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Egle C (London, UK)

The Lithuanian designer brings about a juxtaposition of sorts, fusing tailored beauty with clinical accessories...

Based on the merging ideas between tailoring and orthopaedia, Egle Cekanaviciute's collection explores both fields as bodymoulding, something that is made to fit the body into the "right" shape. After studying BA Fashion at Central Saint Martins, Cekanaviciute conducted a photoshoot and short film of a 'healthy girl' wearing clinical corsets and knee braces, doing about her daily routine at home and in the neighbourhood. The aim was to minimise the border between the healthy and the disabled, as 'it could happen to anybody'. Thus the juxtapositions of the deconstructed garments have been used with wool, jersey and silk as well as leather, amongst the mouldable plastic and stainless steel, originally used in orthopaedia.

Where are you based?
Currently in London

Where are you from?
Lithuania

How old are you?
Turning 24 next month.

Why did you become interested in fashion?
I am actually the fourth generation in my family involved in this field. My mother is a fashion designer back in Lithuania. Growing up among fabrics and sewing machines it was very likely that I'd end up spending the rest of my life in such environments!

Tell us about your current collection?
For my final collection at Saint Martins I merged tailoring and orthopaedia by working with construction and function.
From my point of view both fields are meant to mould the body into the 'right' shape, however orthopaedia, unlike tailoring is not considered beautiful or aesthetic looking in our society. I tried to change that stereotype by creating some orthopaedic - looking corsets, leg and wrist braces, to style one's everyday outfit. The accessories can be worn separately or together with my woolen tailored and de-constructed jackets, trousers, skirts and dresses.
I included some jersey and simple t-shirts / vests to make the collection more comfy and wearable, not only conceptual.

The materials you use are quite unusual, why did you choose to use them and how did you find them?
I have chosen wool for tailoring, silk & jersey for draping and the original orthopaedic materials for my accessories, such as mouldable plastic, stainless steel and leather. I was sponsored by a Lithuanian orthopaedic company 'Pirmas Zingsnis', which supplied me with all the right materials to make my castes and braces and helped me manufacture it.

Where do you seek your inspiration?
I usually don't look for inspiration very far - it is closer to you than you think. I am always inspired by the things and topics that surround me, and which i am familiar with. Or something that interests me and I want to learn more about..or something that's important to me and I want to transfer a message about it through my designs. Or problems.
For my recent collection I got inspired by a man in the street wearing an orthopaedic collar. Then I looked around and started noticing more and more people who need orthopaedic help. I thought - if it's so common, why are we freaked out by it?

Who is your favourite designer and why?
I have a few, as I like different aspects of their work:
Martin Margiela for his conceptual thinking, ability to make art of craft,
YSL for the absolute elegance,
Ann Demeulemeester - for the strong, masculine attitude,
Haider Ackermann - for tailoring,
Jil Sander - for her clever minimalism,
Lanvin - for genious draping.

What makes you happy?
Creating something that makes a difference in people's lives. I believe that art can be very political, so I am always involved in projects, that deal with more serious problems than how to make a perfect dress.
And of course - love, sun, beach and sea..!

Where can we buy your designs?
I am trying to set up my online shop at the moment, but before it's done you can contact me personally if you are interested in something I've created. www.eglecekanaviciute.com