Present in the past
The link between present and past is a topic ceaselessly explored by the artists. Can present collaborate with the past? How can they be reconciled? Perhaps these were the questions that weren’t pronounced out loud in the showroom of the brand CHEREVICHKIOTVICHKI, but surely they were there, floating in the air. The conceptual brand, which has been presenting its collections during Paris Fashion Weeks, amazes by artfully balanced ideas of what we call old-style and modernity. Lithuanian designer Victoria Andrejeva, the figure behind the brand, came up with the idea to collaborate with legendary Lithuanian photographer Antanas Sutkus to present her spring/summer 2016 collection called “Present Past: Part one”. As she affirms herself, this collection is her “adaption of the past which still exists in the realm of physical reality”.
The collection is a result of a meticulous research of new materials. There is cotton, linen fibers, different kinds of leather (camel, horse cordovan, calf leather); even canvas is used as the material for the clothes. Love for natural materials is reflected in designer’s philosophy. “Usually designers try to find exactly the same pieces of leather – there are many pieces which are simply thrown away during the fabrication process because they appear to have “defects”: dots, insignificant stains. I don’t like this word (defects), because, in my opinion, the beauty of material resides in its uniqueness. That’s why I like using those “defected” pieces,” Victoria tells us. Extraordinary details, such as buttons made from ceramics, also catch the eye. The sense of naturalness and lightness manifests in the color palette of the collection: the tones are dim and earth-like. “I choose such tones because I wanted the photographs to speak louder than my clothes”, the designer explains.
“I never show a simple collection of clothes hanging on the hangers. They’re always a visual reflection of my very own world.” Being inspired by the photography book of Antanas Sutkus, Victoria decided that collaborating with him would help to create a philosophical approach to her collection. Since her first showrooms in 2011, Victoria has always sought to make expressive displays. This time – with the help of 10, 000 printed photos dating back to the 1950s Lithuania. Talking about the clothes, the artist was interested not in fashion or style trends that were visible previously, but in social aspects – the distinction between the rich and the poor in particular. That’s why there are so many contrasts: a shoe from canvas stands next to an expensive bag, painted with golden colour. Another goal of hers was to show the functionality that comes as an inevitable result of this social distinction: the same shoe can be transformed to be suitable for winter and for summer, the same dress becomes a shirt or an apron simply by adding or removing some linings. “Being poor, you couldn’t afford to have many different clothes, that’s why they were so functional”, she explains the idea.
This collection is the first part of creative exploration dedicated for present and past. The second one will be presented during the next fashion week.