Alexandra Heard and Heleena Trahanas wanted to make life’s ordinary routines into beautiful ceremonies. So the pair, from Sydney’s Tamarama, launched an online lifestyle studio stocking the kind of breezy linen and one-of-a-kind ceramics you’d see on a pebbled corner in the Amalfi. It’s called Alex and Trahanas.
“We think about the person who loves to entertain,” says Heard. She imagines the linen dress is being worn while serving lunch, in Alex and Trahanas ceramics, to friends on their terrace in Tamarama, Sorrento, Puglia or Formentera.
After a summer spent in European fabric mills trialing the wear of each design, the pair decided on a shift-cut dress in premium garza linen (sourced from one of oldest mills in Italy). The design is then manufactured in Australia. “It is a refined and classic silhouette,” says Heard. “It is not a trend-driven piece … something we instinctively reach towards for its chicness and ease of wearability.”
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The women have released the dress in two styles, one with sleeves and one without and in three classic colours: white, navy and forest green.
As for their ceramics, each piece is handmade and hand-painted by an artisan in Puglia; the remote heel of Italy’s boot celebrated for its ceramics.
The line includes dinner and aperitivo plates and vases in a traditional Mediterranean blue and lemon yellow.
“The ceramicist sits on a timber stool with shutter doors that open out to the cobbled streets and white-painted village while listening to opera and drinking an espresso,” says Trahanas.
“It is absolutely the opposite of mass production. We were told: ‘Sometimes he makes and sometimes he doesn’t!’’”
The Aperitivo Hour collection and ceramics range has launched on their e-store.
This article was updated on February 6 2018.