The philosophy of slow fashion

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With Paris Fashion Week running March 1-9, we caught up with Indian fashion designer Rahul Mishra whose Fall-Winter 2016 collection was unveiled at the event.
He outlined what to expect from this new ready-to-wear line-up, from inspirations and iconic pieces.

What was the inspiration behind the new collection?
Responding to what is happening right now in the world, with all of its messes and chaos, requires sharing more beauty, love and freedom. The predominant blue that comes from porcelain’s heritage also symbolises the spirit of Paris, the city of love, which emerged with strong resilience and indomitable spirit. There is love in magical hands of human beings that weave a tapestry of design on different mediums. The form of expression varies. The forms of material vary. And in all the diverse crafts emerge the vividness and beauty of nature and mankind.
Telling tales of Indian textiles, narrating the intricacies of centuries-old craft, and the deep ocean of wealth in handcrafts of India, the journey this season brings on board diverse influences and the timeless tradition of intricately tying and dyeing fabric (Bandhini), further using patterns and designs from porcelain.
Each garment is lovingly crafted to create a new poetry of age-old techniques combining vanishing hand skills and mastery of craftsmen, on a journey to produce a new imprint.

What are the collection’s three flagship pieces?
Floral jaali trench, porcelain lotus dress, and porcelain shawl jacket.

Which famous person would best embody these looks?

I would love to dress Tilda Swinton as she has the ability to convey intense strength and tantalizing fragility.

What’s your view of fashion today?

Someone has hit the ‘speed’ setting and the whole industry is pushing the limits to produce more. With the playgrounds becoming wider because of social media, pressure is extremely high on the creative teams who are doing around six collections per season. Creation needs ideas, which in turn need time to incubate. Due to the shift in our approach everyone wants everything and they want it now. This leads to creating without the [required] time.
The departure of some of the most important names in the fashion industry confirms that this system is not resistant. It is a sign that the industry needs to slow down and focus on creativity and sustainability.

Social media presence has become indispensable for designers and labels today. Has this direct contact with the public changed the way you work? 

Our work ethics have not been touched by this digital tsunami. We have stayed true to our core values and the philosophy of slow fashion is indeed the soul of our brand. We are stepping up our social media presence to connect directly with our consumer and inform the next generation of the rich heritage they possess.
It is a great medium through which we can connect the dots and for the world to see what a great country India is and the rich art it owns.

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Indian fashion designer Rahul Mishra acknowledges the audience at the end of his 2015-2016 fall/winter ready-to-wear collection fashion show on March 11, 2015 in Paris.  AFP PHOTO / PATRICK KOVARIK / AFP / PATRICK KOVARIK

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