Plenty of experience, a respectable fashion home, an ability to combine creative work and business interests are what makes Ramunė Piekautaitė probably the most business-savvy Lithuanian designer. At home and abroad she has been appreciated for her special character, described as romantic, sensual, reserved, but luxurious, aristocratically elegant; she also dutifully presents two season collections annually.
In 1994 she graduated from the Vilnius Academy of Arts as a costume designer, created and presented her collections, until finally, in 1997, she achieved the dream of every fashion designer – opened her own fashion home. For many years Piekautaitė has faithfully maintained the style and philosophy of her fashion home, but each collection still surprises with its new design solutions, which never miss the global fashion trends. The shapes, silhouettes, colours, decorative principles of her season collections change, but they still all remain easily recognisible as Piekautaitė’s style. No worthless simplicity, no low quality, no brutality, shock, poor design covered up with complicated ideas. This designer creates fashion that is easy to understand, apply and love, inspired by the lifestyle and situation of the contemporary woman.
The main inspiration for the designer is the woman herself – a stranger in the street, a close friend or a loyal customer. All of them are strong personalities, united by their emotionality and sensuality, proud and appreciative of their greatest treasure – femininity. Femininity for Piekautaitė does not necessarily mean weakness or modesty; it’s also strength, vitality. Thus the weapon of choice for women is not only an elegant, sophisticated, subtly sexy, silky and flowing dress, but a different character too – an original pants suit.
The values of this fashion home are the unique personality and the positive emotions stemming from the garments. Based on them, Piekautaitė was the first in Lithuania to supply features for the portrait of a fashionable city woman: a high-quality comfortable sweater, a simple, but luxurious coat, a stylish stretch dress, sculpted pants, fashionable and comfortable shoes, a matching large bag and expressive accessories. A special aura in this work comes from its colours: they seem to be borrowed from the Lithuanian country side, as seen by an impressionist. Red is never just red, nor green just green, nor blue just blue. The garments reflect the shades of flames, mists or a splattering waterfall. The colours are always in flowing tones, whose unexpected shades stand out on different textures of the materials. One of the elements of Piekautaitė’s fashion design formula are the combinations of contrasting textures. Wood silk, satin, tencel, various textures of linen and silk, cashmere, wool, taffeta, etc. are all materials that produce the lyrical silhouettes of Piekautaitė’s garments.
Strong 3D shapes appear right next to flowing folds, heavy details – next to light, reserved classic – next to modernity, Lithuanian modesty – next to cosmopolitan expressiveness. But all these deliberate and accidental contrasts obey the dictatorship of unified stylistics, best represented by the personality of the designer herself.
R. Piekautaitės autumn / winter collection reigns of smoke, ocher and powder colors
The main collection colors – smoke, wet asphalt, ocher, burnt bricks, powder and ash rose – echoes the change of seasons. “These colors are about the city, not shades of nature. I’m a woman of the city, so naturally, the color palette resembles urban pavement, brick, metal, even windows reflections” – says the author.
All the fabrics are the true Nordic luxury standard: rigid architecturally declining wool with unusually gentle touch; cashmere for coats – from very fine, folding gracefully; to almost fur structure Suri alpaca wool for extremely frosty days.
Unusually placed zippers, pockets and massive belts are the elements that has already become true classics of the fashion house. “All zippers are functional – they are hiding pockets, serve as fasteners. There are no decorative details – it is a truly minimalist collection, there is only as much of anything as you need. Pockets are almost a mandatory attribute; it’s a synonym of convenience. And the belt is always the final highlight of the look – as the collection is so clean & pure, the belt serves as the main adornment, the ultimate accessory, ” – adds R. Piekautaitė.
Absolute favorites of the fall – highlighted collars aimed to protect from cold winds; stressed waistline that creates a silhouette of a wasp, leather-detailed jackets and bright leather gloves up to the elbows. Extremely high demand is predicted to the in-house made knits – oversized sweaters, blouses, and scarves – all handmade here in the fashion house studio by well skilled knitters.
“White blouse, which is repeated in various forms and in a number of combinations, holds a balance against pastel colors. High quality, ideal fit white blouse should be in every woman’s closet. It is one of the key parts of the wardrobe.” – lists R. Piekautaitė.
The designer wasn’t afraid to use risky but highly rewarding three-quarter length in a number of outfits. This type of sleeve is a norm, but three- quarter skirts and coats are still a rare phenomenon in Lithuania. R. Piekautaitė smiles, that the search for new forms is her daily routine: „ For me, this particular length is very beautiful. Yes, it’s tricky and does not suit for all, but if a woman chooses right accents with skirt or a coat, then she’ll look absolutely fabulous”.
Contrasts and the asymmetry are yet another element constantly accompanying designer’s work. Loose pants combined with slim-fit blouses or jackets; leggings paired with flowing sweaters and tunics – that’s what maintains the shape and creates harmony – perfect imperfection. Such is the nature of R. Piekautaitės fashion house – to create clothes that are responsive to the city woman’s life rhythm.