Last week I talked about the 'ethical' part of our tagline and today its 'beautiful's turn. I don't just want Dilli Grey to be made 'in' India, I want it to be made 'of' India. The design references I use to inspire each hand-block print pyjama collection, or booti motif on our 100% cotton quilts are deeply rooted in Indian heritage. For me, that is what sparks my design eye, creativity and excitement each season. That authentic reference in all I do. It's then about thinking 'how can I translate this to a modern, London, boho aesthetic'? I want Dilli Grey clothes, and homeware to feel authentic yet modern and utterly wearable.
Whilst, regular trips to Rajasthan (like my one next week!) are in large about enabling me to work closely with my artisans to ensure the highest quality and standards of workmanship, another massive element is the design and research time I spend during each trip, to inspire the next collection.
A huge inspiration for me are the many palaces, forts and temples of Rajasthan and its' neighbours. Here are just a handful that I will be visiting in the coming weeks - looking at the art, design and architecture that I can bottle and bring home for you, next season...
Delhi - Red Fort
It is the intricate hand carved archways of the sandstone and the stunning marble in laid floral walls inside Red Fort that evoke so much love for the golden age of Mughal design. The Red Fort is often considered as the pinnacle of Mughal creativity and never fails to inspire me on every trip, each time I return I find another corner that I have never seen.
Lucknow - Chota Imanbara
It will be my first time in Lucknow city itself and I can't wait to explore this stunning city, in Uttar Pradesh just outside the borders of Rajasthan. I've had images of Chota Imanbara pinned to my mood-board forever, I can't wait to see this elegant, faded palace for myself. We have a lot of blush and sun-bleached dreamy pinks coming up for spring and this palace is to thank for it. Lucknow is famously the centre of hand embroidery and can't wait to be enveloped by all of the embroidery designs I will discover. This is where our best selling embroidered tunics and maxi dresses were hand made, just for you.
Jodphur - Mehrangarh Fort
The sheer presence of the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodphur mesmerises me. It dominates the skyline of the 'blue city' - I'm planning a daybreak trip watch the sun rise from this majestic fortress. We dig deep into the history of the city and it's creative roots, why did they paint everything blue? There are seemingly many reasons why, we will soon find out...
Jaipur - City Palace, Jaipur
Jaipur is my second home in India. It's the place I feel Dilli Grey 'lives and breathes'. I am going to do a full '48 hours in Jaipur' travel guide whilst I'm there but between the Peacock Gate (main pic), the City Palace and the iconic Hawa Mahal, it never fails to blow me away on my first, or fortieth trip!
Follow @dilli_grey on Instagram to watch our Instagram Stories from all these locations in the coming weeks, plus more travel tips as we travel 4 cities in 10 days.