After admiring a photograph of a Japanese woman, found in her great grandmother’s trousseau, jewellery designer Katherine Mary Pichulik became inspired by the aesthetic customs of Japan, which are reflected in the PICHULIK FW2017 range. The ornate pieces flaunt the exquisite details of the country’s ikebana art form and their hues, resembling those of pearl, brass and coated brass, somewhat reminiscent of pearls resting in oyster shells.
The tones of her collection are in addition, similar to those of seaweed, found on the wetsuits of Japan’s Ama pearl divers. For more than 2 000 years this group of independent women have been free-diving, an activity during which they hold their breath for minutes at a time, with only a rope fastened to buoy supporting them. The instinctive understanding and courage that they showed are the two characteristics that PICHULIK admires most in these women.
Furthermore, Japanese culture associates women with the sea and Ama translates into ‘women of the sea’. Hence, the PICHULIK assortment of accessories was crafted for unique and poised women with an awareness of their powerful force of influence. The accessories also sport Eastern accents, shown in the utilised materials such as wood, bronze, brass and non-ferrous metals. These materials signify the Japanese notion of ‘wabi-sabi’, which recognises that they are modified as time passes and that there is beauty in their flaws. Rope, symbolising the Ama pearl divers’ lifeline, has also been incorporated.
An outstanding item is ‘Leonora’s Journey’, a pendant similar to one belonging to Katherine’s great-grandmother, which Katherine received as a 30th birthday present. Her great-grandmother bought the pendant in Peru in the 1960’s while she was mourning the loss of her husband. Through creating ‘Leonora’s Journey’, PICHULIK forged an everlasting memory of her great-grandmother’s experience. The pendant is attached to a thick black rope, coated in bronze and trimmed with pearls. It is viewed as a medal for women who are willing to learn more about themselves and through this become reshaped and restored.
The FW17 apparel collection, ‘#Pichulikby Nadya’, is the brainchild of fashion designer Nadya von Stein. The clothing is made with hand-woven fabrics by Mungo, which features shades of Tibetan robes, including mustard, blue and red. The fabrics’ patterns are a nod to the brand’s African heritage, although the garments, which are clean cut, have an Eastern look and feel. Given this, ‘#Pichulikby Nadya’ is a distinctive fusion of African and Asian flair.
The dominant silhouettes are asymmetric and understated, much like those seen in ikebana masterpieces. Therefore, they communicate the principles of ikebana which focus on balance without pressure, allure in minimilasm and the stripping down of materials to reveal their natural essence. The pieces consist of power dresses and suits, kimonos and pants. This power suit, with its vibrant orange shade, demands attention and portrays authority, but is softened by the bell sleeves. Shoes with an animal print add a dash of eccentricity and a simple pendant completes the ensemble perfectly.
Cost Leonora’s Journey, R1 800
Get jewellery and apparel at Shop F37/9, Watershed, 17 Dock Road, V & A Waterfront; pichulik.com