Papillon du thé is the creation of Sri Lankan German designer and gallerist Saskia Fernando. Working with craftsmen and workshops across the island, many of her collections are inspired by traditional Sri Lankan jewellery and local techniques that are handed down over generations.
Many of the pieces are one of a kind and the process of creation involves the designer collecting stones with unique characteristics, transforming them into pieces for different collections or bespoke pieces for clients. Incorporating the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, the details of the stones create an aesthetic of beauty while each contains an energy that can benefit it’s wearer.
‘The pieces I create are very personal to me, and my designing began very much as a hobby that grew into what is now Papillon du thé. My philosophy is never to create something that I wouldn’t wear myself, so the pieces change as my inspirations change. ‘
Born in Australia and raised in Sri Lanka, Saskia first began working with artists and artisans through Paradise Road – her family owned lifestyle and hospitality brand. In 2009 she established Sri Lanka’s first freestanding art gallery that represents the leading contemporary artists belonging to the local scene. It was in late 2014 that she started designing for Papillon du thé and retailing at PR Sri Lanka.
Papillon du thé translates into the ‘butterfly of tea’, a name given to her once by a poet in reference to the designers Sri Lankan roots and the island’s remarkable tea plantations.
Links to the gallery and other projects below.