I had my OMG moment last month while on a casual shopping sojourn to Hauz Khas Village in Delhi - the OMG moment was all about sighting part of menswear line of the designer Nikhil Thampi at Twist (I picked up a brilliant waistcoatc-cum-tunic - read more about it in my blog-post -> Twist @ Hauz Khas Village)
The brilliant outfit I picked up has a buckled leather strap and a fantastic cut at the back that transforms it into a statement piece! Check me out ->
It took me little less than 5 minutes to realize that the lable Nikhil Thampi has all what it takes to cater to my sartorial taste buds -the feeling is similar to a Style Aficionado finally meeting with his fashion alma mater!
Nikhil is a Mumbai based designer - touted as the GenNext designer, he is one of the few upcoming designers whose work I truly adore.
His work is a pure treat for sore eyes! Perhaps the best two-tones, deconstructed silhouettes and indo-western fusion clothes I have seen in the recent past from any designer.
Nikhil has debuted at Lakme Fashion Week and his collection for both men and women is fresh, quirky and bold.
I love the androgynous elements in his menswear line and I think the drape, color combination that is soulfully earthy and yet has an ethereal feel to it. His work has a positive vibe of looking like haute couture because of the uniqueness of the style of his designs and yet his work is the epitome of simplicity!
I got a chance to chat with Nikhil few days back and it was one amazing conversation. The best part of our interaction - our belief and wavelength on men's fashion is almost twin-like. Also, check out Nikhil dole out out fashion advice and giving style makeover to men at the end of the blog-post.
Read more ->
Dreaming of Gucci) You have your own label - what does fashion designing mean to you and what does your label epitomizes? What is the most difficult aspect of running your own label?
Nikhil Thampi) Designing to me is much like liberation. I tend to pour what ever is within me out... all the inhibitions, restrains, restrictions are trespassed and i am me, 100% nude me.
The label epitomizes the state of mind I am in, which tends to vary and thus one would witnesses a mixture of different emotions in my garments some are mature, some fun, some flirty. Which is how I exactly am. I strongly believe in "Its not about feeling the fabric its about fabricating ones feeling" and my work would always revolve around this mantra.
Not being formally trained in Fashion the biggest challenge I fear to face is living up to the expectations, after an overwhelming response on my debut everyone has high expectations out of me and I shall strive my best to live up to it.
As Heidi Klum quotes, "In Fashion one day you are in and next day you are out." so me and the label need to play the cards right, keeping the brands philosophy in mind.
Dreaming of Gucci) What do you think is impacting men’s fashion today from a global perspective?
Nikhil Thampi) I strongly believe one of the major factors which has a huge impact on men's fashion today is the change in their Attitude. Men, then were succumbed, played safe, lived the cliche, they were tangled in the worldly chains... Men, now are fierce, forward , open to experiment and have a break free approach to life.
They today are more comfortable in their skin than what they were back then, they invest time in taking care of themselves which includes their appearance head to toe, and i ask why not? said that there still is a sect of Men who choose to play safe, we the patrons from the fashion fraternity suggest let loose, live it up.
Dreaming of Gucci) What is motivating Indian men to shop right now? Do you think Indian men are ready to embrace designer wear aka haute couture?
Nikhil Thampi) 'Awareness', it surely is helping and motivating Men in India to shop right now, the world is moving at a fast pace and men being men always want to be either at power or ahead, now may it be technology or fashion we just have to make a mark, what to say we just have huge ego ;)
Dreaming of Gucci) Are men ready to embrace designer wear a.k.a haute couture?
Nikhil Thampi) hmmmm oh absolutely YES. to my surprise the response to menswear is at power to that of women's , it also could be because we men don't have much options, Indian fashion is women dominated, Men's fashion is in the dwelling stage, so the little that we have the cooler sect of men tend to pounce on them.
As per my reading it helps them to stand out in a crowd, giving them a distinctive Identity, making them even more confident....age being no bar.
Dreaming of Gucci) Where do you get your design inspiration?
Nikhil Thampi) On this, let me share a personal experience. One morning I wake up irritated, cranky and in a negative frame of mind and had to head out, I walked to my wardrobe picked any thing that came in my hand threw it on and walked out, Next morning I woke up all chirpy, happy, content and before leaving home I invested time in thinking what to wear, what would make me look good... that's when it hit me, its ones state of mind that determines what he or she wears.
Thus, human emotions ought to be my prime source of inspiration, one can spot a mixture of various emotions in my garments may it be joy, anger, seduction, depression.
Dreaming of Gucci) Wow! I love how you get inspired and you are so right about the state of mind determining what one wears.
My next question is - How do you like living and working in Mumbai? Do you travel a lot?
Nikhil Thampi) Traveling is my passion, I have 3 passports fully stamped haha... I love visiting new places, meeting and interacting with the locals, getting to know their lifestyle and traditions, being a part of them. Life is too short and the world has sooooo much to offer I want to witness it all.
Saying that, I would want to rephrase Gertrude Stein's quote ," America is my country, but Paris is my hometown" to "the world is my country but Mumbai is my hometown", I am and always will be a Mumbai boy, I may have the passion to travel the world but I want to always come back to my Mumbai. This is home.
Dreaming of Gucci) What is the best perk according to you in being a fashion designer?
Nikhil Thampi) Clothes clothes and more clothes, hmm and wait did I also mention fabulous clothes? Oops I did :) Blame my family to have transferred this virus into me They are shop-o-holics. My dad shops the most amongst any one of us. Lol. Jokes apart as mentioned earlier it liberates me somehow. Clothes have always been an interest with me. Right from the time I was young. Fashion came to me as I grew. So I am doing what I love. What comes with it,the good,the bad. Success,failures etc are all part of some perk to me.
Dreaming of Gucci)What spring/summer trends for menswear do you see making it to men's wardrobe in 2012?
Nikhil Thampi) Spring Summer is the best season to go out there and get that wild child within u awakened again.
As far as silhouettes -I see and suggest a lot of variation in lengths from short cropped pants to long kurtas, from jumpsuits to shorts.
As far as colors - go as wild as possible try teaming up the most outrageous color combinations you would ever imagine of and you will be just fine.
Pop colors and color blocking are big time in trend this season. Besides try some prints it will just be a twist to the boring wardrobe.
As far as fabrics - keep it as light as possible a lot of cottons, mal, soft fabric which will help you stay cool.
As far as accessories - sunglasses is a must have, a hat would give u just the right amount of glamor, a sun screen lotion, tote bag to make you hassle free.
Dreaming of Gucci) Wow! That's one comprehensive fashion advice to men for spring/summer! Thank you Nikhil!
Nikhil - in his own classy creations ->
At LFW ->
Media coverage ->
Watch Nikhil Thampi dishing out fashion wisdom and giving style makeover to men, Courtesy - YouTube, Style Police on UTV Bindaas, Episode 17- Right after Prateik Babbar's interview -