Shivani Pillay


'Spring Picnic' is a collection of digitally designed pieces developed from hand illustration. Through gouache and ink on watercolour paper, the designs are handcrafted to initiate a deeper connection with the cottage core movement. Each design is intended for digitally printed clothing, swimwear and accessories. 

Spring Picnic is designed for the new way of living, post-COVID–19, a ‘new normal’ consisting of staycations and cautious socialisation. My designs have been inspired by the cottage core movement where getting back into nature and enjoying life outside of the home is more common and appreciated. This collection was designed to create joy through colour and pattern which can be used for anything from a day at the beach to a dressed-up picnic. 


The hand-illustrated motifs were inspired by the fresh smells of flowers blooming in spring. These were accompanied by brightly coloured insects amongst nature. All of the motifs were hand-drawn and painted with a mix of gouache and inks on watercolour paper. These designs were then translated into CAD-based platforms to create repeated patterns, ready for digital printing. 

Shivani Pillay

Shivani was born on the coast of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. In the early 2000s she migrated to Sydney, Australia where she resides.


She grew up in a creative family, and in her early years, she developed a passion for all things to do with art and fashion. This enthusiasm continued through her high school years where she excelled in textiles and visual art subjects. In her final year of high school, she embarked on a Cert III in Fashion Visualisation at Whitehouse Institute of Design. This led her to find her true passion in the fashion and textiles industry.


After enrolling at RMIT Bachelor of Textiles (Design), Shivani discovered a deeper knowledge of the textile and fashion industry through major projects and deep research into the field. This sparked her passion of combining textiles production methods with designs inspired by her diverse cultural background.