She hates being called a rebel but professional career of Sandra has begun from a silent scandal in 1988. As admission board rejected her enrollment to Vilnius Academy of Arts after appeal the whole department faced significant changes when leading school heads got sacked (Sandra was enrolled finally and managed to finish the whole course one year faster than her schoolfellows). No wonder why Sandra admits that Lithuanian independence in 1992 became a crucial turning point in her creative path as well. When she‘s met Vivienne Westwood during Russian Fashion Week the two of them talked particularly about freedom issues not fashion peculiarities.
Sandra Straukaite is undoubtedly one of the most striking and ideologically strongest designers in Lithuanian fashion scene who never adulates neither to spectators nor clients. The latter are mostly her close friends: artists, designers, architects, film directors and musicians – free world citizens who always lack money but appreciate fashion as art. Sandra admits that bold and vivid ideas come to her mind at night when she is sketching at her studio in Vilnius downtown. What else helps? She says it is easier to think when the warm hat is on, it helps to withold ideas. That‘s why she rushes to one particular hat store everytime she visits Tokyo. Sandra was dreaming about becoming a Snow Queen once but today is fantasizing about living in the 23 century and to be reborn as an extravagant headgear.
Sandra‘s perception of clothing fashion always exceeds standard limits as she finds it as a personal construct challenging spectator‘s consciousness. She is renown for daring experiments in the sense of form and innovative cutting influenced by Japanese tailoring traditions. The research of outfit transformation and various use possibilities earned Sandra the award of most conceptual and innovative designer at „Baltic Fashion Award“ at Heringsdorf, Germany in 2010. She believes in skilfull play of proportions, inventive cutting, natural fabrics and most of all – a good idea without bells and whistles. No wonder Sandra‘s disgusted with everything what is false – from artificial nails to all other inflated or outstreched body parts.
After an extraordinary show (all models were running) on Mercedes-Benz Berlin Fashion Week catwalk in 2011 January Sandra was immediately entitled as one the three most griping and progressive fresh names in Berlin by Euronews channel. It was an ideal opportunity to visit behind the scenes of set international fashion shows as Sandra is the founder and the art director of major fashion festival ‚Fashion Infection‘ in Lithuania. ‚Fashion Infection‘ first launched in 1999 claims ideological freedom and is looking for new talents, but not for representatives of commercial glamour. Festival, open for professionals and cheeky individuals, has become a cultural phenomenon attracting an increasingly large audience and number of artists from Lithuania and abroad. ‚It‘s hard for us to stand alone but all together we are a great power‘, says Sandra Straukaite, ideological leader of the festival.
More information about festival ‚Fashion Infection‘ at www.madosinfekcija.lt/en