When it comes to work, Shilpa Chavan aka Little Shilpa, is extremely creative and unconventional. She is famous for her quirky designs and believes in amalgamating and imbibing everything in her designs that makes them beautiful and unique. Trained under Philip Treacy in England, Chavan has created a niche for herself in the fashion industry.
For Chavan, training under Philip Treacy taught her humility and most importantly, how to finish each piece intricately and thoroughly.Known for her different fashion statements, Chavan believes style is something one imbibes from everything that is around them, things that influences one and slowly becomes a part of one’s personality.
Her brand Little Shilpa is inspired from street fashion and culture but she thinks there is no specific way to get inspired. “I get inspired by every place I travel. There is no such rule where the designer has to get inspired by street fashion or culture,” Shilpa told Guardian 20.
“I believe people wear clothes depending on the activities during their day. Following a single trend or style has become quite mainstream. We need to explore what works for a particular individual and what they will be most comfortable in,” she adds.
Recently, Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive, 2016 in association with aLL: The Plus Size store held its first ever plus size model audition for men and women in Mumbai. This plus-size show will be styled by Chavan and will be a part of the upcoming season.
Speaking about her association with the plus size auditions, she says, “Lakmé Fashion Week has always been a great platform for emerging talent, whether it is designers or models, from across the country. This initiative by Lakmé Fashion Week and aLL has come at the perfect time where people and social media are demanding individualistic acceptance and confidence; where body positivity is pitted against body shaming. I believe, it gives people of all sizes and coming from different walks of life, a platform they can own.”
“This initiative by Lakmé Fashion Week and aLL has come at the perfect time where people and social media are demanding individualistic acceptance and confidence; where body positivity is pitted against body shaming. I believe, it gives people of all sizes and coming from different walks of life, a platform they can own.”
She adds, “The recently concluded Mumbai model auditions saw a fantastic response! We had over 160 participants across the country from which 10 emerged as winners. For me, the fact that 160 people turned up to own their ‘plus-size’ is empowering on its own.”
Chavan is excited as the show will represent the inclusive spirit of fashion and will open up a host of options for every individual looking for fashionable choices irrespective of their shapes or sizes.
“Together with aLL, I will be styling models with tasteful accessories and footwear to make each one of them feel confident and stylish. The shortlisted 10 models chosen during the Plus Size model auditions will be walking the ramp this season. Additionally, I will also be curating the entire show in terms of lighting, music, hair and make-up,” she says.
Chavan loves to travel across different countries and from her artistic head gears to installations, everything inspired from her journey. She says, “I draw inspiration from everything around me. It could be something that happens on the street or when I travel. It is not restricted to one particular thing and is definitely not a conscious decision. The life that happens around me inspires me the most.”
For Chavan, the scenario for traditional craftsmen in fashion industry is improving now. “We are at a stage in fashion where craftsmen who were always in the background, are now being brought to the forefront. The couture shows are suddenly back. We have moved back into handwork, art and craft, while making parallel advancements in technology. In my opinion, the best way forward is to marry the two – where you can use your craft but yet you add technology to create something memorable,” she says.
She concludes, “Fashion currently is at an interesting point where we take two steps backward to move forward. The archives of designs that are coming from our craftsmen are being twisted and modernised using technology to make it work according to today’s times.”