In his maiden association with TFT, celebrated Indian Fashion designer Nikhil Thampi opened the show and set it on fire with his interpretation of the Tech and Fashion melange. In an exclusive interview, we chatted up with the designer about his special techy collection for TFT, his experience collaborating with TFT, tech preferences, learnings attained on his journey and a whole lot of trivia.
“ Everything now has become available in the palm of the hand. The integration of fashion and technology is a must. You can see each and every designer these days releasing an RTW collection globally just so it is easily accessible to the customers through technology. ”
Exhibit: Nikhil Thampi- one of the most celebrated Fashion Designers of India. How has the journey been and how would you like to trace it?
Nikhil Thampi: Famous? (Laughs) Who me? Really? I still think I am in a dream which I surely don’t want to wake up from. It was an emotional overnight decision to get into fashion. I just took a chance because I had age by my side and passion towards art. It was a time when I was dabbling to find my real voice and I stumbled upon fashion. In a way, fashion came with open arms and embraced me. Coming with no technical knowledge led me to learn on the job. I still interact with my kaarigars to understand the technical part of fashion which makes working very exciting till date.
Exhibit: How would you like to describe your style?
Nikhil: You will always find me in boring and comfort clothing. Black T-shirt and Indigo jeans are my go-to outfits any day. I do love to accessorize myself with my sunglasses that I love the most; 375 pairs to be exact. It’s a clinical problem that I have. (Laughs)
Exhibit: Nikhil Thampi and Tech – what is the relationship like?
Nikhil: It has always been hand-in-hand. There has always been a futuristic element in all my collections.
Exhibit: Fashion scene in India: then and now.
Nikhil: I would say it is still evolving. People are experimental today. It’s no more about a brand acquiring but more about what looks good. People are smarter and well educated, and travel different places which has made them aware about what the world has to offer.
Exhibit: What do you think about the blend between Fashion and Technology?
Nikhil: It’s definitely growing. We have seen technology becoming a part of fashion since its inception and it is still growing. The sky’s the limit!
Exhibit: How did it feel being associated with TFT and what was your experience?
Nikhil: Honestly, I was just looking forward to embracing the new language that merges fashion and technology together. I love seeing what other designers came on board with.
Exhibit: Tell us about your most recent collections and the one you showcased at TFT.
Nikhil: We recently launched our demi couture collection called S YLPH. It is an Indo western collection which shows a new form of existing styles. And the one that we showcased at TFT was high glamour evening wear which had a touch of futurism in it.
Exhibit: Have you incorporated tech aspects in your collections before? Do you plan to utilize tech in the future?
Nikhil: Yes, we have worked very closely with technology. We had showcased a collection named ‘Quantum’ at Lakme Fashion Week, where we had light frames attached to the human body. To answer to your latter question, absolutely yes, it’s the way to grow!
Exhibit: How do you see Tech influencing Fashion now or in the years to come?
Nikhil: Everything now has become available in the palm of the hand. The integration of fashion and technology is a must. You can see each and every designer these days releasing an RTW collection globally just so it is easily accessible to the customers through technology.
Exhibit: What are your thoughts on how Social media are influencing the Fashion scene?
Nikhil: (Social Media has) Absolutely changed the ballgame! It has gotten accessibility at the touch of your fingertips. It has helped awareness grow in all possible fields, predominantly fashion. Its reach is wide making knowledge easily accessible.
Exhibit: Do you depend on any technology – gadget or app – for professional purposes?
Nikhil: Pinterest, Instagram for business, Twitter to express an opinionated and I can’t live without my iPhone.
Exhibit: Formal training, refined and creative fashion sense or a perfect balance of both – what, according to you is the most important in creating a fashion revolution?
Nikhil: Intuition is number one; you either have it or not. Then comes the secondary part of being technically sound with a formal training.
Exhibit: What was your first big break like?
Nikhil: When I was learning dance from Shiamak’s, I was asked to design a dance costume for our show. I don’t even remember the year but it was a nude leotard with some sequins for instructors.
Exhibit: Who is the best person to dress in your collections?
Nikhil: Bollywood celebrities – all possible starlets like Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor and Anushka Sharma.
Exhibit: Your views on Indian society, beauty and sense of fashion?
Nikhil: The Indian society is definitely going through a turmoil with everything that is happening. It is still confused and looking for liberation. Beauty is something that is very perceptive – some like to treasure it and some like to flaunt it.
Exhibit: How is the Indian fashion trend different from that in the western countries?
Nikhil: We are more emotional, more connected to our roots and we have a purpose.
Exhibit: Indian women and style – how do you relate it in your way?
Nikhil: The Indian woman is an epitome of grace, oomph and sexuality. As a designer, they are my biggest muses and I strive hard to keep them as my end motive of clientele.
Exhibit: One Fashion fad you keep yourself away from.
Nikhil: Pure leather outfits and ultra-low waisted anything.
Exhibit: What or who inspires you?
Nikhil: Being a designer, everything inspires me! Like a leaf on the ground, or an art painting at a gallery – it is purely how you perceive it and how you execute it.
Exhibit: Words of advice for aspiring fashion designers.
Nikhil: Please be inspired and not influenced. Plagiarism is absolutely not acceptable. Have an original voice!
- Tech an d Fashion: Apple Watch
- Car you drive: Mercedes ML350
- Color of the season: Rust
- Go-to fashion trend: Waistcoats
- One fashion trend you’d make obsolete forever: Organic Oversized Clothing.
- Casual, formal or ethnic: Casual – 365 days of the year.
- Best dressed according to you: Rahul Khanna
- Your muse: Sridevi
- Most overused Fashion trend/trick: Sneakers with everything.
- If not fashion industry, then where would you be: Directing films or Art director.
- Most exotic vacation: Spain
- Best piece of advice given to you: It’s all about being you in a world as lost as this.