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Keta Gūtmane. Photo from the personal archive

Fashion as a Platform of Opportunities 0

Interviewed by Una Meistere

Keta Gūtmane is one of the leading conceptual designers in Latvia, who uses fashion as a media, as a form of expression. She looks at an outfit as a multifunctional object, as a language that, by utilizing the most diverse modes of expression, tells us in the guise of a garment about the topical, about feelings, and about experiences—about the most essential things happening within her and within the world around us. Last year, Gūtmane and director Mārtiņš Grauds created a short film, Lust Lust, which won the grand prize at the fashion short film competition A Shaded View on Fashion Film, organized Diane Pernet at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. The film’s protagonist, Aigars Stirna, also won an award for best actor. The jury included such renowned figures as Paolo Roversi, Dita von Teese, and Bryan Adams. Gūtmane is currently residing at an artist’s workshop in Paris, where she is working on her next collection, which will be demonstrated this fall in Tallinn. This will take place as part of the fashion and art project Moment, which for the first time in its history (the inaugural Moment took place in Riga in 2006) will change its geographic location and head to Tallinn for “guest performances.”

What will your new collection be about?

For some time I’ve been preoccupied with questions about aspects of faith-based fanaticism in various religions, and modern society’s parody about holiness and faith. In my new project I’ll try to combine these aspects and reflect them in clothing.

Your projects have always seemed to stand on the fragile boundary between fashion and art. On which side do you see yourself more, and does the eternal question of whether fashion is art or craftsmanship seem actual at all today?

These days, questions about how to make clothing more unique are becoming increasingly actual, because technological processes are moving swiftly ahead and developing. Particularly right now, the fashion industry allows for increasingly unorthodox ways of thinking about how to blend classic sewing and craftsmanship techniques together with futuristic inventions.

In creating my projects, the important thing for me is to preserve a contact between both disciplines—art and fashion—without losing either one or the other.