The floral arrangements of Ikebana specialist – or “the florist avoiding a PhD” as she describes herself – Cynthia Fan set the tone for Cape Town jewellery store Pichulik’s Fall Winter 17 collection.
The jewellery is inspired by the Ama Pearl Divers who live in the coastal parts of Japan. These women are specialised in freediving and dive some 30 feet down into cold water, using special techniques to hold their breath, all in the process of gathering shellfish. The range features Pichulik's signature rope designs juxtaposed with freshwater pearls, patinated brass and wood.
Fan's ikebana arrangements complete the look of the fall/winter lookbook with their minimal yet striking looks.
In an interview on the Pichulik website she says: “This teaching is what speaks to me the most in ikebana – there is absolute appreciation and value placed in individual branches and flowers. Broken branches and damaged flowers are praised for their beauty.”
Describing her Ikebana process, Fan says that she likes to start with one special element when creating an arrangement. This element, she says, can be anything from a moving branch, a special flower or a beautiful ceramic container.
Each arrangement has a subject (a principal stem) which should be approximately one and a half times the height and width of the container and placed in a position that allows for empty space. Added to this is also an object followed by a filler which accentuates the colours or lines present in the arrangement.
Using the raw materials that she was presented with and drawing from the theme inspiration, Fan created customised arrangements for the collection.
“I was drawn to the combinations of natural elements and wanted to reflect them within the containers for the arrangements – a glossy black bowl for the kelp and rough ceramics to mimic the earthy wooden tones. I then sourced flowers that complemented the palate of the collection – orange, red, burgundy. I also foraged for branches and dried elements to incorporate into the arrangements.”
Said to be “an ode to the powerful heroines of the 1970s”, the silhouettes for the jewellery and clothing are simple asymmetric shapes inspired by the principles of ikebana. Striving for a balance without force, the materials used for the collection were reduced to their bare essence in order to celebrate beauty through simplicity.