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"The Dawn" Haute Couture SS21 Collection, Rahul Mishra


"In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect."...Alice Walker
In its incomprehensible ways, nature knows how to sustain herself. When the last tree is felled, life will sprout from the cracks and blanket what is left behind. The starry night will conspire with crystal dew drops and concoct an array of bright hued mushrooms. Rings of magic will emerge. Entrapments of old souls, akin to a billion years ago, frilling in layers and ornamented with wildflowers will be penchants of a new dawn.

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Death will translate into life. Like a beautiful beginning veiled in a painful ending, weed, lichens & ‘the mushroom’—shall render old to new. Perhaps the growth circles of a tree will re-form themselves on the skin of a mushroom only to say, that the soul lives on. The utopian aftermath due to human deeds where life will refill the planet after we are gone.
‘The Dawn’ contemplates the state of environmental damage and imagines the world that shall live beyond the interference of the human species. It emerges from an intensified realisation during the lockdown that the humans may not have to save the planet, but themselves. The planet perhaps shall survive regardless and the human species may succumb to their weakness.

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Filmed in a pristine marble dump-yard situated in the state of Rajasthan in India, the collection represents a flush of life. A retrieval of colour to a world drained of its natural resources, abundance and animation through years of piling marble dust.

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The models, as nature herself, wear exotic mushrooms separately hand tacked over the glimmering tree-bark-texture hand embroidered on tulle and silk organza that is further embellished with wildflowers. As says the botanist, Nicholas P. Money, ‘Mushrooms are masterpieces of natural engineering, the most wondrous inventions in evolutionary history.’ Each of the mushroom forms is individually engineered through a unique pattern making process assisted by novel hand embroidery techniques, in order to achieve a realistic fall and movement.

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Shapeshifting silhouettes constructed with meticulous placement of these forms aim to replicate life in convergence with human imagination. A coming together of hands to lay the quintessential craft of hand embroidery alongside design intervention and contemporary application of our core values of slow, ethical & sustainable couture. Garments that wish to propose to its viewer, a simple question do we wish to continue witnessing the marvels of nature present to us on this planet? Because we may be required to dig within ourselves for wisdom and realise the change.

© Rahul Mishra
Ph: Hormis Antony Tharakan & Taha Ahmad
Models: Laura Gavrilenko, Mansi, Nitin Baranwal

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