Nikhil Thampi is only two seasons old, yet he’s garnering a lot of attention for his collection. His pieces have wound their way onto the cover of a fashion glossy and editorials. Not to forget star on the rise Evelyn Sharma wore one of his saris recently. Team MissMalini sat down with him for a special interview.
Team MissMalini: When did you realize you wanted to get into designing?
Nikhil Thampi: Since early childhood I showed inclination towards fashion. I grew up to graduate with a psychology major and then fell for the very famous emotional black mail to join the family business. While getting tuned to the tricks and trades of the business, a close friend decided to debut at LFW. That was the return of fashion in my life… helping her set up and conceptualize, made me realize how bad I wanted to work in fashion and how good I was at it. It was and still is, a gamble as I am not formally trained in fashion. I wonder at times will my perception be well accepted by the consume but I’ve never looked back since then.
Team MM: Who is your muse?
NT: To be very clichéd here, my muse was and will always be my grandmother. She was one of the most beautiful and well dressed woman I knew, her silk and lace saree’s, her big bindi, the smell of mogra in her hair, her picture perfect smile made me wonder and helped me distinguish how beautiful Indian women are as compared to other women in the world.
That being said, I would say my muse is and ought to be our Indian women. Their dusky skin, their curves, their almond shaped eyes, their luscious hair every thing about them works as an inspiration to me.
Team MM: Tell us about your LFW collection and the inspiration behind it.
NT: The latest collection showcased at LFW Winter/Festive is highly inspired or as you may call it a tribute who are ‘Survivors’, in my eyes a single parent, a prostitute, a celebrity and many more around us who are survivors. They have broken all worldly chains and carved a path for themselves to sustain and live in a world brutal as this. Thinking more on these lines, I wondered why not translate this very thought into garments? That’s how the collection came into existence.
I tried to translate my thoughts by giving my ensemble a balance of structure and fluidity, simply showing the strong and the weak part of a human mind. The colors used were morbid and earthy to which many could relate easily, also one can witness the use of metal embellishments like chains, metal plates, salli work which is much like armor – showing the warrior side of a person.
Team MM: Which stars would you want to see wearing your collection?
NT: Definitely Anushka Sharma, Sonam Kapoor, Neha Dhupia, Rahul Khanna and Ranveer Singh.
Team MM: What has been your highest point so far in your career?
NT: There have been lots of high points in my career so far even though I feel like a toddler in the industry. Definitely, showcasing twice at LFW, being the youngest judge on the NIFT Graduation Exhibition and 3 segments on me on shows such as I Love Style and Style Police. Aside from that, my clothes appearing in the pages of fashion magazines.
Team MM: What’s next can we expect from Nikhil Thampi the designer?
NT: Well this is a question I myself can’t answer, I like to surprise myself at every level… my inspiration is a direct translation of my mental state. From grunge to candy floss, from structure to prints, from morbid to floral, I am capable of surprising my audience and myself… so what one expects out of me is a pure mystery.