Young designer Rahul Mishra has scored an opportunity most of his colleagues can only dream of. The Victoria and Albert Museum in the UK, the world’s biggest museum dedicated to design, has requested the designer to be a part of their curation.
"I opened my mail box one day to find a message from them inviting me to be part of an exhibition. Anna Pavia, the curator, was very interested in my Kerala collection and wanted to use my work as an example of intelligent Indian fashion," he says.
The collection in question was created in 2005 as part of Mishra’s work on the Gen Next platform at Lakme Fashion Week. "They will also be creating a documentary of the exhibition and taking out a book that will be distributed among all major world libraries as a reference text on Indian fashion. They want to see the whole process behind the product and how it has managed to remain a sold-out collection even five years after its launch," explains Mishra.
He admits that India has an edge over the rest of the world in the realm of sustainable fashion, something that the West is anxious to learn about. "We have had the tradition of recycling clothes and promoting handicrafts for centuries," he says. "In the next five years, the entire world will be looking at India to teach them about sustainable fashion."
When asked why despite numerous predictions, Indian designers still haven’t managed to make more than a dent in the international market, he responds, "That’s because we huddle together like cows and lose our originality. If we copy the West without evolving each season, we will not stand out in a crowd."
Mishra will next be seen in a series of documentaries on National Geographic Channel titled Colours of India where he will travel to northern and central India to learn more about Indian handicrafts.