Abhinav Mishra’s latest collection of couture for men and women ‘Ishq Mein Dilli’ is a chapter out of his anthology ‘Safarnama’. This first volume is a love letter to his forever muse, Delhi. In ‘Ishq Mein Dilli’, Mishra takes a walk down Delhi’s many memory lanes reliving his unending love affair of the city that raised him from a wonderstruck seventeen year old, to the person he is today. With every piece you see a moment of time frozen, capturing all that Delhi’s ancient monuments witness - stories of longing, heartbreak, love and fulfilment, layered across time like grains of sand.
At 17 Abhinav Mishra found himself in Delhi- bright eyed and eager filled with unending fascination, awe and love for Delhi. Having grown up in Lucknow, Delhi presented the possibility of a new world, one that promised a vessel for his dreams, a city that for centuries has drawn artists, poets and even journalists and shaped them into her vision producing generation after generation of hopeless romantics. You see, Delhi’s charms are unpredictable. She is a shapeshifter, vacillating between chaotic streets and royal delicacies, hanging electric wires and intricate jharokas from a bygone era– Delhi’s charm is as irresistible as it is unpredictable. To Abhinav Mishra, Delhi was and continues to be the seductress, a learned courtesan whose every ishara points to magic if you would only care to look beyond the surface.
From Mir to Ghalib, from Purana Qila to India Gate, Delhi’s history exists in timeless poetry and architecture. Constructs that transcend time and emotion drawing us from the embrace of one wispy dream into the caress of another. In Abhinav Mishra’s Safarnama, Delhi’s history breathes in the present tense. It forms the map of every couple’s journey to each other. A story only Delhi can tell, of a timeless city that comes to life in startling vivacity each time she is razed to the ground, a muse of beauty and grit. Nothing dies in Delhi, certainly not love.
Purana Qila’s serene waterbody is reflected in the choice of palette- every garment is tranquil. The intricate patterns on Jamali Kamali find place as traditional Nakshi embroidery and the twisted stitch Marodi along with Gota work embroidery.
The floor-sweeping panelled lehengas, intricate blouses, knee length kurtas, floor gazing shararas and tulle odhanis and menswear kurtas worn by the couple in love at the monuments.
This collection is a love story; Of Abhinav’s love for Delhi, of the chimerical love stories Delhi has birthed, and of a city that bursts with hope every day, day after day, generation after generation.
Dil-o-Dilli donon agar hain kharaab
P’a kuchh lutf is ujde ghar mein bhi hain
(My heart and my Delhi may both be in ruins
There are still some delights in this ravaged home.)