The old and the beautiful. That’s what it was at Rahul Mishra’s ‘Kam-Khab’ showcase, the very last fashion film at India Couture Week, presented by the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI). ‘Kam’ meaning ‘less’ and ‘khab’ meaning ‘nap’ is a dream world woven together like a garland of artistic musing, of emotions and of instances that we have subconsciously lived through, multiple times in our minds. The setting is an old family home, unforgotten, with hand-painted frescos on the walls and the vision of its inhabitants adorned on its lime plaster surfaces with vegetable and stone dyes, immortalised in craft and beauty.
The pace of the film is slow and easy with the words of a love poem telling a tale of dreams and reality. What you have here is a collection of garments developed at the designer’s atelier during two lockdowns, through the breaking and rebuilding of hope, resilience and the fluctuating strength of love. Creating this collection, it is believed, has been like creating a bouquet of flowers … with the beauty of old love and the lightness of new beginnings. Filmed in a century-old haveli that was opened after over eight decades of being shut, the garments worn by the models envisage the love one pours into building one’s home.
It is a trendy tale of heritage, what has been endlessly loved once and passed on, articulated with age-old techniques of hand embroidery, the couture seemingly weightless, despite the intricacy of details, interpreted for the world of today. The fabrics include silk organza, georgette, crêpe and tissue along with Banarasi cutwork and Chanderi silk textiles, each piece holding values of love, craft, beauty, longevity and human touch. Archana Aggarwal Timeless Jewellery adds to the glam quotient.
It is said that the Rahul Mishra design house that works on the philosophy of the 3 Es - Environment, Employment and Empowerment. It was a fitting end to a chic couture week.