Rahul Mishra

The Master Couturier Adds Swarovski Brilliance to His Embroideries at India Couture Week 2018India’s champion of “slow fashion,” Rahul Mishra, revives the magnificence of the Mughal Empire for India Couture Week 2018. These are patterns of eye-popping complexity, highlighted with Swarovski’s unique LacquerPRO crystals and exquisite detailing of the most dazzling intricacy. Prepare to be stunned.

Named on GQ’s “50 Most Influential Indians Power List,” Rahul Mishra is a fashion phenomenon and master storyteller. A champion of “slow fashion,” he weaves stories of people, places and process to inspire new design interpretations and champion ancient crafts. To wear his label is to wear the finest handwork, so the introduction of an extra dimension to his trademark embroidery wizardry—in the form of LacquerPRO Swarovski crystals—was a noted detail at India Couture Week.

Entitled Maraasim, which means “relationships” in Urdu, this latest collection re-imagines the visual and intellectual magnificence of the Mughal Empire. “The Mughal aesthetic was a blend of the artistic practices of Persia, European influences of passing traders and missionaries, and the rich indigenous traditions of India,” explains Mishra. “Nothing can be created in isolation—it was the cross-pollination of ideas that resulted in an entirely unique and unified aesthetic.”

Look closely at the meticulous surface treatment and you’ll notice his ingenious use of geometry and arabesque to achieve patterns of dizzying complexity. Intricate vegetal motifs alongside chevrons and spandrels from the rich decorative vocabularies of an earlier era come alive. Swarovski’s unique LacquerPRO crystals in pretty pastels are woven in, resembling morning dewdrops, while colored crystals glitter in lush gardens and jungles. If the Mughal aesthetic was the expression of a genuine delight in the creation of beauty, then Mishra has certainly lived up to his inspiration. Mesmerizing.