Naturalness, vitality, relevance, and sustainability are the keywords I use to describe my latest spring/summer 2021 collection – “Modern Villager”. It all started with not being able to visit my parents and homeland due to the pandemic. So, being in the city, I began to long for the countryside. I started spending more time in nature, observing it, photographing it. At the same time, nostalgic memories of my childhood spent in the countryside started coming back, and they became my source of inspiration. I realized that modernity is what is relevant today – responsibility and adaptability. Being a villager is the nature of who I am and that is something to be proud of.
The collection for the warm season consists of clothes designed for celebrating, relaxing, and meaningful leisure. The silhouettes are classic, semi-fitted or oversized, clear and minimal. Think oversized long coats and raincoats suitable for wearing over a jacket. Three-piece linen and wool pantsuits paired with a vest. Captivating crinkled linen dresses with a cutout in the waist area. Transparent linen robes, suitable for both home and the beach. Shopping and beach totes made from scraps. And scarves to create a bold nostalgic style.
All items in the collection are based on sustainability. Just like in the previous collections, it is important for us to conserve resources and reduce emissions, so the materials used are remains from mass production, deadstock products from suppliers, defective products, materials from bankrupt companies, second-hand items, or materials from manufacturers with an OEKO- TEX® certificate. The dominating fabric is my favorite – linen, which is one of the most ecological fibers. Using these materials, I designed a variety of pieces: a white sweater from “written off” mass-produced clothes; a men’s loose jacket, remade from a vintage product by changing the lining and repairing the collar; dresses and blouses decorated with old, handmade, no longer used cotton napkins that were made by my mother and other women close to me; a blue three-piece suit made of high-quality wool fabric from the bankrupt “Drobė” factory; and totes sewn from scraps leftover from the production of the collection.
The mood and colors were inspired by Lithuanian nature in the spring and summer. While laying out the collection’s mood board, I looked at my archive of nature photos taken a year ago. Capturing and observing the landscape is what motivated me to take frequent walks. The mood of the collection is calm, but vibrant, while the color palette is a reflection of the setting sun at sea. The dominating shades are white, black, latte, cobalt, desaturated pink, mint green, and ocean blue.
The designs and stylistics were inspired by nostalgic childhood memories and a famous Lithuanian classic literature writer. Getting hold of the old Lithuanian fashion magazines “Banga” (1986-1988), my childhood memories were revived and I realized that my mother and grandmother read these same magazines. I was inspired by certain design elements of the time, such as ruffles, pulling buttons off the edge, broader shoulders, oversized silhouettes. The stylistics of the collection was unexpectedly inspired by the writer Žemaitė and her traditional style with a scarf. Being in nature and enjoying it, I vividly remembered her portrait as a rural woman. And her scarf is like a silent statement about her worldview. She deliberately sought to emphasize her origins as a villager and was never ashamed, but rather proud. Žemaitė has said: “Even if I had to meet with the president of the USA, I would still wear a scarf.” She was an active defender of women’s rights. And a scarf was like a symbol of a rural woman of that time. I told stylist Alma Venclovaitė about my idea, and she put together the general stylistics of the collection.
The collection encourages sustainability and pride. Respect for nature, relationships with people and animals. To be proud of your origins, show your true self, your naturalness. Out of a desire to be proud of the Lithuanian landscape, all products are named after lakes. I’m sure this will inspire you to discover these lakes in nature. The number of items in this collection is very limited, however, orders upon request services are possible as well. Producing what is really needed is the basis of sustainability. I hope my work will contribute to positive change in the fashion industry by reducing the waste of resources and boosting consumer awareness.