by pascal iakovou
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Spring Summer 2019

“I began to explore my intimate relationship with the things of my childhood – the pillow covers, the curtains, the table cloth.

I wanted to take the craft of Chikankari and Daraz and elevate them to luxury fashion. Because memory is a luxury. The way we hold on to smells, colours and textures. Fashion, to me, is an expression of what makes me. As a nostalgist, I want to bring back the 1980s of living in a small village in a house with red cemented floor and white curtains.

I call this collection ‘homemade’ as it was done by these women in Lucknow at their homes. There are only about 100 odd women who can do the Daraz. I wanted to bring back the times when we had saris and dupattas with Daraz work, which is the communion of two pieces of fabric cut into patterns. I have carved fish, leaves and flowers. Even clouds that I saw on the table cloths. I wanted to respect my intimate relationship with memory and venture beyond the trends and the forecasts.

When memory’s floodgates are opened, you are confronted with the precision of details preserved somewhere in your being. Like the dew drops on the lotus leaves. The house we lived in had a pond nearby. There were peacocks and flowers and trees. To match the idiosyncrasy of memory, I have mixed the whites with colourful pieces where I have embroidered the landscape of my village. Memory isn’t even chronological. I say it is an imagined canvas full of things you have hoarded from the past. Like the time when I was drawing the blue flowers with my daughter on a mountain. Those blue flowers of hydrangeas have found their way in this collection with hand-embroidered organza petals in shades of blue that were appliquéd onto light fabrics and embellished with Swarovski crystals. The crystals were again used to recreate a semblance of dewdrops on organza.

The textile development for the collection has its own narrative that emerges from the collection’s theme. The fine cotton and Jamdani were woven in West Bengal. The Maheshwari textiles in this collection with their blue and white checks are an ode to memory of the village and also my growth as a designer working with weavers.

Gossamer, they say, is the very thin thread spiders produce to make webs. These are the threads of memory from which we have woven this collection.”

Rahul Mishra
(Words by Chinki Sinha)

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