Hand-Painted Silk Scarves Inspired by Incredible Women

For her latest collection, Kyriaki Drakotos conceived a series of silk scarves adorned with hand-painted, ethereal patterns that honor five extraordinary women.

When creating her newest collection of silk scarves, Kyriaki Drakotos turned to the women around her. Considering a specific individual for each design, Drakotos conceived five ethereal patterns inspired by their personalities—with each bearing the initial of their influencer. “They are both deeply personal and universal,” she says, “meant as tributes to honor incredible women.”  The women range in age and background—like-minded artists, activists, an opera singer, a nomadic writer, and a politician. Regardless of their stories or history, they’re all united in their ability to transform the world around them.

Drakotos founded her eponymous label, Kyriaki, earlier this year, which has already attracted buzz for its delicate, hand-painted silk scarves. Beyond the objects themselves, her story has an air of storybook romance. Born in Greece, she moved to New York City when she was ten years old, living in Jamaica, Queens, and going on to study graphic arts and illustration at Pratt Institute. Influenced by Greek embroidering traditions and the patchwork of interiors in which she grew up living, Drakotos created a line that was, in that same way, deepy tactile and personal. Referencing antique tapestries and wallpaper, Drakotos picks up her palette, rendering stitches of embroidery with a paintbrush. These intricate designs are eventually printed on fine silks in Como, Italy. 

“I am a collector. I keep a vast visual catalogue of inspiration and am constantly going back to these references,” Drakotos notes. “I am always adding new ideas to this collection through various experiences and exploration.”

While Kyriaki’s first collection featured oversized silk scarves, the new set rounds out the brand’s offerings, featuring smaller, lighter designs for wear in warmer seasons. Each scarf has its own dominant color around which its motif is built. “I am drawn to colors that are both vivid and unexpected, color compositions found in nature, or those that evoke feeling,” Drakotos explains. In one, topographic-esque ridges are rendered in warm oranges and reds. Another features purple swirls that evoke the letter “J” amidst underwater motifs. Her reverence of nature doesn’t end there—Kyriaki has pledged to donate a portion of the collection’s proceeds to protect the Isthmus in Samir Flores Vive, Mexico, directly supporting a collective of indigenous women activists and artisans to defend their land and culture.

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