Text Giacomo Andrea Minazzi
Rahul Mishra was born in Malhausi, near Kanpur, India. “The summers were long, those of today seem to me instead a photograph format” he says. His father is a doctor, he is good in studies. The desired path would be that of engineering, yet even as a child he spends his time making sketches of animals, landscapes, the environments that surround him – he makes them his own with a stroke. He wants to become an artist, to do a job that makes him happy.
Now Rahul is a well-known fashion designer. For him, design is an exercise in problem solving and in researching problems to be solved. So “what better country than India?” The Bauhaus formation of the first studies in Ahmedabad is heard. The craftsman, after the peasant, is the most widespread trade in India: “There is a migration phenomenon that moves people from the countryside to the city, they live in the slums and this is a problem: most of the salary is sent home, the living conditions are very bad.” He started thinking about what is called reverse migration. “Every area of India – Rahul explains – has its own craft characteristics, particular processes that have developed in different regions.” Instead of getting the artisans to the city, he went to them: “I have organised a system for which the embroideries are made in the villages of origin and then they send me the processed fabrics. In this way, I do not have to use a huge space where hundreds of embroiderers can work.”
This is what Rahul Mishra tries to do: creating a network. “We must understand that the problems of a country are not just of that country, but of the world, because today we live in a global village. I speak of slow fashion because I have everything done by hand”. One way to help improve the status quo: “In India there is a problem of unemployment, the solution is to create work for as many people as possible. Being sustainable is not something absolute, it always depends on the context, it is different for every situation”.
The goal, according to the designer, is to learn to take back the time to observe and enjoy what is around us. And he talks about his idea of luxury: “A luxury product is such for the process behind it. Those who buy it must take the time to appreciate the details. If they do not, what is the difference compared to a Zara jacket? We need to ask ourselves how it was done and, above all, why it was done”. There is an essential element to consider, for Rahul, which is at the basis of creation: “I thought of light. We look at a colour, we say ‘it is red’.” In reality, what we are looking at is only the frequency of the light spectrum that the object reflects. I decided to break the light in my clothes, to observe one colour at a time, to show them one next to the other. Everyone with the right time”.