Shuttling between London and Mumbai, Shilpa Chavan, a fashion graduate from PV Polytechnic Mumbai , stumbled upon the art of millinery and kindled her new-found interest in head-gear by designing head-pieces for the Miss India pageants for three consecutive years.
With an objective to explore the craft, she enrolled in London's esteemed Central St. Martins School of Art and London College of Fashion, and upon completing various summer school courses, interned with Philip Treacy.
In 2009, she was one of the 5 short-listed milliners for 'Headonism,' curated by Stephen Jones as part of the opening show at London Fashion Week to celebrate 25 years. She has been bestowed Accessory Designer of the Year by both Marie Claire India and Elle India.
Although predominantly a milliner and accessories designer, Little Shilpa has since expanded to apparel, and she ensures that in each collection, all three factors (clothing, head-gear and corresponding accessories) come together to portray a vivid and cohesive view of her vision as a whole.
Little Shilpa's work is a culmination of visual diaspora, where concepts and influences range from travel, memories and a need for pushing the boundary. The brand 'Little Shilpa' draws inspiration from local influences and observations, where pieces in every collection use varied raw materials, fusing ideas collected through travel and multi-cultural interaction. Each piece, from head-pieces to jewellery, is individually crafted.
Using fashion as a base, she has used different mediums like styling, photography, videography and art installations as a collective spectrum.
Whichever the current concept, the brand aims to be a friend of both the sciences and of l'amour. It is done so by staying ahead of the trends, while still retaining a love for nostalgia and romanticism.
The USP of the brand is that no two pieces are identical -they may have similar styles, but they are never exactly the same. Since Shilpa views her work as applied conceptual designs, and tries to infuse as much melodrama as possible on ramp or presentations, she waters it down for retail and press requests. Her larger exhibited pieces are a starting point towards scaling down the sizes and ideas into more accessible pieces for runway shows, editorial shoots and ad campaigns. Currently, the label is shown at Milan , London & Paris Fashion Week and Lakme Fashion Week, India .
She has collaborated with the likes of Boudicca, Unconditional, Walt Disney, BBC, DHL, Audi, Taj Group of Hotels to name a few .
The brand has been featured in numerous international publications including Vogue, Another Man, Crash, Vogue Homme Japan, Tush, Mixte, Dash etc., and her pieces have been worn by trend-setters such as Lady Gaga, Sonam Kapoor, Cheryl Cole, Kangana Ranaut and Paloma Faith.
Her art installation works have been exhibited in India, France, London, Barcelona, Arnhem, Berlin, Copenhagen and Seoul.