NOTES : NIKHIL D
Notes is our latest series on exploring the dynamics of creativity over an informal break where we chat with some of the most eminent as well as some of the upcoming artists in India today. Our next edition is with stylist Nikhil D. In his years of work, he’s constantly pushed the boundaries of conventionality.
Could you tell us a little about your journey towards design.
When I didn’t get into the art school I applied at, my back up was design school. After finishing school, I worked at an Indian brand for a year as a designer before I started styling. None of these things were planned and just happened by chance until I started loving what I did and worked at Marie Claire India as Style Editor for 3 years. Now as a fashion consultant I get to do everything I’m good at – style, design and create which was the main goal.
What’s been your favourite shoot – across your work or anybody else’s?
This shoot I did with 9 Indian girls as the faces defining beauty of the new and changing India. All of their parents hailed from two different states within the country. The pan-Indian beauty did not come from the south if she was dark skinned or have high cheek bones if she was from the western ghats. We shot them all on Polaroid with Prasad Naik in natural light and barely any makeup.
What does your moodboard look like?
My moodboards are usually collages of photographs or art that I do keeping colours, the personality of the person we are creating and his or her mindset as a visual. I usually have images of objects and old photographs on these and like to layer them to look like one single image.
As someone who has been part of India’s changing style climate, in your opinion, who are the young designers who spearhead the new Indian look of Western contemporary flair & Indian craft and technique?
I have always felt close towards Kallol Datta’s work. He challenged ideas of what women think looks good on them and preconceived notions about what is flattering to her body. I like that it does not scream it is Indian but has so much to do with where he is from. I also like Akaaro, Sanjay Garg, Bodice, Eka, Lovebirds, Runaway Bicycle – I think they all in their own way are reinterpreting the changing Indian look with or without Indian crafts.
Which historical figure would you have liked to styled and why?
David Bowie even though he would never need it.
Everyone on Bold and the beautiful cause it was my granny’s favourite show and my first idea of the fashion world. Also now that I think about it they needed it.
Cover Image : Styled by Nikhil D, photographed by Niko Mitrunen for Marie Claire India.