Rahul Mishra’s Gossamer Touch

Rahul Mishra’s Spring/Summer 2019 Ready-to-wear Collection Sparkles on the Runway at Paris Fashion Week Inspired by the household textiles of his childhood richly decorated in daraz embroidery, Indian designer Rahul Mishra used it as the basis of his Spring/Summer 2019 ready-to-wear collection. He called it Gossamer, and it stole the runway at this year’s Paris Fashion Week.

“Gossamer is the very thin thread spiders produce to make webs,” explained Rahul Mishra. “These are the threads of memory from which we have woven this collection.” In the context of his Spring/Summer 2019 collection, he used the word to conjure more than a connection to the past, because every diaphanous dress and floaty separate had an ethereal, lifted-on-the-breeze lightness. It’s a quality that is all the more remarkable once you become aware of the extraordinary level of decoration.

The embellishment in question is known as daraz, a type of Chikankari embroidery that depicts a region’s flora and fauna. Mishra teamed this technique, traditionally used on white fabrics, with pretty pastels, sheer panels and crisp pleats to keep it fresh and modern. Elsewhere, he used it to depict the colorful botanicals of his home village, and even set it against black to create a thoroughly contemporary elegance.

Two of the most joyful pieces came from sketching hydrangeas with his daughter. They appeared as fluttering organza petals in blue, violet and pink appliquéd onto a chic shift dress and skirt, with thousands of shimmering, Crystal LacquerPRO crystals from Swarovski, resembling sparkling dewdrops.

Daraz is one of India’s most ancient textile decoration styles, with only around 100 women left who are skilled in the technique, mainly located around the northern city of Lucknow, who painstakingly embroidered each piece at home. Although the label says “ready-to-wear,” Rahul Mishra’s Gossamer collection has all the credentials of a couture finish.