Photography: Sharad Shrivastav
Designer Rahul Mishra has a penchant for building things from ground up, be it the intriguing narratives for his collections, the window frames in his office, a new property in the hills he’s extremely excited about or the camaraderie and oneness he shares with his team, his PR and karigars alike. Rahul doesn’t only reside in a sprawling space, although it would be ideal to do so. I quietly observe his effortless walking in and out of pristine white rooms with wooden detailing, surrounded by immense foliage on the outside, sunlight flooding in generously and a comfortable yellow couch on the side, to work closely with his team who work in this heavenly environ.
Immaculately dressed in a black turtleneck, complementing black pants, as he makes his way to me, I’m already excited for the insights the man has to offer. After all these years in the industry, design for Rahul holds a succinct meaning; he explains it to me on rather spiritual terms, it’s a journey into the unknown. “Design is very fluid. When I studied it at NID, we were taught how to come up with solutions for anything and everything. Now when I reflect on what a solution is, I realise there are multiple ways to deal with a problem. It’s like trying to learn about the cosmos, the bigger your telescope is, the higher the chance to get lost in the possibilities. Losing myself the same way one does during worship or love is what design stands for me at the personal level.” For him, the garments he creates are an expression of the self and the way he perceives the world around him, simply a reflection of thoughts but when one looks at the bigger picture in totality, it is overwhelming.
Original thought is far more difficult to come by and the designer attributes this to the choices he makes, the more he engages intimately with everything around him the wider his range of choices becomes, which then renders it difficult to narrow down the process of design. “What is the limit for love? Or for bhakti? Design is like that for me, it is sadhna, the more I explore the smaller I feel.” As the Rahul Mishra brand finds itself glamorously cementing its feet on the global stage, I wonder how the designer deals with the pressure of constantly living up to the expectations he has managed to set for himself. “The brand has been created for everybody, beyond my life as well it will go on living. I like to remove my own self and I truly believe the brand has been created by everybody involved, for people, a smaller universe that it is catering to and I am a participant here right now.” Rahul doesn’t deny the weight of the responsibility he carries now, as a brand but also goes on to place precedence over enjoying the process of creation rather than paying heed to what is being written about the clothing.
This is an all exclusive excerpt from our Bookazine. To read the entire article, grab your copy here.
Words Unnati Saini