new exhibit


Vilma Mare design. Artist's statement

For over two decades, fashion designer Vilma Mare has been living between two cultures and continents all the while studying to penetrate to the soul of manifold ethnicities and subcultures. This past year Vilma spent with her family in her native Lithuania, which she left in 1990. The trip was so meaningful and positive for her family that Vilma's plan is to repeat this trip every other year for the development of her children and her own perceptions. Besides nostalgic feelings for her homeland, Vilma finds herself in Lithuania exposed to the hottest by-coastal national issues. Vilma believes she is obliged to respond to such issues and strives to worldly responsiveness and consciousness in her work.

Coming from one of the oldest cultures, the Baltic civilization, Vilma finds very limited references in the world's literature due to the recent past history of the Iron Curtain and prolonged occupations by Soviet and Czarist Russia. Vilma is also very conscious of a thousand year long Christian invasion, which extinguished and prohibited indigenous rites and beliefs.

Vilma Mare's aim is to recognize still alive ethnic traits and conceptually propagate them as essential links to the lost spirited perception of the universe. Vilma attempts through her creativity to connect to the Origin. Vilma recognizes in contemporary oeuvre the need for the old world prudence which carried such connection.

Vilma Mare recently organized a public event calling many outstanding Lithuanian ladies to pose for a photo shoot called "Sovereign Woman". Many professionals enjoyed participating with the star of the project, Olympic Champion, Silver Medalist, Austra Skujyte, whose image fulfilled the aspirations of a beautiful and identity strong woman. The athlete was asked again to pose for a mythological character, Egle, the Queen of the Serpents, whose spirit continues to live in Lithuanian mentality as an extraordinary female figure.

The fashion exhibit includes 12 mannequins concentrically oriented around the center of the space. The mannequins easily turn around their axes as a viewers walk through the installation.  The clothes have monumental, sculptural qualities and an authentic look inviting viewers to explore the details.

The collection consists of predominantly suits or matching jackets w/ dresses. Tops and bottoms vary in length suggesting flexibility for contemporary formal attire. vests and vestments for a special occasion and accessories like capes, cloaks, wrist warmers, caps, hats, mantles, scarves all unified by one trace - a textural decor.

Vertically oriented, rhythmical lines are stitched into an intertwined composition, which helps shape and to fit the silhouette. This key attribute exalts Mare's clothing design and makes it easily recognizable among her coterie. Vilma Mare’s inspirations are ancient Baltic artifacts in which she recognized an integral aesthetic system, a script of symbols that are cosmological and semantic manifestations.

By transferring these symbols onto the boiled wool or rayon knit fabric, Vilma Mare originated her sartorial technique and aesthetics. Vilma has recently started embellishing her extured seams with beads that luxuriously outlines them, expressing the opulent image of Egle, the Queen of Serpents.

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