Paris Haute Couture Week has commenced, and if there’s one thing Indians are gushing over right now, it is designers Gaurav Gupta and Rahul Mishra’s sensational collections. Both Gupta and Mishra’s designs highlighted the crafts and culture of India. While Gupta took to the Indian Vedas for inspiration, Mishra centred his collection on Indian artisans, the creators working endlessly behind the scenes.
The fact that it took almost 47 years for an Indian designer to show at Paris Haute Couture is what makes this so special — designers like Gaurav Gupta, Rahul Mishra and Vaishali S showcasing their collections on a global platform.
Here’s a detailed look at Gaurav Gupta and Rahul Mishra’s Haute Couture collections.
A Vedic Inspiration
Designer Gaurav Gupta went back in time to India’s oldest and most sacred scriptures – the Vedas, for inspiration for his collection, Hiranyagarbha. The word when broken up means golden womb, and through the collection, Gupta conceptualises the miracle of birth and the process of life.
He uses four distinct colours to highlight the four stages of creation. These include white for the very beginning, a blank canvas, as he puts it, waiting to take form; a fluorescent green for when life begins to form within the cracks, a deep wooden brown for the blooming stage when life begins to entwine the golden egg; and finally malachite that represents the power of life and the namesake stone known to be a stone of transformation and healing.
In a note shared, the collection is described as, “…a journey from birth, transformation, realisation, and eventual harmony with the cosmos. It is a peek into the golden womb, inviting us to embrace the stark light within.”
Keeping in line with Gupta’s dramatic layers and textures, the collection features dramatically structured gowns, dresses and pantsuits. Each piece in the collection is crafted from fabrics like chiffon and taffeta, which are then ornamented with glass bugle beads, crystals and traditional Indian embroidery techniques like zardozi, nakshi and dabka.
American rapper Cardi B left a lasting impression dressed in a dramatic neon gown with a hooded cape from the collection. Also sporting a Gaurav Gupta ensemble was Chinese actor, Fan Bingbing who wore a black-hued Gaurav Gupta creation featuring his signature sculptural draping.
Rahul Mishra’s collection at this year’s Paris Haute Couture Week was a beautiful tribute to the artisans of India. Titled, We the People, the collection featured over 40+ outfits comprising gowns, dresses, pantsuits, bodysuits, sarees and lehengas.
In true Rahul Mishra style, We the People continued Rahul Mishra’s humorous fusion of fashion and art. Playing with art and fashion as he always does, the designer played with exaggerated silhouettes that were big, bold and crisp like 3D floral petals, billowing sleeves, tulle and beaded capes, etc.
The designer continued to lay emphasis on the atelier’s labour-intensive handiwork; each design in the collection is said to have taken more than 3,000 hours to produce. The concept was to produce items in response to an existing demand rather than just for the purpose of generating them, as part of an ongoing commitment to be aware of the wastefulness afforded by fashion.
Some of the pieces went towards a muted and monochrome palette, with clean forms that made for flexible pieces. It had padded shoulders and a gold beaded cape, which made it simple yet opulent.