Happiness is to be found when in pursuit of it, in the soothed expectation, on the way, not only upon the arrival. Accepting detours, just going the way, which is anyhow not this obvious to anyone.
Thomas Bettinelli

Happiness is just a hairflip away.
Chris Crocker


"The way the system works now, you see the clothes, within an hour or so they're online, the world sees them. They don't get to a store for six months. The next week, young celebrity girls are wearing them on red carpets. They're in every magazine. The customer is bored with those clothes by the time they get to the store. They're overexposed, you're tired of them, they've lost their freshness".
Tom Ford


Designer : Artis Štamgūts

Lestat : I usually present a model every Saturday, but you're worth an exception. Please introduce yourself.
Artis : I am 35 years young. Fashion designer and assistant professor at Art Academy of Latvia. I live in Riga -the capital city- but I come from a small village named Biksti in the countryside. I had two majors at high school : mathematics and fashion design. I focused the rest of my education on fashion design at the Art Academy of Latvia, but I also studied in Milan and Berlin. Surprisingly enough, math is very helpful in art. I reckon I can create my own rules to design clothes and in general I hate it when someone refers to some fictional terms. They are man-made and I have just as big right to invent my own. Of course within reasonable limits.
Lestat : How did you start your career ?
Artis : In some way I've been aware since childhood I would do something with clothing. I just had that feeling. And the rest just happened. I concentrated on math as well, but as I said it is very useful in design. Actually design is like a construction game. And as far as I'm concerned, I think men's fashion is more interesting, because there still are borders, rules to break.
Lestat : What's a working day like ?
Artis : It depends on what I am doing. I have two jobs as I mentioned. Actually three, but one is on hold -I've been designing womenswear for ItsME. In my studio, I focus on patterns, sewing process and design. Getting things factory-ready. I have a seamstress to help me and the brand's director handles the red tape. Other than that, I have my students at the Academy as well.
Lestat : Who/what inspires you most ?
Artis : I can be inspired by anything. Words and their combinations, objects, or sometimes anything out of the blue like wildlife or history. I think the world of a piece of clothing designed from stories.
Lestat : How was the process of this collection ?
Artis : The main inspiration was running sports. This collection is sporty, anatomic-shaped, but with a classy feeling. The color palette is sporty, fun and best for summer. I called it "GYMMY PRIME". Gymmy is a person's name. It's really Jimmy, but it's also a pun on gym. The second word implements some dose of sex-appeal that I wanted to show in my collection. For instance nipple rings turned into zipper trims. There are a couple of very short shorts or a bit see-through tee-shirts. Or patent leather for pastalas -ancient Latvian shoes. So this is the theme of the collection. Sporty, sexy and bold; but simple and fun at the same time.
I imagined a short story explaining what I wanted to show in my collection. Here it is in a nutshell. "He's running in pastalas once again", Magdalena said grouchily while gazing out of the window. Yes, there is something primeval about Gymmy. He likes running, he does so all day long. Naturally, he also does many other things. He sometimes goes out of town for a swim or to get some fun. But running, running, running – that's his favorite way to spend his free time. Thus, his style is significantly affected by it. You can't really say that he would wear running pants with shoes, however, he sometimes sports them with patent leather pastalas. Even the suit doesn't let you forget about his hobby. And, yes, Gymmy also has a good sense of humor. He enjoys being vibrant, bold, and lightly cheeky -whatever that means.
Lestat : Sounds like a screeplay ! The collection was supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation. How did you get that ?
Artis : In Latvia every artist or designer can apply for this support. Of course you need to submit your project elaborating your goals, what you get from it or what the industry will get in general. Where you will show, how large the audience will be, etc... Then they decide whether to support it or not.
Lestat : Fantastic ! What are your projects ?
Artis : My main task at the moment is to create a mini-collection for fall-winter and the next spring-summer collection, which will hit the fashion week.
Lestat : Is love important to you ?
Artis : Love is everything. I think anyone who can't love stops progressing. Love is the strongest power in this world that can be obtained, but it can also be very destructive.
Lestat : What do you wear to bed ?
Artis : My own skin.
Lestat : Do you spend much time on the Internet ?
Artis : I guess I do. When I have time for it. But that is a reality nowadays. You can't escape from it. Did you know that Latvia has the sixth fastest Internet in the world ?!
Lestat : Wow ! Now last but not least : answer the question you'd like to be asked.
Artis : Not easy. In which historical period would I like to live ? I would answer some time in the future. When people will understand the right to life.
Lestat : Thanks Artis for this interview ! And I also thank you for providing Morphosis with the pictures and the video below featuring Rainers Voroņins and Dāvis Brizga shot by Bruno Kabucis at the National Library of Latvia.
NB : Visit Artis Štamgūts' website from here !

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