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Astounding beholders with his offbeat designer collection, Nikhil Thampi stepped into the world of fashion without any formal training at the Lakme Fashion Week in 2011. His spectacular figure-flattering silhouettes charmed hearts and paved way for his successful career as a fashion designer. Interweaving comfort and glamour into his creations, he has a penchant for going the unconventional way. Madhuri Dixit, Kalki Kocheilin, Deepika Padukone, Anushka Sharma, Kajol, Vidya Balan, Neha Dhupia and Nargis Fakhri — his clientele includes most of the leading Bollywood divas.
Mostly black or any other block shade with a tinge of electric colours and a dash of gold or glitter — his designs portray a free, vivacious woman. Plunging necklines, waistline cutouts and one-shoulder wonders are a recurrent sight in his couture. Playing with Indian and Western style files, the 31-year-old likes to reinvent and recreate existing fashion trends.
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All set to charm onlookers with a mix of new-age fusion Indian wear and Western high pret in Hong Kong, New York and Melbourne in March, April and May 2017 in association with Indian Couture Experience, Thampi is excited about the venture and shared all about his new endeavour in an exclusive interview with indianexpress.com:
A psychology graduate, with no formal education in design… when did you realise you want to make a career in fashion?
I was really serious about my academics, and I wanted to finish my studies before experimenting with life. I was also one of the lucky ones to have graduated at 22. Then, I started assisting my father in the family business, but as a creative mind cannot stay confined within four walls with a desk and laptop, I started looking for new options. Right then, one of my friend asked me if I could help her while she was setting up her fashion career. I lent a helping hand to her and absolutely fell in love with fashion. Realising that this is something I’d love to do, I applied for GenNext Designers at LFW 2011 and was chosen from more than 800 applications. After that successful stunt, I just went on with the flow.
Well, it really is great as you entered the fashion industry only in 2011 and still have made a big name for yourself.
No, not that a big name, I still have a lot to do. And it is a really fickle industry so you never know.
Tell us about the new collection you will be presenting at New York, Hong Kong and Melbourne, with the Indian Couture Experience.
We are really excited about our association with ICE in its first edition and look forward to a successful tour. Deconstructing existing silhouettes, our collection is an amalgamation of traditional garments and modern wear.
To all our Lovers in Hong-Kong we are gearing up to exhibit at a special pop-up curated by @indiancoutureexperience on March 18th, 2017. pic.twitter.com/LUBhEyXro9
— nikhil thampi (@nikhil_thampi) February 16, 2017
For Spring-Summer 2017, what do you think will new in the summer trends this season?
Glam is is this season. Summers are going to be a mix of casual as well as the glam look.
From Kajol and Madhuri Dixit to Sonam Kapoor and Evelyn Sharma, you have made a striking difference to their appearances. But, who are your favourite stars or celebs from the ones you collaborated with?
Anushka Sharma. She was the first celebrity who said yes to me and I absolutely adore her. If she calls me up at 3am in the night, I’ll reach her place in 5 minutes and help her out with her fashion call. Deepika Padukone is really graceful and Priyanka Chopra looks lovely in the way she carries herself. Sonakshi Sinha looks wonderful in the way she styles herself.
— nikhil thampi (@nikhil_thampi) May 24, 2016
What is the one design detail or fabric that you cannot do without in your creations?
Linen! I just love linen and I’m totally obsessed with it. I wish I could use it in all my creation but sadly, it is not possible.
One fashion accessory you’re addicted to?
Sunglasses. I own 374 pairs of sunglasses and I just cannot do without them. I might forget my wallet once in a while but I never forget my sunglasses!