Snapshot: North African and Islamic inspired jewelry and accessories comes courtesy of Pichulik’s creation of “wearable ornaments.”
“Baraka” is Arabic for “blessing,” and running through the physical and the corporeal worlds, it possesses a protective and talismanic quality that is the stylistic and thematic backbone of Pichulik’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection of Moroccan, North African, and Islamic inspired jewelry. Informed by the architecture of Mali, the pieces of this collection are put into dialogue with the traditional garb of regional desert tribes to create bold and exotic handwoven designs.
Pichulik founder Katherine “Kat” Mary-Pichulik’s creates boldly alternative accessories with ropes and cords that are engorged with vibrant, and culturally relevant, colors, from Tyrian purple to opaque turquoise to heraldric silver. Pendants are often golden rope bands, or solid stones, and sometimes hang down to the belly while other times they dangle in the back, below the nape of the neck. No matter the material of the pendants, their overall largesse and imposing figures imbue them with an ornamental quality, and Pichulik thrives off fashioning designs whose value transcends their aesthetic appeal with the idea of creating wearable ornaments.
Pichulik’s idea of the ornamental is as accessible as it is interesting. One piece is a rigid purple necklace that becomes gold in the breast area, while golden spheres dangle vine-like in place of a pendant. It’s companion piece is a formed by spanning two bracelets that are bridged with a golden cord running down the forearm. Another “piece” is a set of two bangles, each formed by ten separate bands of various colors. All the colors are elsewhere displayed more grandly in larger articles of the collection, but this bangle is the most accessible item, encompassing the entire aesthetic in a compartmentalized and versatile design that is easily donned on the wrists, or on the ankles, or even one on each.
This regal yet tribal and rustic line of Islamic jewelry is sure to inspire other accessory designers to undertake brave homages to cultural legacies such as Pichulik has done.