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Lezanne Viviers Creates a Colourful, Art-Filled Apartment

Former Marianne Fassler creative director Lezanne Viviers has recently put the finishing touches on an eclectic apartment in Hyde Park, Johannesburg.

Sarah de Pina
Lezanne Viviers | House and Leisure
In the dining area, works by Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude, ‘Small Perriot’ – a Picasso print – ‘Lovebirds’ and ‘Smile I’ and ‘Smile II’ by Georgina Gratrix, ‘Cash for Chaos’ by Ralph Ziman and ‘Trash Capitalism’ by Jason Bronkhorst, among others, stand out against a wall painted in a deep sage green. The elegant Mid-Century Modern dining table and chairs are from Our House in Melville and the table is topped with a vase made by Lezanne Viviers herself. In the vintage glass cabinet to the right are colourful glass pieces, several of which were sourced from various auctions and thrift shops, and include vintage Murano vases.

 

Lezanne Viviers’ effervescent personality and rebellious spirit are hard to contain. And the apartment in Hyde Park that she hust recently finished renovating 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 former creative director of the iconic Marianne Fassler label? Born and raised in Somerset West, Viviers 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.

ALSO READ: Marianne Fassler and her Garden Route Hideaway
Lezanne Viviers | House and Leisure
Lezanne Viviers with her husband Walter Anderson.

 
Lezanne Viviers | House and Leisure
The living area is furnished with a modular sofa from @home as well as a vintage standing lamp and a Kartell coffee table bought from Decade in Melville. Among the artists whose work is represented on the gallery wall are Siwa Mgoboza, Lady Skollie, Norman Catherine and Walter Battiss.

 

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.’

ALSO READ: Colour Code: When Decor and Fashion Collide
Lezanne Viviers | House and Leisure
In the blush-pink dining room, a large painting by Marlene Hettie Steyn takes pride of place above a Mid-Century Modern sideboard, on which a group of sculptures, also by Steyn, are arranged. On the wall above a USM modular cabinet from Magicode are pieces by Troy Makaza and Steyn.
Lezanne Viviers | House and Leisure
In the entrance hall hangs an ink painting by Lady Skollie above a group of ceramics from Belinda Blignaut’s NPO and pottery studio ARTISAFIRE.

 
Lezanne Viviers | House and Leisure
In the bedroom, a vintage kimono hangs from a contemporary storage unit by Dokter and Misses alongside a chair from Urbanative.


 

 

Sitting in the light-filled living room of this Hyde Park apartment that Lezanne recently finished renovating, once can't help but be mesmerised by the array of paintings, prints and vintage vases. Every surface seems to be occupied with a ceramic work or a framed poster or bold-print curtain. Remarkably, Lezanne 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, Steyn 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,’ Lezanne says. 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.

Lezanne Viviers | House and Leisure
In the bedroom, a vintage dresser from Re-Trend in Linden is topped with ‘Gwaais and Eyes’ by Georgina Gratrix.

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Lezanne Viviers | House and Leisure
Japanese patched Boro textiles adorn the bed in the main bedroom. On the wall above the bedside pedestal hangs ‘Four Ass Prints, Hottentot Skollie’ by Lady Skollie. The vase was bought in Japan and the three oil paintings on the left-hand wall are ‘Fugly’ by Mia Chaplin, ‘Mad About Dogs’ with a ‘Love Locket’ necklace, and ‘The Mistress’, both by Gratrix.

 

I'm very intuitive when buying something,' Lezanne says. And as she points out a railing weighed down by brightly coloured kimonos she aquired when on 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. Consideration results in something unexplainable. It’s a country that is so rooted in its traditions, yet so avant-garde and contemporary,’ says Lezanne. '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.’