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Hot-shot designer Nikhil Thampi talks celebrities, city influences and his show on Fox Traveller

Nikhil-Thampi---Profile-ImaYoung, experimental designer Nikhil Thampi is all set to make his television debut on April 16, with Style and The City season 2 on Fox Traveller. The show follows designers as they travel to different parts of India, looking for inspiration, before they create outfits for the celebrities they’re teamed with.

The upcoming season, Thampi says, “is about designers at their creative best— raw, with an open mind.” He further shares, “It was a lot of fun and I got to express myself without inhibitions. I was given a lot of freedom to do what I want.” Thampi, who has no formal training in fashion, hopes to make his stint on television original.

Taking pointers
From among fashion shows on television, Thampi is a fan of Band Baaja Bride on NDTV Good Times, featuring one of the designers he admires, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, and America’s Top Model. “There is nothing more amazing than giving a bride a makeover and making her special day even better, and Sabyasachi is just the person for it,” Thampi adds. About his own show, the designer says, “I learnt a lot about the different art forms our country is home to—like marbling in Pondicherry and weaving in Kanchipuram. I have realised that our local artisans are very talented. It was a delight to see them at work,” he adds.

The designer, who was invited to showcase at the Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week last year, says he is very happy that Indian designers like Rahul Mishra and Prabal Gurung are doing a great job and are getting international recognition. Already a favourite with celebrities like Sonam Kapoor and Anushka Sharma, Thampi says that he would love to see Deepika Padukone in his creations. “I am dying to style her,” he confesses.

Living dream
The designer, whose favourite muse is his grandmother, thinks that women who are comfortable in their own skin and “aren’t trying too hard,” are the ones who’d wear his label. And as for the use of kamarbandhs in his collections, he says, “Indian women are beautifully shaped. But they tend to hide beneath free-flowing silhouettes. Since the under-bust area is the thinnest part of a body, I decided to add some definition.” Thampi, who is largely inspired by art, is currenty high on the work of Indian artist Subodh Gupta. Reeling under the dream of gaining recognition so early in his career, Thampi says he doesn’t want to “wake up.”
Style and The City premieres on April 16 on Fox Traveller at 10 pm.

— Sumitra Nair

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