© Dainius Bendikas
Yatzer readers may remember the whimsical works of Dainius Bendikas, the young Lithuanian costume and men’s clothing designer we featured in October 2010. ''Since Motion is All'', was his menswear collection inspired by the time Bendikas spent in Iceland for a foreign studies program. Several months later we find Bendikas back home in Lithuania completing his final year of studies at Vilnius Art Academy and eagerly working on his new collection, ''The Meditating Astronaut''.
Bendikas has kindly given Yatzer an exclusive look at the primary sketches and three original creations that will lay the groundwork for the entire ''Meditating Astronaut'' collection. He has completed three ''different parallel looks as a first chapter of what will come..'' Although different in mood, colors, and inspiration from his previous projects, it is easy to spot the Bendikas flair upon first glance at his newest designs. The strong lines, the theatrical touches, the sculptured hemming and stitching, they all remind me of what was so special about Bendikas’ first collection --the substance that caught the Yatzer eye. There is true talent here. And no doubt about it, the man can make a jacket.
''The Meditating Astronaut'' is sculpted space philosopher. Although dark and a bit rough around the edges, there is a profound emotional thread connecting each look, an underlying tenderness. It is a study on inner dialogue, on what one gives to the outside world in juxtaposition to what happens on the inside.
''The Narrative: in light of rising frequency of motion we're traveling inside our selves for eternity ever-wondering, ever-changing, marked by continuous change of effective action, yet a simple glimpse is what we emerge to be. Nothing is real, everything is possible… To continue the title, this characters mind is wide open, calm, still, confident - simultaneously levitating. In a way I call it space naturism cause at this stage it is in the air we breathe.''
The three pre-emptive looks of the upcoming collection leave one wondering just how far Bendikas can push the envelope. Somehow he manages to keep it relevant and wearable. Fantasy, moto and a touch of sci-fi all merge in harmony to create masculine clothing that is painfully chic. Each look has heart, and they certainly leave us wanting more.
''The first three works are three parallel views…three sets crossing over each other through the post-cultural attire. Inner dynamic, natural dyed rust, complex pattern-making, function, natural fabrics, these would be some keywords for it.''
Aside from developing the rest of this collection, Bendikas is simultaneously designing a shoe collection to accompany it. He hopes to have both done by the time he graduates university in May. And then, watch out world.
''Every time when there are new characters in mind, it's a long way to the point from blurred dynamic visuals to come to a real characteristic look. The narrative is always the ground-point, I guess nothing is more exciting than people who find their own relation to it. To me every item is a title of a chapter and every look is a story.''
© Dainius Bendikas