Tag Archives: chanderi

Designer Spotlight: Rahul Mishra

 

Rahul Mishra

If you follow Indian fashion, then you know Rahul Mishra is the name to know in fashion circles. Hailing from Malhausi, a small village 50 miles away from Kanpur, he was far removed from the fashion world growing up but you’d never know it judging from his recent successes on the runway. After pursuing a degree in science at Kanpur University, it was a chance encounter that got him to enrol at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad. Turned out, this master’s degree helped him find his metaphoric calling.

Rahul Mishra

                                                                                        Couture 2015 collection

Mishra’s early accolades like winning the ‘Fiesta Italiana Talent Hunt Contest’ by Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce affirmed that the Kanpur boy was incredibly talented. His stint at NID finally provided him with the creative space that he needed to hone his skills, and it also led to a realization that design could be used to uplift fading Indian arts and crafts. In 2006, he debuted at Lakme Fashion Week with collection featuring handloom techniques from Kerala. Needless to say, it won rave reviews. This collection also earned him a scholarship with Istituto Marangoni, Milan, where he created a new range using chikankari (Lucknowi work) by innovative pattern making that reduced the textile consumption up to 30 per cent.

Maheshwari collection

                                                                                      Maheshwari collection

It was only a matter of time until the world took notice. He was one of nine international designers invited by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University to be a part of a landmark exhibition, and also won the International Designer of the Year award at the International Apparel Federation annual convention in Netherlands. The Victoria & Albert Museum, London briefly exhibited his chanderi work, and National Geographic showcased his label’s philosophy in a UNESCO documentary.

Rahul Mishra

But the best was yet to come. In 2014, the designer won the coveted International Woolmark Prize—an award that only the likes of Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld have been honoured with in the past. Mishra was the first ever Indian to win it. Up next was a coveted spot at Paris Fashion week, which he’s been showcasing at ever since.

Rahul Mishra

No amount of international adulation has swayed the brilliant designer from his core belief—to ‘let craft lead the way’. He continues to innovate and actively work towards bringing Indian crafts to the global spotlight and elevate those who struggle to keep the art alive every day. His most significant act has been the reverse migration of artisans from the slums of Mumbai back to their craft villages in a bid to provide them steady employment.

Mishra’s silhouettes contemporise the traditional fabrics he is so partial to in a bid to appeal to the modern Indian woman. He is particularly known for reinventing sari blouses—from overlapping jackets and capes to bomber jackets. Mishra is also often gives essentially western silhouettes like embellished sweatshirts, pencil skirts and sheath dresses his signature update.

Rahul Mishra

Come 2015, Mishra continues to be a fashionable force to reckon with. Presently, the Victoria & Albert Museum plans to permanently showcase his Woolmark Prize collection, and the label retails at the snazziest fashion chains across the world. There’s also the PFW SS ’15 show we just can’t wait for!

What do you think of the designer? Tell us in the comment box below! 

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Filed under Designer Style, Indian Fashion 101, Indian-Inspired, Luxemi Style, Runway Shows, Trend Update

Do You Know Your Indian Weaves?

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Made in India is seeing a revival—a revolutionary revival, actually. A host of designers are shining the spotlight on traditional handlooms and weaves from different parts of the country without succumbing to the ‘modern update’. So on the one hand you have Rahul Mishra putting chanderi on the international style map, while on the other Prime Minister Narendra Modi made khadi kurtas and nehru jackets stitched in Ahemdabad a major rage. Embracing and donning our Indian heritage is no longer considered old school or uncool. In fact, this return to our roots is a thing now. A stylish statement, really. If you’ve been following along you know Luxemi’s been championing this for awhile. So if you’re gearing up to make closet space for this traditional throwback, it begs the question—can you tell your patolas from your kalamkaris? And do you which region is famous for their upadas? Fret not; we have the ultimate guide for you!

Andhra Pradesh

indian weaves 101

Kalamkari collection by Neeta Lulla

The looms of Pochampalli, Venkatagiri, Gadwal, Narayanpet, Dharmavaram, Uppadas are best known for their silk and cotton sarees. The state’s Mangalgiri cottons and Kalmkari prints are lauded as well.

Bihar 

indian weaves 101

Tussar silk

That tussar silk (a non-mulberry type of silk) sari your grandmom is so fond of? It’s from this state! Bihar is also equally famous for their handwoven cotton mulmuls, particularly in the Madhubani print.

Gujarat

indian weaves 101

Patola creation by Gaurang Shah

The patola print, which is a particular craze these days, is a specialty of Gujarat and is made using a tie and dye technique that requires intricate weaving. The region’s Kutch work is equally well known too.

Jammu and Kashmir

indian weaves 101

Kashmiri Heritage collection by Manish Malhotra

Your shawl collection can never be deemed complete without atleast one pure pashmina or toosh from the region. Kashmiri kashida embroidery is equally beautiful and has to be seen to be believed! No wonder Manish Malhotra dedicated an entire collection to it in 2012!

Karnataka

indian weaves 101

Vidya Balan in Mysore silk

The Southern state’s Mysore silk sarees with pure zari borders, silk sarees with kasuti embroidery and belgaum sarees are heirloom pieces every fashionista should own.

Madhya Pradesh

indian weaves 101

Chanderi creation by Rahul Mishra

The chanderi fabric that Rahul Mishra has made so famous world over comes from this state. The state’s craftsmen are masters at churning our chanderi silk and maheshwari sarees too.

Maharashtra

indian weaves 101

Kirron Kher in Paithani silk saree

Exquisite Paithani saris and Vidarbha Karvati sarees in kosa silk that are a staple in the state are coveted across the country and are often handed down for generations.

Orissa

indian weaves 101

Sambalpuri ikat

The ikat print, which is splashed across collections of most high street giants today, is in fact the forte of this state and is known as sambalpuri ikat. Orissa is also famed for their bomkari handlooms, where designs are inspired by mythology spruced with animal and floral patterns.

Rajasthan

indian weaves 101

Bandhani and gota outfit by Anita Dongre

Rajasthan’s handlooms are just as vibrant and colourful as the state’s culture. Their bandhani or bandhej (a type of tie and dye technique), leheriya, gotta patti, zari and zardosi work are extremely famous and have found patrons in several designers like Anita Dongre and Nidhi Tholia among others.

Uttar Pradesh

indian weaves 101

Jame Judi Dench in a chikankari outfit by Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla

Lucknowi chikan embroidery, an erstwhile favourite of Nawabs and royalty as well as a technique on which Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla have built their empire, hails from UP. It has been adapted into western and fusion wear too.

West Bengal

indian weaves 101

Kantha work

Baluchari work sarees that highlight the rustic culture of the state’s villages as well the subtle yet stately Kantha embroidery sarees are a must-buy for someone visiting West Bengal!

What do you think of our Indian weaves 101 session? Tell us in the comment box below!

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