A young designer’s whimsical approach to modern fashion

Rishabh’s journey started in middle school where he organised fashion shows and then made his mark by running a fashion publication, the first of its kind that was entirely formed and run by a student collective. He said, “The ability to make sense of chaos, manage people, and inspire the creation of finesse are aspects that became a part and parcel of my adolescence.”

A recent graduate of the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York City, Rishabh Manocha has been fascinated by fashion since his childhood, he said, “I truly don’t know what fashion means! But, since childhood, I was keenly observant of drapes, colours, textures and the whole frill of sarees having been raised in India early on in life. Then, my relocation to the Sultanate of Oman introduced me to the simplicity of silhouette and the understated use of ornamentation.”
A jack of many trades as this young designer claims, Rishabh has not only created an identity through his own designs but has also assisted the famous French fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier on photoshoots, fitting famous American musician Nicki Minaj’s garments to working on a collection for John Varvatos as a design intern. One of his current projects includes crafting a bespoke dinner jacket for an auctioneer client and muse. All of this along with Dean’s list awards, medals of student leadership to holistic work experiences, Rishabh Manocha as a name and a label has started its journey on a high note in New York’s cut-throat fashion industry. Rishabh believes that the hardest challenge faced by the industry is creating a space for yourself, he says “Landing a job that gives you the freedom to create within the framework of commercial success”
As an artist, a designer and a lover of humanity, Rishabh spoke to us about his source of inspiration, he said “The dichotomy of the human condition is indeed the most fascinating topic to me. The strive to be a good human being in the face of adversity; be charitable in the face of poverty, be kind in the face of animosity are themes that inspire me each day.
Further, I look at the techniques of the old masters, both in art and design. To master the ability to contemporarise them is the greatest challenge and the most satisfying reward.
My study at Parsons afforded me the art of tailoring. It grounded me amid the flurry of my vivid childhood inspirations. I now run a small label that caters to the whimsical demands of the modern dandy.”
He draws inspiration from the interwar period and its reflection on the notion of transformation. Fashion through the ages has not only been an important part of how people dressed but also of how we understood our history. Rishabh believes, “The study of this period provides insight into how unrecognisably the world would change in the short span of time to come. Fashion like other aspects of life greatly reflected this need and inevitability of change. I find that rather intriguing.”
Unlike many others who enter this industry, Rishabh has made it a point to not only understand fashion but hopes to one day become a master tailor for which he has already begun taking a short course in the fundamental of traditional cutting methods of Savile Row, an association dedicated to protecting and promoting the practices of traditional bespoke tailoring.
His collection, Gandhi The Dandy is a true testament to his skill and understanding of not only fashion but the technicalities of pattern, stitching and construction. He draws inspiration from the interwar period and its reflection on the notion of transformation.
As stated on his website, Gandhi The Dandy reiterates the “Notions of Empire, Ritual and Renunciation might seem unrelated at first. But, as one looks closer, one begins to see the thread of commonality emerge. Basting this thread across silhouette, form and texture has been the endeavour of this collection of bespoke coats”.
The collection that odes its name to the famous Gandhi, a man known for his strong principles and notions on peace, truth and harmony, Rishabh’s reason behind the influence of this great man on his collection, he says, “the ideology of the renouncing as propagated by M.K. Gandhi that proposed an alternative of self-sufficiency. A principle-based not on lax, but that on conscious consumerism. Conclusively, the collection uses the aid of modern technology such as laser-cutting to emphasize, deconstruct and emulate tailoring techniques in form, structure and surface treatment. It combines organic embroidery techniques from India and calculated western pattern-cutting and tailoring techniques to highlight this conundrum.”
Rishabh also offers those interested in owning their very own Rishabh Manocha a truly bespoke experience. The thorough process begins with a meeting that outlines the client’s vision for their garment and the process of fabric, silhouette and a detailed illustration takes shape. Unlike many others, not only are the clothes strictly bespoke but every element from start to finish is made from scratch regardless of the price.
“Rishabh Manocha is a label that embodies the ergonomics of bespoke pattern-cutting, surface fabric treatment reminiscent of colonial India alongside a bold sartorial statement.”
To learn more about this promising brand, designer and his work, check him out on https://www.rishabhmanocha.com

TITASH CHAKRABORTY