PICHULIK accessories have been making a big impact on the local fashion scene of late- they are bright and bold and beautifully crafted, a nice departure from all the delicate pastels of the last few months. I asked Katherine a few questions about her amazing life so far and how she got this latest project started.
You seem to have had an interesting life so far, tell us about it… I studied fine arts at Michaelis and graduated in 2009. Thereafter I worked briefly in word of mouth marketing and learnt a selection of corporate skills. Qualified as a pastry chef and then boarded a plane to London to do an internship at Art Review Magazine. Whilst doing my internship I baked bread at a Brixton bakery. I lived in the deep South East of London and I would have to wake up at 4 am to get to work on the ghost bus P4. Thereafter I worked on organic farms from North to South Spain. From shoveling goats manure, to harvesting beans and cracking nuts on rocks. Learning the perfect combinatination of spices for a paela and pickling peppers with herbs grown on Moor terraced lands. Then i backpacked through India for three months from North to South.
I have always made weird assemblages to wear around my neck. In Varanassi i found an amazing collection of beads and I guess it’s here where I started to spend 36 hour train rides making necklaces. On my return to South Africa, I carried on making necklaces as a hobby. I would wear them and people would buy them off me on street corners and shopping centres. It’s at this point I realised I needed to dedicate myself to this. I Hired a wonderful lady called Melissa from Zimbabwe, got a studio at the Woodstock exchange and PICHULIK began.
Tell us about your creative process- is each piece unique or do you have a few set styles? I generally find life inspiring. From the places I have traveled, books I have read and people I meet -patterns, shapes, palettes sit with me. This becomes the departure point for a design, and then it is about trying to resolve this inspiration into a wearable piece. I do have a few styles that are repeated but no two pieces are ever really the same. I feel there is a piece that is awaiting every wonderful woman. Almost like portraits awaiting their subjects.
You have done a lot of traveling- tell us about some of the places you have been… I think India is a right of passage for anyone. If the spiritual does not grab you, go for the sensory overload and the challenges that arise when you are forced to engage with people in public spaces so intimately. I love Madrid, it’s a majestic madam with an abundance of moonlight charm in its bustling squares. Brixton in London is like a Fifth Element airport. Its the most cosmopolitan area I have ever worked in. Congolese hair salons next to Brazilian juice bars/waxing parlours next to Italian pizzerias next to Slovakian fishmongers next to Jamaican health shops next to Pakistani cafes. Everyone all loud and in everyones business.
Tell us about the collaboration with Lalesso… After being featured on Miss Moss, Lalesso approached me to design a collection to accompany their Mercedes Benz Cape Town Fashion Week 2013 SS Collection. We worked really well together and connected on our appreciation for Resort collections, traveling, Africa and aesthetics of the exotic. We collaborated to create a range of three bags, marrying the Lalesso fabrics with the PICHULIK ropes and accessories. This lookbook was then shot by dream photography duo Kope|Figgins. The event on Friday showcases the bags and a fun window display we have created to celebrate this union.
Stockists: Loin Cloth & Ashes Store- 20 Kruger Street, Maboneng Precinct JHB
Pieces- Shop 5, The Firs, Cradock Ave, Rosebank, JHB
Egality- 25, 4th Avenue, Parkhurst, JHB
Purr- shop 4 lifestyles on kloof, 50 Kloof Street Cape Town
Mememe- 117A Long Street, Cape Town