As I make my way through the inner lanes of Hauz Khas Village to the launch of Nikhil D at 11.11 (eleven.eleven) I realise it’s been a while since I’ve hung out here. I hear singing and soft guitar sounds, and see fresh-faced hipsters all around. No one seems bothered by the Delhi summer heat. HKV definitely has a vibe to it.
Three floors up and I find myself in a small room with a bed, T-shirts hanging on a rack, accessories against the wall, and music playing to a snazzy video projection.
Cosy and cool, just like the collection on display of over-sized gender-free Ts in a mix of fabrics and muted colours. After a browse and chat with Nikhil about his debut collection, I head further up to the rooftop party. I’m greeted with cold iced tea in clay cups and lots of chatter on a terrace full of people. I can see eclectic glass-topped tables littered with candles and beer bottles, set to a view of the lake and the area’s 13th century monuments. Beautiful. Two iced teas down and a few camera pics later, I call my driver and tell him to put the AC on; I’m ready for a bit of comfort now.
Nikki Duggal: What is the inspiration behind your first collection?
Nikhil D: Too many things are created and produced around us with a lot being wasted and unused. I’ve always wanted to make Ts and I thought what could be better than putting 11.11’s archival fabrics from past collections to use? I’ve always loved their fabric development and know how much work they put into each collection.
No one piece is the same. There are five shapes and each one has a different combination of fabrics. You could wear them all the time,
to bed or to go out, just like you would any t-shirt. And the older they get
ND: Tell me about yourself…
Nikhil: I studied design in Bombay at WLC and ventured into working on/styling stories for magazines. I was also Style Editor at Marie Claire India until August 2012.
ND: Who would you love to see in your Ts?
Nikhil: I would like to think both men and women could wear them. Like most T-shirts, they don’t have darts or any particular shaping at the waist. They are also all a large size.
ND:Where do you retail from?
Nikhil: Right now, my limited line of Ts retail solely from Grey Garden in Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi. We plan to be in Bombay as well and can only hope for more pop ups to come about in the future.