Katherine-Mary Pichulik found the inspiration for her spring/summer collection in Italy where she stayed for a two-month art residency during the European summer. In a nod to her stay at Villa Lena, she named Pichulik’s new collection Lena.
The striking pieces are infused with Italian influences without departing from Pichulik’s signature style that has to date earned her kudos from the likes of Vogue Italia. Asked whether she worked with a specific woman in mind, Pichulik said, ‘This collection is for the woman who has a sense of humour and a lust for travel. She collects a trousseau of objects to mark her travels and memories, and prizes experiences over appearances. The pieces are therefore effortless, unapologetic and designed to follow the wearer’s movements. They balance bold and soft to make a statement without being loud.’
This balance is evident in her choice of materials, detailing and shapes that combine to create a luxe boho aesthetic. There are echoes of Italian raffia from the ’70s in the fringing on the Curtain Ponte Dera neckpiece and the bright colours and cylindrical and triangular shapes of Memphis design in Ashoka with its chunky black and bright blue beads and crescent-shaped brass tubing.
Similarly, Aperol is a striking piece that combines Pichulik’’s trademark ropework with eyecatching red, blue and gold wraps in a happy expression of her time in Italy. ‘I always knew that Aperol is a classic Italian apperitif but while I was there I realised that it is much, much more. Call it an Italian cultural icon. Locals refer to it simply as, a spritz, when it’s time to unwind and catch your breath at the end of hot Tuscan day. I will forever associate the bright orange-red colour of the drink with the Italian summer,’ says Pichulik.
The lookbook too was created to reflect the classical Italian marble statues. The white, black and gold that dominate the images hint at iconography such as Catholic purity and the sophisticated poses flirt with the glamour of the Amalfi coast that has been a magnet for the rich and famous for over 50 years.
‘The collection is like a personal memento to me, a reminder of Tuscany’s languid noon heat, a cool breeze blowing through an olive grove ahead of a welcome summer shower, night-time swimming in a luminescent blue pool and slow days in the studio while listening to Fred Buscaglione. It was a deeply meaningful experience and I tried to convey some of that with this collection to be able to share it with everyone who wears one of the pieces,’ says Pichulik.
Lena is available at pichulik.com as well as the AKJP Collective in Kloof Street, Cape Town (formerly Adriaan Kuiters). As of 19 November, it will be available in Johannesburg at Work Shop New Town.