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Dainius Bendikas

The Lithuanian costume designer crafts futuristic survival wear and tells Dazed about his latest collection, 'Since Motion is All'

Playing in his family’s knitting factory is what initially triggered Dainius Bendikas’s interest in fashion. Fast forward twenty years, and a degree in costume design later, the Lithuanian designer continues to explore his fascination with handiwork by creating utilitarian menswear with couture-like touches. Whilst interning with Iceland-based Sruli Recht, Bendikas completed his S/S11 collection 'Since Motion is All', combining scallop edges, embroidery and over sized patch pockets for a serious lesson in futuristic survival wear.

Dazed Digital: Where are you from and how old are you?
Dainius Bendikas:
I'm 24 and I was born in Siaulia, Lithuania, and now live in Vilnius.

DD: Why menswear?
Dainius Bendikas:
Menswear is the right medium for me to express my view. It’s also a great way of creating a unique narrative behind each project. It articulates the subject by not giving away whether it’s from the point of view of a character in a certain story, or from its observer. When you create an image or look, it relates to emotions that are connected to both the design process and the understanding of one’s identity. Later when you get to the shapes and colours, it can really lead to self-expression!

DD: When did you first get interested in fashion?
Dainius Bendikas:
When I was about nine, I used to spend a lot of time in my parents’s knitting and sewing factory. I remember playing with knitting patterns. I first made a tracksuit, but it really wasn't the right type of material to use and it definitely wasn't comfortable! Still, it looked awesome and I guess that was all that mattered at the time. What I mostly enjoyed back then was the fact that I had made something. It was a feeling that made complete sense – the ability to finish something, success and also the attention that later came from something that is more than just an outfit. After finishing school I went to study knitwear design and fashion design at the Vilnius Art Academy.

DD: Tell us about your S/S11 collection.
Dainius Bendikas:
The story behind 'Since Motion is All' is a story of a surreal yet hopeful post-cultural group of personalities - a motley crew full of diverse elements and characters. It’s about the process of change for the better and also about functional menswear items that have handwork touches.

DD: What are your current obsessions?
Dainius Bendikas:
I become easily obsessed with the characters from my stories. Right now, I’m obsessed with the characters from the story I’m developing…

DD: And your favourite movie?
Dainius Bendikas:
Darren Arnofsky’s “The Fountain”.

DD: What music do you listen to in your studio?
Dainius Bendikas:
Le Loup, Nico Muhly, B.Fleischmann, Eluvium, The XX, FusedMafc, Mum.

DD: Which designers do you admire and why?
Dainius Bendikas:
Eiko Ishioka for her breathtaking costumes. Sruli Recht for his prolific and mysterious aesthetic world. Henrik Vibskov for his concepts and Raf Simons for his innovative view.

DD: What are your plans now?
Dainius Bendikas:
I’m finishing my final year of fashion and costume design, while simultaneously creating my own collections. After graduation, it will be the same thing, but different city. Again and again…