Rahul Mishra plunged deep into the magnificent world of insects — fireflies, moths, dragonflies — and reptiles.
“The insect kingdom has been facing the biggest threat,” he said, underlining how its survival depends on biodiversity, which is being diminished.
More from WWD
Mishra noted human beings’ minds have been conditioned to dislike such creatures. But to him they are beautiful “superheroes,” thus the name he selected for this season’s collection.
“Whose world is it? They have come 300 million years before us,” he reasoned. “On an everyday basis, either they get endangered or extinct, and nobody talks about it.”
The designer referenced D.H. Lawrence’s “Snake,” in which the narrator belatedly understands the creature to be “a king in exile.” The poem became Mishra’s show notes.
For his bedazzled garments, Mishra didn’t just borrow insect and reptiles’ colors, but painstakingly recreated their form in hand-embroidery.
“How do you react when you see a life-size lizard on a garment?” he asked. “We are trying to create a snake as real as possible, or a dragonfly.”
His show opener was a model fronted by a large black circle (think Petri dish) onto which a giant embroidered firefly was pinned, decorating her black dress. Another look involved encircled colorful moths — most of which are endangered.
An Indian window latticed pattern adorned numerous looks, such as golden dresses and jackets, since Mishra reminisced such casements invited insects inside homes in years past.
This was a sumptuous, often formfitting collection, with majestic gowns, pants and capes. Jeans spangled with colorful moths were worn with a shimmering black bandeau top. Another pair seemed dipped in molten metal.
Mishra’s palette also popped with hues such as raspberry, lime-green and deep azure. They were bold, just like his message.
Launch Gallery: Rahul Mishra Couture Spring 2024
Best of WWD