Designer Bhumika Ahluwalia on her vision for her LFW GenNext debut
Mishe is a contemporary womenswear brand by Bhumika and Minakshi Ahluwalia
The fashion world has had to reinvent and rethink many of its philosophies over the course of the year. How has the time affected you?
I started my design journey almost 10 years ago as a fashion student. I have studied at Raffles in Mumbai, Central Saint Martins in London and finally did my degree from Parsons school of design, New York.
The turning point for me was when I watched the documentary called True cost while I was studying in New York. It made me realise how over consumed our industry is and the loopholes in the production chain. I researched more and more about it. Looked for more homegrown and conscious brands and how they work. After I moved back to India, I travelled across India to meet different artisans and know their stories, it made me realise how there is a need to talk more about them.
When I started Mishé I made sure we take conscious decisions at every step of our production, until the final product is made and also highlight the people behind the clothes, our team.
How would you describe your design sensibilities?
We get inspired by geometry and architecture while designing, we juxta-position shapes and forms into silhouettes. Our designs are usually minimal with one-of-a-kind shapes flattering for every body type, we also use minimal fabrication for our garments.
Some of the pieces in our collections are 100% zero waste. We make it in a way where there is no waste from the garments.
Japan and Japanese ideology seem like a central part of the brand.
I studied Japanese patternmaking as a student. One of my professors introduced me to the art and I found it very intriguing. I started reading a lot of books and using Japanese pattern making into the construction of garments. I discovered various ways of keeping my garments minimal yet a different reflection of the Japanese way of living - simple yet unique.
I made sure when a woman wears Mishé, she is asked about it by other women, “who are you wearing?”
My personal style has also been the same and I wanted that to reflect it in the clothes I make.
Tell us about your collection
I have an extensive and detailed research process before I start my collection. This collection is inspired by sign language used by differently-abled people to communicate.
I took up a class in New York for the same, the hand movements and gestures created while communicating inspired a lot of my garments. I used alphabets in sign language to make the shapes of the silhouettes. The movement and the shape were juxtapositioned into the silhouettes.
What are some of the surface techniques you have used in the line?
We have used majorly used cord technique in the collection.
Run us through the collection's colour palette
Some of the colours that dominate the collection are beige, lemon yellow, shades of pink, two-toned blue and two-toned purple.
Since you attempt to narrate a story through your clothing, what has been your favourite narrative (from another designer) about a garment or a collection?
I’ve always been inspired by Comme des Garçons - Rei kawakubo and Iris Van herpen for their work. I feel they have given a different take to the world of fashion and that inspires me the most about them.