Rianna + Nina: Petalouda
Created by Rianna Kounou and Nina Knaudt, Berlin-based luxury fashion brand Rianna + Nina is well known for its colourful, carefree, and vibrant printed pieces. For their latest collection, the duo have collaborated with painter and ceramicist Bela Silva and Brussels-based gallery Spazio Nobile.
Created by Rianna Kounou and Nina Knaudt, Berlin-based luxury fashion brand Rianna + Nina is well known for its colourful, carefree, and vibrant printed pieces. For their latest collection, the duo have collaborated with painter and ceramicist Bela Silva and Brussels-based gallery Spazio Nobile. Petalouda draws upon the whimsical and adventurous spirit of the seventies, pairing the butterflies of the collection’s namesake with richly-coloured florals and kaleidoscopic motifs. Each piece is produced by hand with meticulously chosen materials, including luxurious Italian silks and embroidered cashmere. The clothing pieces are complemented by a handcrafted, sculptural ceramic jewellery set by Bela Silva, the vivid colours of which create a striking exchange with the intricately layered textures and prints. TLmag catches up with the women behind the brand to hear about what sets this collection apart.
TLmag: How do you approach luxury fashion at Rianna + Nina?
Nina Knaudt (NK): Nothing about what we do is mass-produced. We have two collections: our one-of-a-kind collection, where we rework vintage fabrics into new pieces, and our print collection. All of our pieces are based on very fluid shapes, and we try to have most of them as one-size-fits-all. We have so many different women coming into the atelier, and we can all wear the same dress! We also really have an eye for special craftsmanship; we source vintage textiles from all over the globe – embroidered tablecloths, vintage scarves, Japanese kimonos from the 20’s… Everything in our atelier is handmade, and we also work in partnership with small factories. Rianna never draws or drapes; she says she paints with scarves. We really see our pieces as art, and a lot of our clients are collectors of our pieces.
TLmag: What inspired the Petalouda collection?
Rianna Kounou (RK): Petalouda is the Greek word for butterfly. The last year was so difficult for all of us with being stuck in one place, unable to travel. To me, Petalouda represents freedom, and I wanted to make something that helps people feel free. When I first saw Bela Silva’s work on Instagram, I thought it was so nice, and totally my style. I felt like her ceramics matched our collection so perfectly, because they have this feeling of the seventies, and craftsmanship. The work is totally different, but it still fits together in this amazing way.
TLmag: What was the process of collaboration with Bela Silva and Spazio Nobile like?
NK: The whole process was very fluid and natural and quick. For a long time we had thought about collaborating with an artist like this. We just love what Bela does, so we contacted Spazio Nobile, not even with the intention of a collaboration – we were just curious about her art. We also love the selection and style of Spazio Nobile, and their appreciation for craftsmanship. Our prints already existed, so we sent them to Bela, she created her ceramic jewellery and gouache illustrations, and then we brought it all together. We are not people who have something in the pipeline for a year or two because we are very impatient, and if we love something we want it immediately. That’s why we’re happy that this came together so quickly. It was completely organic.
TLmag: What was important to work with or represent in this collection?
NK: Something different that Rianna did was take a lot of care and consideration for different materials. Our past collections focused more on the prints, but for this one it’s also very much about different layers, materials, and embroidery. It really brought us so much joy to see these prints, not just on silk or cotton or linen, but also on knitwear. We get excited about every piece in every collection, but we have been dreaming about this for a long time. The skill and craftsmanship is really what makes this collection so special.
RK: I need to have new things to explore, and new opportunities to create in a different way. Being able to use different materials and techniques also gives me somewhere new to go for the next collection. I want to be able to keep bringing people different things to see and wear.
The Rianna + Nina x Bela Silva x Spazio Nobile Petalouda collection will launch in July.
Portrait and collection images courtesy of Rianna + Nina.