Grand Prix winner Una Bērziņa together with curator of the competition Dita Danosa, Chairman of the Board of the Latvian Fashion Chamber and Sandra Plota, Director of the partnering organization Latvian Culture College
The winner of the young fashion designers’ competition “MERINGUE” become Una Bērziņa with the collection “Stories, graduate of the Academy of Art of Latvia. Second price won Anita Leina with her collection “Whirly Fly” and 3rd place winner become Milena Emilija Serzante with the collection “Frequency”. The prize winners receive the opportunity to represent Latvia at international symposiums.
Milēna Emīlija Seržante receiving the prize from professor Luba Popova from the NABA-Nuova
Accademia di Belle Arti Milano.
Una Berzina and Anita Leina will participate in the “3rd International Young Designers Contest 2020”, which will take place in Kiev on 5-7 July 2020. The international competition for young designers is one of the largest in Central Europe. It aims to promote young fashion talent by introducing them to international fashion industry experts, media and the public. All participants in the competition shall be winners or laureates of national competitions, which shall insure the creative and professional level of the event.
Una Berzina collection “Stories. Part I”, photo: Uldis Vilks
Una Berzina collection “Stories. Part I” was inspired by the family photo albums and family values, attitude towards the fashion, it’s sustainability then and now, traditions and habits. History is forming layers, revealing previous generations, their destinies and stories of life, something is known to everyone, something remains untold as the family secret. It is symbolized with the layers of fabric, draping, padding, silhouettes that are suitable for men but have been remade as women’s wear. Tones of collection depict the aesthetics of black and white photography.
Una Berzina collection “Stories. Part I”, photo: Uldis Vilks
Anita Leina collection “Whirly Fly” were inspired by surfer’s, their lifestyle – be on the constant move, live here and now, follow your feelings, do not stay in the comfort zone for long. Collection is an invitation to listen to your inner voice and dare to do, risk and try new things. Clothes are designed for wearing after physical activities outdoors, thus the use of non-traditional materials, for example, down blanket, waxed thread and cotton plaid. Clothes are comfortable and easy to put on and at the same time providing surreal feel.
Anita Leina collection “Whirly Fly”, photo Uldis Vilks
Milena Emilija Serzante as a 3rd place winner, received a special prize, the opportunity to attend a two week course in fashion marketing and management at the Milan’s New Academy of Arts (NABA – Nuova Accademia di Belle Arts Milano). When creating The inspiration of her collection “Frequency” Milena Emilija Serzante was the monumental, red lighthouse of Kolka. It’s shape influenced the clothing lines. Red is the domineering color in the collection with reference to the function of the lighthouse – you can see it during the day and at night it radiates energy with the signal frequency.
Four special awards were given to the contestants.
Una Berzina and Elina Grinberga received a special award of the department store “Stockmann Riga” – pop-up sale of the collection in the “Stockmann Riga” in the spring of 2020.
Kristine Zarina received a special award for creativity from the “Pastaiga” magazine – a promo publication in the Pastaiga magazine.
Ilze Mucina received a special award for best design from the Lilit LOOK magazine – a promo publication in the Lilit LOOK magazine.
“The collections of the finalists of the “MERINGUE” competition were of a very high level, which indicates a good education base in Latvia and the serious personal attitude of particular aspiring designers. I appreciate the diversity of topics and the personal views of fashion in collections. Both the organization of the competition and the fashion shows were of a very high professional quality”, said the jury chair Luba Popova, NABA-Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti Milano, after the competition.
Konkursa “MERINGUE” ietvaros 25. novembrī bija redzamas 11 konkursantu kolekcijas. Visplašāk pārstāvēta bija Rīgas Tehniksā Universitāte – piecas kolekcijas, no kurām divas veidotas kā radošie dueti, kopā apvienojoties Nadīnai Anijai Pogai un Martai Cimdiņai, un Līvai Kreilei un Annijai Grūbei, kā arī Paulas Žauneres, Alīnes Skarules un Kristīnes Zariņas individuās kolekcijas. Četras kolekcijas bija no Latvijas Mākslas akadēmijas, kuras radījušas Anita Leina, Una Bērziņa, Ilze Muciņa un Elīna Grīnberga. Rīgas Dizaina un mākslas vidusskolu finālā pārstāvēja Milēna Emīlija Seržante. Liepājas, mūzikas, mākslas un dizaina vidusskolu pārstāvēja Ieva Agruma.
On November 25, eleven collections of finalists were showcased, including four collections from the Art Academy of Latvia created by Ms Anita Leina, Ms Una Berzina, Ms Ilze Muciņa, and Ms Elīna Grīnberga. This time, Ms Milēna Emīlija Seržante was the only student representing the Riga Design and Art School in the finals. The educational institution not represented before in the competition joined the finalists this year, that is, Liepāja Secondary School of Music, Art, and Design with the collection of Ms Ieva Agruma. In its turn, Riga Technical University is represented very well with five collections, two of which are creative duets of students bringing together Ms Nadīna Anija Poga and Ms Marta Cimdiņa, Ms Līva Kreile and Ms Annija Grūbe, and individual collections by Ms Paula Žaunere, Ms Alīne Skarule, and Ms Kristīne Zariņa.
Collection “Unknown”. “Picture a world without the variety of fashion. All our outfits would be similar made for mass market in a factory…The different would only be personal information demonstrated on clothing and revealing our most-hidden secrets to everyone…Take a step back and look at our true identity in perspective, our true identity without nothing excessive…It has only openness”.
Nadīna Anija Poga and Marta Cimdiņa
Collection “Collision”. Can a person exist alongside changes in nature or is he the cause of this process? Increasing awareness about the problem of pollution, women’s clothing collection is created from denim trousers tearing them in threads, sewing new outfits with different textures, prints and making new garments. Bright colored polyethylene bags used to prepare clothing and it’s elements are added to the collection bringing attention towards excessive use of plastic bags.
Līva Kreile and Annija Grūbe
Collection “Dawn” was inspired by the plays of the morning light in the forest surrounded by darkness, integrating it into the color palette, prints and contrasting silhouettes of the collection. Monumental silhouettes of outerwear jackets are balanced by close-fitting dresses with elements of massive laces. Outfits are created for women who are able to remain firm and strong during the everyday reality at the same time maintaining their inner fragility.
Collection “Lapse of Time”. Trying to find oneself in the adult world, you start to get to know yourself, learn about yourself but something pulls you back. You remember parents, their mutual synergy. Memories about trying on outfits and exploring the wardrobe that lead you down the memory lane of feelings and fragrances. Memories about the interaction of genders form the cornerstone of this collection. Feminine meets the masculine intertwining through every garment – constructive inspiration from the men’s suits and tuxedo shirts, and feminine in forbidden forms and volatility. Designs manipulate with asymmetric, excessive lines and decorative elements.
Collection “See you outside’’ was inspired by the New York street style of the end of 1970s. Music, dances, thrilling parties and street art as the ability for everyone to express his/her individuality. Clothes are leisurely cut, athletic, casual. Embroidery makes them even brighter.
Collection “Panic!” was created in frame of the Bachelor’s work. It is inspired by the hip hop culture and urban environment with graffiti drawing. We can see a lot of them in Riga and Jūrmalā – on the facades of buildings, in bus stops, tunnels and elsewhere. Aim was to find an expressive graffiti and use it in the collection as a print making the street art permanent and worn daily.
Collection “Memory Loss”. Collection idea and inspiration is based on the “rave” culture phenomenon. Incorporating it as a powerful swift impulse making the wearer to feel this way. Clothing ensembles were created using both screen printing and marbling technique to create color vibrations.
Collection “On the Beach”. Currently when the “world of internet” can create a seeming reality and illusion of life, it is important to maintain authenticity. It is a challenge to be real, at the same time being fragile and vulnerable. This fragility is beautiful as it hides the true power! Collection associates this fragility with the shell and the power of the sea. Rough denim depicts the sea, its strength and foundation where the seemingly fragile shell perseveres midst the large waves and protects the creature. It’s texture is reflected in the tulle draping and irregular ruffles create the color transition effect.
Well-known musician and composer Rihards Zaļupe, winner of the Lielais Kristaps 2019 prize, presented a musical performance specially designed for the finalists of the competition. The Ambassador of the competition, Fashion Designer Laima Jurča opened the event by the Illuminated collection created for people with disabilities. While awaiting the evaluations of the jury, spectators were enjoying the latest collection of a special guest, Fashion Designer Iveta Vecmane named MELANCHOLIA III ETHNOGRAPHY II.
The Association, Latvian Fashion Chamber, started the tradition of organising the competition in 2016. Its purpose is to discover and promote young fashion designers to the general public, to provide hands-on experience, and to support the further development of young designers and their faster integration into the fashion industry by facilitating acquiring the knowledge and experience.
This year, the competition is convened as a cooperation project of two organisations, that is, the Latvian Fashion Chamber and the Latvian College of Culture of the Latvian Academy of Culture by combining two pre-existing events on one platform, namely, the Young Fashion Designers Competition “Young Talent” and MERINGUE Student Fashion Project from the Latvian College of Culture. The MERINGUE competition has been supplemented by various initiatives of the students of the Latvian College of Culture such as the media breakfast, organising showroom, production of video stories, etc.
Event mood, photo Nauris Garkaklis
The competition’s fashion show was broadcasted on the national TV company Riga TV24. The project was implemented with the support of the State Culture Capital Foundation and in cooperation with JSC Latvijas Valsts meži, Latvian Design Center, Riga TV24, Radio SWH, Pastaiga magazine, Lilit LOOK magazine, New Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, Ukrainian Fashion Council, DS Stockmann, social enterprise RB kafejnīca of organisation Rūpju bērns.