I am simple man. I do not need so much.
But I need solitude to arrange my thoughts in a manner,
so that I understand them.
My brain seems to be extremely biased to see the
aesthetic and exclude the rest.
I would be aware, but not focus on thoughts and perceptions causing negative emotions in me.
Sometimes it may happen that I find myself far from reality.
Moments of rationalisation will follow and ground me.
Those are unpleasant, but necessary.
This oscillations are essential.
They drive the process to create a my own world of aesthetic.
So writes Lithuania-based designer Oskaras Povilenas, who crafts his fashion around a vision for the future, one where the world’s unpredictability is embraced rather than ignored. To this end, his unique pieces carry with them a distinct voice, encouraging global acceptance and strength with a singular aesthetic. To hear more about his process, Schön! spoke with the designer.
Introduce us to the included text. How does it relate to your work?
With the text I am a simple man…, I am connecting with my clients at one level and underlining the philosophy of this collection with a personal detail. My brain is biased towards aesthetics, and that can be considered as a huge weakness, making me susceptible to a rush of negative emotions when I have a moment of realisation. I was aware of this and searched for the meaning behind that characteristic until I found it in design, which transformed focusing on beauty and aesthetic into a strength. This truly reflects that every characteristic of you has its own reason and meaning. And you better love it.
What can you tell us about the photoshoot accompanying these pieces, e.g. themes, story, etc.?
As you might know, the collection is called I Am Not in Love. The colour red draws a line that connects all pictures with the perception of warmth, the feeling of love. Nevertheless, it is sometimes piercing the photograph, just as love can pierce us. The model creates shadows that display her inner self and her vulnerability, which is revealed by the white light shining on her.
Her process is in motion; she desperately reaches for love, then hides from it, then plays around. She is trying to interrupt the love with her own darkness — sometimes her darkness is interrupted by love. The red light changes shape and appearance until it starts to blend with the white light and reaches stability. She now loves herself and allows vulnerability to be part of her.
You wrote on your site, “When I am creating, I name the piece after a woman, a woman of my imagination.” When did this process begin? How does it influence your design?
The beauty of humans in general is diversity. And I am trying to create beauty. All of the pieces I’ve ever created have been based on a sharp imagination of a woman’s character, including posture and the way she moves. The only aspects left blank are body shape, hair, and eye colour; those are of no importance. I think of how to reflect the obvious and the more subtle characteristics of this woman in my design. The former, along with posture and movement, influences mainly the decision for cut and fabric, while the latter ones have a huge impact on the details, which then directly reflect the sophistication of a woman. This is how I create an array of unique women; this is how I create beauty.
But not all women are of my own imagination. Clients who want custom-made pieces undergo the same process. Before I start, I will make sure to know not only their style preferences but also their character, on which I will then build a reflection of their potential.
You’ve said that this collection is about “allowing [ourselves] to commit to inner unpredictability without feeling vulnerable.” How did “unpredictability” impact this collection?
Inner unpredictability is the spontaneous eruption of emotions and thoughts that we do not expect to have. We may like them, we may not like them. But they will come and go… The collection aims to strip the negative bias from vulnerability, to show that emotions and thoughts are part of us; they make us unique and let us grow, rather than something that needs to be eliminated. I used them as strength and presented the pure reflection of my inner motion in my designs.
Talk a little about sustainability as it fits with the brand’s methods and ethos.
Sustainability is a very vague word, and before the pandemic, the fashion industry as a whole puts very little emphasis on any aspect of its meaning. With Oskaras Povilenas, we are focusing on slow fashion. We are working in direct contact with local seamstresses and constructors and put a big emphasis on close and warm relationships. Also, we carefully select high-quality fabric produced in Europe. Details like buttons are chosen from local businesses as well. This way we support one another and make the supply chain as short as possible and guarantee that every individual involved was treated and paid in a humanitarian way. Customers will receive a product of quality that will last many years.
What is your history as a designer? Conversely, what do you believe is in your future?
My history was a curation of steps towards my future visions, with the present being the modulator of the process. At all points, I had an emphasis on cognitive development. Skills like constructing, cutting, draping, and sewing can be learned by anyone, they are not a reflection of an idea. They are simply skills, nevertheless necessary to obtain. After studying Costume Design at Vilnius Academy of Arts, I focused a few years on improving them. To think like a designer means being sensitive and susceptible to what is happening in the present, how it is influenced by the past, and transcending this into an idea of the future. You are implementing diversity and flexibility to suggest a solution for the previously formulated problem, which is probably the hardest part. This is what makes me a designer in the first place. Unfortunately, I cannot answer this question [about the future] as I would reveal my visions. But feel free to take a guess according to my history.
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