Meet one of the winners of the young designers competition Fashion Injection – Patricija Regesaite. Being a senior in high-school and attending university in London next year, she will teach you how to establish your own brand by having only an old sewing machine.
Photographed by Justin Taroza Naudolaitis Interviewed by Vasare Butkute
It will be your first time participating in the Fashion Infection. As you are a new face to the show, maybe you could start by telling a little bit about yourself? How did you start taking interest in fashion and what role does it take in your life?
I felt certain gravity towards creativity and art since my youngest days. When I was six, I started attending art classes in my hometown. After five years I already threw my first personal art show! It became my first bigger achievement in life which encouraged seeking professional education in arts. So I got into a high-school that specialises in arts and now I am a senior there.
Starting high-school also made me very interested in clothing design. I started taking sewing lessons and in my freshman year I already presented my first ever fashion collection called “Shadows”. My school held an annual fashion show event, in which I also participated in later years with my collections “Flower Selection” and “Insect Metamorphosis”.
This encouraged me to take my creative potential more seriously. When I was sixteen, I launched my own bag line “PREGES”. Now I have clients not only in Lithuania but abroad as well.
What fashion means to you in general? And how your approach changed through the years? Maybe you look at some things differently now?
Fashion is not only clothes to me. By designing I try to realize my ideas as well as a painter or a graphic designer would. It is important for me that my creations would reflect my unique view. This is what fascinates me about fashion the most – it does not end in a frame of a painting and you can spread it in various ways. Maybe that is why I thought of sewing bags instead of anything else. I understood that conceptuality can also be adjusted to practical use.
Are there any more reasons why you chose bags above everything else? Will there be a place for clothes in the future?
“PREGES” was developed as a small project or rather an experiment by me and my sister. We wanted to face the challenges that your own business often raise. However, our options were limited. Having one sewing machine I could think only about products that did not need overlook and so I came up with the whole bag idea.
When my summer holidays began, I started learning how to sew bags and experiment with various designs as well. I searched for a one that would not be just attractive but also very practical. That is how I thought of bags / backpacks that can be carried in several ways. Although bags were originally sold mainly to my friends and classmates, gradually this little experimental project quite successfully established itself as a brand, and now we get orders not only from Lithuania, but also abroad, interest and willingness to cooperate from various boutiques in Lithuania.
Now our brand can only offer one model but in the future I have plans to increase the number of new works and maybe even include clothing, which would be simplified versions of my avant-garde collections prototypes. It would be fun to continue to maintain the experimental spirit of “PREGES” as it was its primary goal.
Do you use any interesting technologies in your works or maybe everything is handmade?
People often have difficulties believing me when I tell them that I sew everything by myself with my mother’s 20 years old sewing machine. Currently, it is my only factory. With it I sew bags and the collection of carpets for the Fashion Infection. More sophisticated equipment would no doubt allow me to realize more ideas but even with a primitive sewing machine you can do a lot.
Who encouraged you to participate in the Fashion Injection? Did you think you would win?
Perhaps I would not have sent the form, if I had not had the desire and the belief in myself that I am suitable for such competition. Nevertheless, while still attending school an opportunity to win and participate in Infection reminded more of a utopia than reality. However, my sister encouraged me to try.
Just a week before the first show I began to think about the idea of the collection and sending my sketches I did not expected to be chosen – I had not had even one model designed! I planned to sew from a carpet but did not know whether it was possible at all. Though, after being selected for the Fashion Infection, I had no way back so I had to spend a lot of nights experimenting with the qualities of the materials. I had to understand, which shapes and silhouettes are possible so that I could finally start designing something.
Talking about the Infection, what does it mean to someone that is new to the fashion industry? Maybe you know or at least can guess what doors open after it?
To a new designer Fashion Infection helps to establish his name and brand, form a circle of valuable connections. After all, even an opportunity to show your works to such a wide audience is worth a lot! The biggest door that opens is appreciation. An invitation to participate in such event is a really important encouragement for a designer to move forward. It is not just a project, it is a stimulus to seek your goals and improve your works.
Why, in your opinion, a lot of new designers disappear after the first Infection and do not participate next year?
Finances determine a lot of things. Designing a collection requires a lot of resources, especially if the idea exceeds the finances you have.
There is no secret that a lot of designers travel abroad to learn more because there everyone pays much more attention to the fashion industry than here. I myself will start my studies in London next year. I will be searching for new opportunities and experience there.
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