Tag Archives: rahul mishra

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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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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Indian Designers and Handloom Revival

 

Brocade and silk on Luxemi

Traditional fabrics on Luxemi

While fashion is all about looking towards the future and having a global approach, it’s equally important to stay in touch with one’s roots. And there’s no better place to start the search than our own backyard! So it is no surprise that ‘handloom and textile revival’ is the latest buzzword in Indian fashion. So much so that the recently concluded Lakme Fashion Week dedicated an entire day to it every season. From Wendell Rodricks and Tarun Tahiliani to Sabysachi and Abu-Sandeep, scores of designers have lent their stylish touch to this cause. Luxemi has always supported this return to tradition. So, this week, we’ve rounded some of the top designers who are consistently churning out the most noteworthy designs to support this ever-so-chic cause!

Rahul Mishra

Rahul Mishra Woolmark Prize collection

Rahul Mishra Woolmark Prize collection

When Rahul Mishra became the first Indian designer to win the International Woolmark Prize (IWP) at Milan Fashion Week earlier this year, it wasn’t just a victory for Indian fashion but also for our textiles and weaves. The designer who is best known for his simple garments with complex craftsmanship has made a career (and a rather successful one at that) of promoting cotton handloom, traditional textiles and handmade artisanship.

Sabyasachi Mukherjee

Sabyasachi Save the Saree

Vidya Balan in Sabysachi handloom sarees

When this designer du jour lends his magic touch to a garment, it’s sure to fly off the racks. And trust Sabyasachi to bring handlooms back in vogue. His ‘Save the Saree’ project tries to revive this dying industry of Bengal and Andhra Pradesh and provide longevity to traditional weaving practices.

Shruti Sancheti

Shruti Sanchet LFW SR14

Shruti Sanchet LFW SR14

Shruti Sancheti is another name oft associated with handloom revival and she always makes sure to give her creations a trendy twist. Kudos to her for focusing on wearability and interpreting these silhouettes in a modern context.

Gaurang Shah

Gaurang Shah at LFW SR14

Kirron Kher at Gaurang Shah LFW SR14

Hyderabad-based Gaurang Shah has carved a niche for himself with his consistent innovation of Jamdani weaves. “It is good to practice modernity but not at the cost of our heritage and tradition that has so much grace and authenticity,” he was quoted saying.

Anita Dongre

Anita Dongre LFW SR14

Anita Dongre LFW SR14

Acclaimed designer Anita Dongre (who’s had her own fashionable input at Luxemi) has a dedicated ‘Grassroots’ initiative that is all about environmental glam and creating wardrobe staples out of sustainable fabrics. One look at how chic Dia Mirza looks in one of these designs and we’re totally sold on it!

Krishna Mehta

Krishna Mehta at LFW SR14

Krishna Mehta at LFW SR14

 

Veteran designer Krishna Mehta’s fuss-free yet supremely elegant Indian wear has always rested on the charm of handlooms to work their magic. From Bhagalpur to Pochampalli and from Manipur to Varanasi; Mehta uses the textiles of these regions in an easy chic context. Her latest collection saw her revive Maheshwari weaves for a summer-friendly look.

Ekaya

Ekaya sarees

Ekaya

Ekaya, founded by father-daughter duo Bharat and Palak Shah, is all about bringing the best of Benaras to Delhi. They employ over 10,000 weavers and craftsmen to create their exciting clothing range using Tussar silks, crepes, khadi, chikankari, vibrant pop-colored tanchois and rich Banarasi brocade.

Raw Mango

Raw Mango sarees

Raw Mango sarees

Here is yet another contemporary brand that is all about making Indian handwoven textiles and traditional techniques trendy. We heart their timeless designs and vibrant use of colors.

Which of these designers would you rather wear? Tell us in the comment box below!

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi 

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Luxemi’s top picks from WIFW Spring/Summer 2014

A few super packed months of fashion frenzy finally came to a close with the 5-day extravaganza that was Wills India Fashion Week Spring/ Summer 2014. Fashion folks are finally breathing easy for a while now… until the next round of runway parties kick-start again, that is!

WIFW SS '14 finale

Finale at WIFW SS ’14

So, while we may still be revelling in the chicest AW ’13 styles, we couldn’t help but drool over the lust worthy SS ’14 ensembles that stole the spotlight at WIFW held in India’s capital city. And here’s what clearly shone brightest on the runways this time — a decided break from bling and all thing OTT. The pack of new designers who took to the forefront proved that understated looks are the new statement makers!

Here’s a round up of the must-haves that you should be making closet space for this summer.

Intricate embroideries at Pankaj & Nidhi

pankaj and nidhi at WIFW SS14

‘Grammar Ornament’ by Pankaj & Nidhi

Pankaj & Nidhi sure know a thing (or many) about luxe pret wear. Their ‘Grammar of Ornament’ collection was a tale of painstaking embroidered finesse and three-dimensional applique techniques.

Pankaj & Nidhi at WIFW SS14

‘Grammar Ornament’ by Pankaj & Nidhi

Oh, and that brilliant canary yellow hue had us dreaming of summer instantly!

Traditional weaves at Rahul Mishra

rahul mishra at WIFW SS14

‘Kiss’ by Rahul mishra

Rahul Mishra has always championed traditional weaves and this time was no different. His contemporary and utterly wearable use of khadi and jamdani gets a decided thumbs up from us!

Modern-day glamour at Annaikka

Kanika Saluja at wifw ss'14

Annaikka by Kanika Saluja

Kanika Saluja’s label Annaikka stands as the voice of the powerful woman of today. Her SS ’14 line continued this legacy. Infused with the neon pops and contemporary cuts, it made a strong and power packed style statement.

Sporty chic at Masaba

masaba's WIFW SS14 collection

Masaba opens WIFW SS ’14 with her line

The classic Fitzgerald girl unleashed her sporty side in Masaba’s latest collection. We loved the interplay of bright doses of pink and blue juxtaposed with a monochrome palate. The sari worn over pants works brilliantly for a laid back daytime Indian affair.

Print party at Dev r Nil 

dev r nil at wifw ss14

Dev r Nil’s breezy silhouettes

Dev r Nil’s collection was a master class in teaming sombre-colored clashing prints together. The artful layering of the flowy silhouettes gets our vote!

Structural drapes at Dolly J

dolly j at WIFW SS14

Dolly J’s structured silhouettes

The Gauri & Nainika vibe aside, we love how Dolly J gave her silhouettes a structured twist. The monotone colors and clean embellishments lent the ensembles a fierce look, one we are definitely digging!

Dolly J at WIFW SS '14

Dolly J at WIFW SS ’14

Sequinned drizzle at Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna

CUE AT WIFW 13

Glamour unleashed at Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna

Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna stuck to what they know best — dollops of unabashed glamour. We are particularly crushing on the pants teamed with asymmetrical tops in pastel hues…we’d wear to a mehndi soiree for a welcome break from the conventional traditional looks.

Boho glam at Anupamaa by Anupama Dayal

anupama dayal at WIFW SS14

Anupamaa by Anupama Dayal

The archetypical Anupama Dayal girl is all set to unleash the gypset within this summer. Vivid color, whimsical prints and nonchalant layering…what’s not to love?

Here’s to a super stylish Spring-Summer ’14! Until next season…

By Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi

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Luxemi’s top picks from Lakmé Fashion Week Winter-Festive ’13

Autumn-Winter has arrived and here’s the thing: This Fall you can be utterly glamorous or unapologetically understated. You can be flirtatiously feminine or take the androgynous route, if you please. As long as you stay true to your personal sensibilities and have a little fun while you’re at it, you’re good to go. And this was a fact that was whole-heartedly showcased on Lakmé Fashion Week Winter-Festive ’13 runways.

The shows aside, what also became conspicuously clear is that Indian street style has really come of age. The venue was thronged by some of the most fashionably dressed people from the industry (and not just necessarily the Bollywood celebrities in attendance) – think stylists, designers, buyers and magazine editors in the coolest designs of the season.

Here’s a look at some hot-of-the-ramp festive looks we are absolutely digging this season!

Nikhil Thampi: Go for gold

nikhil thampi lfw aw13

‘Indian Punk’ by Nikhil Thampi

This cropped jacket and draped skirt by fashion’s latest blue-eyed boy, advocates making some space for a gold rush. Yes, it’s a tad daring – but where’s the fun in safe, right?

Sabyasachi: Fit for a queen

sabyasachi at lfw aw 13

Grande finale by Sayasachi

Clearly, Sabyasachi’s interpretation of the jazz-age maharani is effing cool! This unexpected but delightfully charming pairing of satin and sheer half-saris teamed with a Breton striped blouses aptly epitomized his vision, making it an easy favorite.

Anita Dongre: The new-age bride

anita dongre lfw aw 13

The Jaipur Bride by Anita Dongre

Anita Dongre’s ‘Jaipur bride’ is calm, confident and independent, a far cry from her demure doe-eyed counterpart. She sips on red wine, sports a tattoo and even drives her own jeep! This look (need to get those dhoti pants now!) in a trending color for the season packs in just the right punch of nonchalant edge, making for a powerful statement.

Nupur Kanoi: Effortless cool

Nupur Kanoi at LFW WF 2013 1

‘Eccentricity Tour’ by Nupur Kanoi

We loved the relaxed and laid back vibe of Nupur Kanoi’s collection, the industry’s latest sworn favorite. Interesting layering of smart separates and zipper detailing particularly resonated with us.

Nupur Kanoi at LFW WF 2013

‘Eccentricity Tour’ by Nupur Kanoi

Easy to mix and match, you can amp up many a simple traditional ensemble with these standout pieces. Easy chic, if you please!

Rahul Mishra: Traditional with a twist

Rahul Mishra LFW WF 2013

‘Sunheri’ by Rahul Mishra

Rahul Mishra’s handloom couture collection, ‘Sunheri’ was a master class in marrying traditional textiles with contemporary silhouettes. These pepulm blouses paired with lehengas and saris have made it to our ‘worth breaking the bank for’ list. They personify an utterly fabulous symbiosis of age-old craft with a modern flair.

Payal Khandwala: A balancing act

payal khandwala lfw aw 13

‘A Fine Balance’ by Payal Khandwala

Payal Khandwala‘s bid to provide the unusual has definitely found takers in us. These looks boasting of crisp skirts and jackets with exaggerated collars can be worn head-to-toe for an unconventional twist. But its real triumph lies in the fact that they are bound to shine equally bright as separates too.

Payal Singhal: Architecture meets fashion 

Payal Singhal LFW WF13

(Left to right) Payal Singhal’s ‘Char Bagh’. Ziyaa lehenga, Mashal lehenga saree and Rumana lehenga

Payal Singhal‘s line was inspired by Persian-style garden layouts and juxtaposed ancient architecture and nature with contemporary cuts and modern silhouettes. We love the combination of blush pink with earthy undercurrents, laud the wearability of these ensembles and heart those statement earrings!

Manish Malhotra: Perfectly pretty

Manish Malhotra LFW WF 2013

The set up at Manish Malhotra

What made a fan out of us at Bollywood couturier Manish Malhotra’s show was his set. Aptly titles ‘Reflections’, the ramp was divided into two halves by a threaded veil as the models walked down simultaneously as mirror images of each other. Further dotted with a shower of lights, it was quite the sight to behold!

Until next season…

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi

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