Always excited to learn more about different perceptions of beauty.
I.- Who is Marius Janusauskas?
Born in Klaipeda in 1979, Marius Janusauskas is a Lithuanian fashion designer. After graduating from Vilnius Design College (Fashion Department) in 2000, he completed a course on fashion and textile forecasting at Central Saint Martin’s College of Arts and Design (London) and he graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp (Fashion Department) in 2012. Competitions are nothing new for Marius, as he has been winner of multiple fashion design awards including the 2012 Diesel Award over the summer. What’s more, in 2011 he was a finalist at the wgsn Global Fashion Awards in The Most Creative Student Collection category with experimental collection Algabal.
His last two collections are Sleeping Beauties and The seven veils. Go on reading to discover more!
This collection is both a testimony of loss and a celebration of eternal youth, and it has a plethora of influences, including horror and vampire movies, fairytales, the pleated silks of Mme Grès and sculptures by Pablo Atchugarry. As the designer says, ‘there are many ways to awaken the girl: by a prince, a beast, a witch or by young woman. All these figures present symbolic promises or threats that are worked into the poetic, dream-like collection’.
The front of the silhouettes holds the promise of a flower, a blossoming body, but the back is medical and cold. The beauty is entrapped in medical corsets and high necks. Delicate lace was buried underground and burnt at the edges, while pleats conceal openings which present endless promising futures.
The collection is based upon the idea of deference: A girl is willing to make a sacrifice by falling into an eternal sleep in order that a woman may be awoken. This perfectly passive woman remains still throughout an era. Her vital colors are vanishing; she is turning into the undead. The only sign of life is her blood running through the stitches of her garments – she is trapped in time; time that is pleated into the front of her dresses. Her back is cold, minimal, clinical.
Although her body is full of promise, beneath her dress is a form constricted by corsets. Submissively, she waits to be awoken by a prince… a beast (a vampire), an elder, even a young woman, or an old man. The collection was inspirited by the fairy-tale of The Sleeping Beauty, horror movies, the work of Madame Gres and sculptures by Pablo Atchugarry.
The haunting photo that opens this blog post belongs to the Sleeping beauty collection. More photos are available in on the corresponding board at Marius Janusauska’s Pinterest account.
The seven veils
Influenced by to Belgian symbolist painter Léon Spilliaert and the tale of the French Lieutenant’s Woman, this collection could probably be dedicated to the classical archetype of the femme fatale. It presents a singular woman, silent and strong. In the words of Marius, ‘she may live by the sea, enchanting men with her penetrating eyes and her dark gaze. She wears black. Woolen and silk. Intricate laces and single-seamed dresses wrapping around her body’.
II.- A micro-interview with Marius Janusauskas
We have had the pleasure of exchanging views with Marius and really thank this collaboration.
Q.- Who or what inspired you to become a designer? Was it always something you always knew you would do?
Marius Janusauskas (MJ).- I started designing since the kindergarten. I don’t mean to brag, but my paper doll was stunning and had an enormous wardrobe almost as Karen Walker. Certainly my doll and its dresses became legendary among my girlfriends, so I started receiving requests to design clothing for their dolls. I was a busy kind: everyday after homework I always designing few gorgeous outfits for some dolls. Now i realise that the process remain the same just the object has changed: I started from flat paper doll of my district, and now I design for elegant women around the world.
Q.- What do you like and dislike about designing clothes?
MJ.- I like everything about designing clothes. Every step is equally important for the final result. Although making process is more or less the same, but there is always a difference in design which brings the excitement to my work.
Fashion is like reading – you take a new book and read it, maybe even living it and after you finished with a book, you take another one and do exactly the same but in the different way.
Q.- What are the concepts you are more interested in?
MJ.- Mostly, I am interested in people: what do they create, how they think or the way they express themselves. Always excited to learn more about different perceptions of beauty.
Also I like cool stuff, but it never moves me the way beauty does.
Q.- Fashion students at the Royal Academy of Arts in Antwerp are expected to hit the burgeoning contemporary arts and fashion scene. This is one of the main reasons why many inspiring collaborations have been done in Antwerp between artists, filmmakers and fashion designers. Who do you collaborate with creatively?
MJ.- Antwerp Fashion Academy is very good international school, since teachers take time to understand students visions and they let each student to grow in his/her own way. Being in the school is already a great experience because you have a chance to meet people from around a world and you can see their work and share ideas.
I have been working with some great Flemish photographers, theatre directors, performance artists, and look forward to work more in future!
Q.- Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
MJ.- I see myself working in fashion and making clothing which are needed and desired by many people. Which will make them look beautiful and feel happy.
All photos courtesy of Marius Janusaukas.