A pe­tite and colour­ful Jo­han­nes­burg pad is filled to the brim with art and col­lectibles


Lezanne Viviers’ ef­fer­ves­cent per­son­al­ity and re­bel­lious spirit are hard to con­tain. And her home in Hyde Park is ev­i­dence of them, too – it’s an or­gan­ised ex­plo­sion of bright colour, tex­tures and pat­terns. And why would you ex­pect any­thing less from the cre­ative di­rec­tor of the iconic Mar­i­anne Fassler la­bel? Born and raised in Som­er­set West, Lezanne de­scribes a child­hood spent im­mersed in na­ture, bak­ing and eat­ing mud pies made from clay balls dug out from the riverbed, play­ing Kleilat Gooi with her broth­ers and jump­ing over dunes in four-wheel­ers. ‘I em­braced my tomboy ten­den­cies,’ she says.

Af­ter ma­tric­u­lat­ing from PJ Olivier Art Cen­tre, and then go­ing onto grad­u­ate from the El­iz­a­beth Gal­loway Academy of Fash­ion in Stel­len­bosch, Lezanne spent two months as an intern in Jo­han­nes­burg. She says she moved to the city on Valen­tine’s Day and it was ‘love at first sight’. She ex­plains, ‘Jo­han­nes­burg is in­clu­sive, and I was lured by the city’s en­er­getic charm and its cos­mopoli­tan na­ture. As Capeto­ni­ans we are often caught un­der the spell of the Mother City’s nat­u­ral exquisite­ness. We tend to be naïve

and lack curiosity about what South Africa has to of­fer out­side the bor­ders of the so-called par­adise. Jo­han­nes­burg is my kin­dred city.’

Lezanne be­gan an an­nual men­tor­ship with Mar­i­anne Fassler in 2011. ‘It was tough,’ she says. ‘I was stub­born. Mar­i­anne gave me lots of free­dom, some­times re­ally throw­ing me into the deep end with a client’s dress. She would al­ways push me to be­come bet­ter. With time, I proved I could han­dle more re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, and she al­lowed me to have fun and play in the stu­dio.’

Sit­ting in her liv­ing room, drink­ing a cup of cof­fee, with the morn­ing sun il­lu­mi­nat­ing all the paint­ings, prints and her ar­ray of vin­tage vases, Lezanne talks about her art col­lec­tion. Ev­ery sur­face seems to be oc­cu­pied with a ce­ramic work or a framed poster or bold-print cur­tain.

Re­mark­ably, she ac­quired her first piece of art just five years ago. ‘Braided Bond­ing’ is a paint­ing by Mar­lene Het­tie Steyn, who was one of Lezanne’s fel­low art stu­dents. In the class they took to­gether, Mar­lene ma­jored in paint­ing and Lezanne in sculp­ture. Since then, Lezanne has ac­cu­mu­lated an as­ton­ish­ing amount of art­work, all of which is dis­played in the treasure trove that is her home; she de­scribes her­self as a spe­cialised hoarder. ‘To buy Mar­lene’s work, I bor­rowed the money from my mom and paid her off over a year.’ Her sec­ond piece was ac­quired the same way. Then her mother ended the ar­range­ment and Lezanne was on her own.

To­day, works by Ge­orgina Gra­trix, Lady Skol­lie, Nico Kri­jno, Belinda Blig­naut and Irma Stern, among oth­ers, adorn the apart­ment, which Lezanne shares with her hus­band, com­mod­ity trader and en­tre­pre­neur Wal­ter An­der­son.

‘I’m very in­tu­itive when buy­ing some­thing,’ she says. And as she points out a rail­ing weighed down by the brightly coloured ki­monos re­cently ac­quired dur­ing their two-month hon­ey­moon in Ja­pan, Lezanne adds that she doesn’t mind splurg­ing on both art and tex­tiles.

‘I also bought these on the same trip,’ she says, un­fold­ing del­i­cately patched Boro tex­tiles in vary­ing shades of blue and indigo. Passed down through gen­er­a­tions, the Boro cloth patch­work tra­di­tion orig­i­nated in 19th- and early 20th-cen­tury ru­ral Ja­pan. When a sleep­ing cover or throw started to run thin, the fam­ily’s women would patch it with a small piece of scrap fab­ric us­ing sashiko stitch­ing. The re­sult is a beau­ti­ful ta­pes­try rich with fam­ily his­tory and tra­di­tion.

‘Ja­pan is the most con­sid­er­ate coun­try and cul­ture I have come across,’ says Lezanne. ‘Con­sid­er­a­tion re­sults in some­thing un­ex­plain­able. It’s a coun­try that is so rooted in its tra­di­tions, yet so avant-garde and con­tem­po­rary.’

De­spite her strong point of view in de­sign, art and fash­ion, Lezanne says her shared home is a com­bi­na­tion of both her own and Wal­ter’s tastes – per­haps a bit more hers than his. Ear­lier this year, the cou­ple were married in a col­lab­o­ra­tive wed­ding cer­e­mony that in­cluded build­ing and cre­at­ing ev­ery­thing from scratch with friends and fam­ily. Lezanne says all their guests were peo­ple with whom they have a sin­cere con­nec­tion.

‘ Wal­ter is so­phis­ti­cated and cher­ishes time­less mod­ern de­sign. He is re­spon­si­ble for the in­fra­struc­ture of where we live. He con­sid­ers prac­ti­cal­ity and clever de­sign. My style is often caught in a fleet­ing mo­ment, some­thing in­tan­gi­ble, but aes­thet­i­cally and defini­tively ex­ag­ger­ated. I am al­ways hunt­ing for trea­sures, ob­jects with in­tegrity that were made in sin­cer­ity.’


T HIS PAGE, F ROM TOP In the bed­room, a vin­tage dresser from Re-Trend in Lin­den ( Re-Trend Shop) is topped with ‘Gwaais and Eyes’ by Ge­orgina Gra­trix. Lezanne is a col­lec­tor of tex­tiles as well as art: here a vin­tage ki­mono hangs from a con­tem­po­rary stor­age unit by Dok­ter and Misses along­side a chair from Ur­ba­na­tive (theur­ba­na­

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