guest edit w/ Stanislava Pinchuk

q&a with photos captured by Ennis Ćehić
14 September 2020

stanislava pinchuk wears our Beauty Of Nature Trench Coat

Artist Stanislava Pinchuk has the elusive air of an enigma, there’s something magic and otherworldly about her presence. Stanislava’s art has taken her around the globe where she has observed and examined the effect of war and conflict on landscapes. She has explored the memories that these places hold through drawing, installation, tattooing, film and sculpture. She is fondly described by Anna, as like a “small exotic bird which has the softest feathers but is the swiftest flyer with the most beautiful song” Luke is more matter-of-fact, “I’ve known Stan for 5 years and 14 tattoos later, she’s one of my favourite people.”Back in early Spring we asked Stanislava to guest edit our latest collections.Melbourne was in the middle of their second Covid lockdown. These beautiful photos of Stanislava in her studio transcend time and capture the little seed of hope like flowers on a sunny day.

Stanislava wears our Petal Blooms Dress

Much of your work takes you into the heart of strife and trauma. Have you observed the power and beauty of nature in these extreme settings? How do you think nature can help us to heal?

Working in difficult places, the pendulum of emotions swings wildly. Often, it is more important to think outside of your immediate self. And yet, we humans, are strange creatures that are always hard-wired to find beauty, and especially in nature. The more artwork that I make, the more I feel that we really are dinosaur brains, drawn to the most beautiful object in the room. Maybe we are trying to find a sense of hope, or comfort. For me, there is something strangely optimistic in that.

How has the global pandemic affected you creatively?

Hugely, though I am always inclined to think optimistically. I was a little burnt out, and the delays in work couldn't have come at a better time. I haven't dreamt in my sleep, or been in one city for more than two weeks, for about a decade - until now. I've also been able to make a very scary two years of work into a more sustainable four or five years, which I couldn't be more grateful for. The time is only in service of the work being stronger, and that's all there is for me.

Amongst all the uncertainty and sadness - and especially in international relations and in the arts, I've been thinking long and hard about how and where I want to live, what works for me, what doesn't. A lot about what this coming decade will bring, and the guaranteed difficulties ahead. And I think it's made me make some really big life decisions that I would have delayed making, staying busy and distracted. The time for true, quiet introspection has been an absolute revelation.

Stanislava in our secret kisses frill gown

What are your hopes for the future?

My great hope, is that the collective experience, co-operation and shared responsibility we are now feeling in the time of Covid, is the orienteering that we need in this immediate future - in the shadow of a global climate emergency.

This collection is inspired by magic of gardens and the power of flowers. Do you have any fond memories of a special garden or a particular flower that holds meaning?

I grew up in a nine storey Soviet apartment block, from which you would just see hundreds of other identical concrete blocks. I am inclined to find it beautiful, though I know it's unusual. Our specific block, somehow, had the most incredible flowers planted at its entrance. Poppies, cornflowers, pansies, foxgloves, really big sunflowers, bluebells, cosmos, hollyhocks. Nothing elaborate, but still my favourite flowers. I don't know who was responsible for keeping them, but I remember always being completely mesmerised by their beauty and colour every summer. If I ever have a garden, that is exactly what it will look like.

Stanislava in our Poets Garden Shift Dress

Stanislava in our Beauty Of Nature Dress

What were your favourite pieces from the shoot? How did they make you feel?

"When I was a kid, I never remember feeling drawn to weddings, white dresses, anything like that. I’m still not! But I was obsessed with big, tiered polka-dotted and floral Romani dresses.The kind you can really dance in, and move the skirts around. I remember my grandmother teaching me how to do that,how to lay your dress out on the ground and dance with your hands. I always thought that was the most mind-blowing thing you could wear. So moving around in the Secret Kisses Frill gown felt really, truly magic. It felt like me! And I’ll confess - I have not taken it off since.”

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guest edit w/ stanislava pinchuk