From the comfort of our Quarantine spots, I got into conversation with the gorgeous Pallika Sood. This young and upcoming fashion consultant has privileged London Fashion weeks with her garments as well as her following with the written word. Creating her own catwalk debut, under her own brand Narhari Quorum, Pallika went from a budding intern to being essential to the Qasimi team. It is apparent that her work ethos is encompassed by creating your own opportunities and working your arse off.
As we both sip our tea from our humble abodes, our virtual interaction almost made me forget this young entrepreneur was perched in Liverpool whilst I was braced in our beloved capital. I dove straight in with the interview and this creative powerhouse was more than delighted to oblige.
Born and raised in the suburbs of Liverpool, Pallika was educated at Tower College, Rainhill before then making the transition into studying at Carmel college, St Helens. With fine art and textiles being primary to Pallika’s education choices, it was clear from a young age she wasn’t messing around when it came to doing what she wanted. Although her Indian Mother indulged in the textile world, her style was considered more “traditional” by Pallika. Pallika revealed that she sought a lot of inspiration from “nature and creating concepts around her works”.
“I like telling a story behind my work and always create a muse with that story”. For my own fashion show, I imagined a gangster who wasn’t about that life and wrote poetry”. Although Liverpudlian in background, Pallika’s time in London has laced her voice with a South London twang, which seems to make her magnetism even more appealing. It was clear to me that her conceptual approach when it came to fashion leaked into her own poetry that she kept private until this year when she decided to share her work online and “people are loving it”!
“I write a poem for every collection I work on”
It was almost animated when Pallika spoke about her poetry and talks of her future brand. It was clear she sought muse from the notion of working for herself. Using this lockdown as a way to cement and establish her own brand, she informed me of its inception.She sprinkled the brand name with her Indian heritage – Narhari meaning ‘man lion’ and Quorum referring to an important meeting. “Quroum is a meeting that cannot happen unless all relevant parties are present, the brand is a collective of these strong minded ‘lion like’ characters”. I was rendered speechless by this concept and knew immediately this brand will definitely be a force to be reckoned with. The conception of her brand came whilst she interning in Copenhagen at the age of 20. “This was a turning point for me because it gave me a sense of independence and adventure”.
Following Pallika’s graduation from the University for the Creative Arts in Kent, she zipped straight to London where she worked in retail for the good part of a year and then began work as a Copywriter for Net-A-Porter. During this time, she knew this wasn’t what she wanted to do. “I wanted to be in a design house working with a brand”. Rejection after rejection because of lack of experience is something that so many young creatives face so Pallika decided to create her own experience and hosted her own fashion show in East London in the summer of 2017. “I’m still paying that off now, but it was worth it”.
“I’m gonna do a fashion show”
After showcasing a collection of her own, Pallika began her journey as a pattern cutter (the blueprint creator of clothing as it were) and garment technician at Qasimi. Seeing her work being used on London Fashion Week’s runways was a peak in Sood’s career and got the wheels turning for her to venture on her own and continue to establish Narhari Quorum. This was until tragedy struck the fashion house of Qasimi, when the founder and creative director Khalid Al Qasimi passed away. “I felt like I was staying there for him, I didn’t want to miss working on the last collection he was a part of”. Pallika worked on her final season at Qasimi this year and became an official freelancer about a month ago before the hit of Covid-19.
I tentatively asked where she saw herself in five years, and she told me “Narhari Quorum will be off the ground as a fully functioning e-commerce business, I will be working on my poetry, and writing a book about my Mum”. This affirmative response simply upholds her strength and self- belief.
I, for one, am looking forward the powerful anthology and ventures to come from Miss Sood. I am well aware that this is just the beginning for her.