A poetic Rahul Mishra SS18 collection became a Technicolor Dream

A poetic Rahul Mishra SS18 collection became a Technicolor Dream


In your light I learn how to love.

In your beauty how to make poems.

You dance inside my chest where no one sees you,

But sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.


The designer says “in the science of all things, visible light is the small part within the electromagnetic spectrum that human eyes are sensitive to and can detect, and the colors we see are the wavelengths that are reflected or transmitted.” The backstory of Rahul Mishra’s striking Spring Summer collection spans nature, science, craft, and ultimately fatherhood, as it was his 2-year-old daughter,  whose naive sense of observation made him pay closer attention to the flowers and bees.

The prismatic nature of light that gives rise to saccadic masking becomes the core inspiration. The designer weaves his signature bringing to life craft techniques that defy time. Mishra’s mood board detailed his research into bee vision, light, and optical effects. To this physics-educated designer, they also represented time—life moving at hyper-speed, versus handcraft moving at slow speed. “We look through a five-inch screen when we have such a wide vision,” he said, in his characteristically humanist way.


Now comes the big reveal: All the colored stripes you see are edge-to-edge, hand-embroidered satin thread, and not printed! Beyond the flawless execution of these polychrome rays—a little Ian Davenport, a little Gerhard Richter—Mishra’s team had to work through applying them to clothes that get filled out by a body, not simply a flat surface. Making the side-slit pencil skirt, for example, would not have been straightforward. Some of the arrangements featured designers love of hand-cut flowers and animals, in addition to the all-important bees; However, there were pared back variations as well, such as a scalloped hemline satin denim jacket featuring a thin band of stripes down each sleeve.


Rahul Mishra estimated the most elaborate creation, with its prismatic bodice, and widening skirt. Could you imagine that chiffon incrustations took nearly 2,000 human hours?! As in the past, surface detail worked in tandem with dimensional shapes such as ruffles, tiers, and handkerchief hems; yet Mishra rightly acknowledged the need “to bring simplicity to these pieces,” and it’s likely that the popular dresses will be the ones that deviate from the body the least.