Indian designer Rahul Mishra caused quite a buzz when he walked away with this year’s International Woolmark Prize. Beating out brands like Altuzarra and Silbling for the $100,000 Australian dollars purse with his impressive display of skills at transforming sheep’s wool into stunning ornately decorated designs that maintained a purity of spirit.
That talent was once again undeniable at the designer’s catwalk show in Paris on Wednesday afternoon.
He sent out his highly complex embroidered pieces on relatively simple silhouettes that leaned toward feminine yet sporty shapes. It made for a spot-on backdrop to Mishra’s artistic flair for embellishments, balancing modern designs with techniques that have been used for centuries to create a new space where sporty and romantic sophistication can easily coexist.
Showing his work in color coded vignettes, the designer gave this show a few clever twists. The first look, which morphed from a well-tailored suit jacket into a sheer embroidered white skirt, was remarkable. A repeated petal pattern curving over the shoulders on zip up jackets, skirts and dresses looked like a hallmark design element in the making. And a black perfecto embroidered with white flowers made for a dynamic tension between beauty and strength.
This was a great first step into the fashion spotlight in Paris for Mishra. But if one suggestion could be made for the up-and-coming designer, it would be to take a page out of the Kenzo play book and have his runway models remain on the catwalk at the end of the show. To truly appreciate the incredible workmanship offered in these pieces, he needs to let his audience have an up close and personal interaction with them.