Pallavi’s Story

Born in Delhi, I grew up with a strong blend of ‘modernity’ and ‘tradition’; to this day, my best memories are still of numerous weddings and festival celebrations.

I studied at Mayo College Girl’s School and did my university from Jesus and Mary College; both institutes are embedded in heritage and culture while simultaneously imparting a modern education. All of this blended together played a key role in making the person I am today. It has been such a privilege to be a student at these phenomenal institutions and I so miss my days with them …!

My career started as a homemaker after my marriage and I feel it was a great career choice. In my spare time, I tried modelling and had a successful stint (but got bored of it) and then experimented with ‘Cooking’ ‘Makeup’ and ‘Fashion’. These are three areas I continue to be hugely interested in and very passionate about.

Little Orhni then started to take wings in 2013 and has been an integral part of me since then. I now live in London with my husband and kids. I am certified from London School of Makeup as well as London College of Fashion; which have been a great source of learning and inspiration over the last few years .In terms of cooking, I continue to constantly experiment with ‘Youtube’ recipes, it comes as no surprise that my husband is always eagerly  volunteering himself to be the guinea pig ( although it seems to me he’s obliged to do so anyways) for these experiments; though, despite the kids constant pleas he’s nowhere to be seen during my makeup experiments!

I am as spirited about my Karva Chauth fast, as I am for my wine tasting session or a whisky blending masterclass; I love Sufi music and a club called Shalom, based in Delhi holds a very dear place in my heart. Little Orhni is well and truly me, right down to my core , and is a representation of who I am as a person as well as my culture and beliefs ; it is a true reflection of the everything I stand for, being a mother, wife , friend and designer.

Young, Fun and Bold

When Pallavi Chhibber lived in India, she struggled to find ethnic dresses for her
daughter. Designers weren’t keen on being creative with children’s dresses because
of the complexity involved. Pallavi also found that what was available on the market contained itchy material kids were refusing to wear.

Our Influences

‘Little Orhni’ reflects me in so many ways; but what has influenced me? My biggest influence has been my Maternal Grandmother. She engrained the respect of our tradition and culture in all the kids of the family; all festivals and weddings were celebrated with equal fervour; all relationships were valued and nurtured. She belongs to the generation of women who, while didn’t wear their feminism on their sleeves, but because of their sacrifices, dexterity and grit became the nucleus around which the families revolved and thrived; to this day, she is seen in her immaculately worn Sari making that wonderfully sumptuous food that only she can.

Spending 10+ of my schooling years in Ajmer made me Love Rajasthan; also, having a husband who grew up in Jaipur and is in complete awe of the city didn’t help matters, and so, naturally, a timeless romance blossomed. I am so much in love with this magical place; its colours, its people and palaces; the mystic and magnificence, its fabrics and prints and laces and brocades. It isn’t easy to find a design in my collection that doesn’t have something from Rajasthan. 

The festivals of India; from Diwali to Durga Puja; from Rakhi to Eid; India gave the world “vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम)”, a philosophy that inculcates an understanding that the whole world is one family.

I have been talking about my influences, although I have not yet mentioned a place that has had such significant influences on me and my designs: London. The multiculturism that is embedded in the core of London has brought me closer to so many families that have enriched my creativity and helped Little Orhni expand its horizons.  I strongly believe that a key aspect of my brand which sets it apart from others is the added modernist ideas and influences that I bring to my clothing and designs ; traditional indian ethnic wear with a unique and exquisitely incorporated international touch.

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What prompted her to start?

My brand is after my daughter: Ahana- it all started after she was born. Back then, it used to be such a struggle to find appropriate ethnic clothes for her – seems hard to believe I was unable to find ethnic clothes for my daughter in India, but that was, unfortunately, the case . The stuff available was usually of cheap material, itchy and very often a poor replica of an ‘adult’ design. To me, having my daughter wear poor quality clothes that were almost exact replicas of adult wear- especially for her most important occasions, was completely unacceptable ! I soon realised that ‘kids didn’t matter’; too many sizes and a low-price tag meant there was a lack of fresh ideas and no commitment from tailors and designers alike. I then took matters in my hands and started designing for my daughter using my mom’s old sarees; from there onwards, I moved on to kids of my families and then friends. Then came my FB page and my circle of Little Orhni families has grown since then. And that, quite simply,  was how Little Orhni came to life…

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