For his debut bridal couture collection, mirror-work maven Abhinav Mishra has taken the old-school traditional route. From lehengas dipped in deep crimson, sun-kissed coral and summer-sorbet resembling tangerine to suave sherwanis in matching hues—Abhinav’s bridal line is a kaleidoscope of Indian heritage. Before launching his now successful couture label, Abhinav started his career in the big fat Indian wedding scene by working with an event company where he is now a partner. While orchestrating its larger-than-life fanfare and designing its dreamy decor, Abhinav was able to study the Indian bridal fashion scene up close and personal—which resulted in a well-balanced aesthetic that was equally unique and contemporary.
Mirror-work isn’t newly discovered in Indian fashion, yet when Abhinav re-imagined it many years ago with a fresh perspective, it was pleasantly received. Today, as he forays further into the wedding market with his debut bridal collection—his designs portray a colourful harmony of various handicrafts, blending effortlessly with his signature glass work at the centre of it all. In an exclusive conversation with ELLE, the designer takes us through his latest labour of love, while breaking down bridal trends for us.
ELLE: In a pretty short span of time, you’ve carved a niche for yourself in the Indian couture market—which is a highly competitive space, tell us a little about that?
Abhinav Mishra: The Indian couture market has become highly competitive now more than ever but my goal has always been to create a brand focusing on a unique style of work and theme. Mirror work has been a big part of my collections since the beginning. The handcraft has, in many ways, become my signature—I use it in different ways in all my collections. I have used it to create de-constructed motifs with gota and silk threads, and even with prints. It plays a very important role in my brand identity because I always aim to blend mirror work with modern silhouettes. The timelessness and the versatility of mirror work have helped it become a favourite in most millennial wardrobes as I have seen over the years.
ELLE: What was the influence behind this collection and describe the process to us?
AM: The great Indian wedding will always be my first love and the reason I do what I do, whether it is Rani Pink weddings or the love of Indian couture and design with our label. Our first-ever bridal collection is simply titled ‘Abhinav Mishra Bridal 2022’. The inspiration remains in weddings and the beautiful love stories intertwined with them, that aren’t just limited to the bride and groom but also follow through family and friends. It is these little stories that inspire our entire brand story and continue to motivate us to showcase such beautiful moments with our audiences.
ELLE: Besides your signature mirror work, you’ve experimented with quite a lot of handcrafts in this collection, share a little about that
AM: Our bridal couture ties a knot of traditions with hues of ‘laal rang’ which is considered auspicious, as red is a colour of love, prosperity and a new life. The line consists of traditional silhouettes including gold etched lehengas, intricate blouses with motifs, and tulle odhanis worn by brides for their special day. The collection is handcrafted keeping in mind the heritage & culture of our Indian weddings using elegant techniques like the traditional Zari where the thread is woven into fabrics to make intricate patterns and elaborate designs, authentic Rajasthani Tikdi, hand-embroidered Dabka, traditional Nakshi embroidery and the twisted stitch Marodi along with Gota work as well as the signature Sheesha (Mirror-work) that our brand is now synonymous for.
ELLE: While your womenswear is popular amongst the millennial bride, it’s your menswear that has caught everyone’s attention because of its contemporary yet traditional approach, tell us about that?
ELLE: What are the bridal trends that you think will be major in 2022?
AM: The biggest bridal trends for the upcoming summer wedding season are bright as well as traditional colours like red & pink with bold patterns creating a bright and festive mood that has come to be Abhinav Mishra’s signature. Experimentation will be key and I’m excited to see the trends play out.
ELLE: Any advice you’d like to give all the brides-to-be?