still, a guest remarked, “it didn’t do it for me.”

That’s the way it goes at fashion shows. Most established designers take the safer path, creating garments in their signature styles and adhering to what the world wants now. Few designers experiment or create avant-garde clothing or try something different than what the market knows it wants and would pay to get.

Take Anand Bhushan’s show, “Broken”. The audience looked confused. Did they like what he made? Maybe, but how many of them will buy it? His clothes were made of leather, plastic and acrylic, and he used copper binding. Some of the pieces were welded together. His skirts, gowns, crop tops and jackets were textured and edgy.

Fashion Week: The one to watch out for

#gallery-1 { margin: auto; } #gallery-1 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 50%; } #gallery-1 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-1 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } A model shows an Aneeth Arora creation on day four of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in New Delhi on Saturday, March 16, 2013. REUTERS/Arnika Thakur A model shows an Aneeth Arora creation on day four of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in New Delhi on Saturday, March 16, 2013. REUTERS/Arnika Thakur
Models show Aneeth Arora creations on day four of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in New Delhi on Saturday, March 16, 2013. REUTERS/Arnika Thakur Models showcase Aneeth Arora creations on day four of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in New Delhi on Saturday, March 16, 2013. REUTERS/Arnika Thakur
A model shows an Aneeth Arora creation on day four of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in New Delhi on Saturday, March 16, 2013. REUTERS/Arnika Thakur A model shows a creation by Aneeth Arora on day four of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in New Delhi on Saturday, March 16, 2013. REUTERS/Arnika Thakur

 

Beautiful clothes aside, designer Aneeth Arora’s show was remarkable for its models — they seemed to be having fun on the runway. It almost seemed like Arora’s creations let them be their usual selves.

Fashionable comfort is perhaps what makes Arora’s designs stand out. Hers are the kind of clothes that don’t require you to tuck your tummy in, or sit in a certain posture and not slouch or worry about clothes getting dirty — all this while being fashionable. Alas! The kind of clothes you don’t find easily on the runway.

Peplum, ruffles, fascinators: Delhi Fashion Week, not the Royal Ascot

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It is not often that Indian designers do evening gowns and dresses without using any Indian elements. Designer duo Gauri and Nainika are two of the few who do.

Their show on day four of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in Delhi could as well have been a day at the races, with bold ruffles, mermaid cuts, pencil dresses, flares, slits and peplum.

“In England, you have the Royal Ascot, so we started out with that as out inspiration, but we wanted to use more of white,” Nainika said.

Heavy-duty designs and a hint of Bollywood break Sunday slumber at Fashion Week

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Kanika Saluja Chaudhary shook fashion fans awake with her strong designs featuring metal work and elaborate headgear on Sunday afternoon, the second day of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in Delhi.

Chaudhary has dressed up Madonna, Nargis Fakhri and Chitrangada Singh, among others. Her designs at Fashion Week, she said, were for women who are creators, fighters and destroyers.

Anaikka (Chaudhary’s label) is known for metal, so we always focus on that. Metal represents strength, longevity and destruction, that’s our focus,’ said Kanika, “I believe metal is a shield, not only in the time of war, but in today’s time as well, it represents shielding, perseverance, strength.”

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