Puyan Saheb Djavaher creates handmade gowns and unique clothing for special occasions. In her Berlin-based studio, Saheb Djavaher and her team collaborate with a wide range of craftspeople to realize technically challenging designs. Her appreciation for manual artistic labour drives her to continuously discover long-standing traditions from different cultural regions and bring those back to life in her joyful, yet elegant and timeless pieces.
Born and raised in Düsseldorf, the German-Iranian designer has a strong interest in the intersection of East and West. Starting with a classical apprenticeship as a seamstress, Saheb Djavaher continued with a pattern cutting degree. Her interest in theatre and artistic production developed further whilst completing her Master’s degree in Stage Design Studies at Universität der Künste Berlin. Positions as a seamstress for opera, theatre and film production as well as for international fashion labels followed.
Puyan Saheb Djavaher actively preserves marginalised textile knowledge, for instance by using the medieval technique of Tambourine embroidery for her glass beads, or the ancient Parisian hat maker’s tradition of silk flower pressing. For the latter, Saheb Djavaher and her team cook raw Italian or French silk in fish glue during a specific moon phase, all of which is required by the material. They dry and hand paint the silk afterwards, press it between brass pearls heated over fire, and twist the petals around small stalks to sculpt 3D flowers, before carefully hand-stitching them onto the gowns. For other collections, lace from specialised local retailers is carefully cut and hand-dyed, before Saheb Djavaher composites the flowery elements intuitively onto the custom dresses — resembling a painter’s practice on canvas.
The entire production process includes extensive research and experimentation with materials and often forgotten techniques. Saheb Djavaher’s gowns cannot be reproduced by machinery, they are always tailored to the client’s individual wishes. The results are slow-crafted textile objects and unique wardrobe pieces that sit at the intersection of fashion and art.