Bajoras / A Rebellious Soul that Empowers Individuality
After the explosion of social media and its intervention in our daily routines, each of us started having a sceptical view towards snippets of one’s life shared on the web. Everything and everyone looks waaaay better on Facebook or Instagram stories, right? Is it always a default case, though? Maybe someone does live colourfully indeed, and it is not fake at all as grumpy net judges might think… I saw Katrina’s picture a couple of years ago randomly scrolling on my phone and the first idea that popped into my, at that time slightly cynic, mind was ‘she most likely just trying to stand out from this vast clutter of social media profiles with all these chic and colourful looks’. And surprise, surprise, I was wrong – all of this has been way more than the mere urge to be noticed and getting attention… Inspired by rebellious ideas to get rid of widely spread stereotypes today, this girl doesn’t tend to stop showing her artistic side, and with her established brand name Bajoras Katrina is breaking through the attitudes that were introduced by fashion snobs and encourages people to change their overall perception of our personalities and clothes we wear.
15 April, 2019
by MARIJA SINICAITE
You chose a Lithuanian name for your brand even though you reside in London? How so? What this city can offer for fashion lovers?
When trying to come up with the name of my brand, I gave myself time to see what might come to me organically. I was aiming for something meaningful and connected to my roots but at the same time representing what the brand itself stands for. I love the sound of it and I love that non-Lithuanian speaking people find the word in a way mysterious, simply because they don’t know what Bajoras means. It naturally leads to the uncovering process of what it is all about…
And London is a great place for fashion lovers because it has lots of hip shops, both high-end, and affordable to the average customer, museums, exhibitions, and galleries. There is something for everyone and that’s what is so beautiful about it. It offers such a great diversity of people, cultures, styles, work, and stories that inspire a lot!
Often you appear as a model of your own clothes. Do you think it’s important for designers not to restrain themselves merely as creators and also experience being on the other side too?
Bajoras was born as a platform for myself to pour all my thoughts, emotions, beliefs and passion into. For me, Bajoras is more than just a fashion statement. I’m aiming for it to become a subculture and a lifestyle. My goal is to create a conversational piece that is not just beautiful and good quality, but most importantly has a story behind. I want the people wearing Bajoras clothes to feel good about themselves (inside and out) and I want to create a piece that empowers! I believe in what I make and within that, there’s a very personal side of me, so that’s why in some photo shoots I like to be a part of my ‘Bajoras model gang’.
Whether or not other designers should be at the forefront of their brand is hard to say but I suppose it depends on what they are representing and aiming to express via their style of work. Some artists produce self-portraits, some prefer to remain out of the limelight… In the end, it is down to the individual and how they choose to present themselves and communicate with their audience. The way I do it - simply coincides with the style of Bajoras.
Instagram vs reality. Are you always looking so flamboyant as online?
Well, Instagram is just a virtual form of my reality. I treat every outfit that I wear as an expression of my feelings. As crazy as that sounds, I think it’s just a part of my subconscious; therefore, what I upload of my day to day life is just as flamboyant, as you say, as my professional work.
Let’s imagine that you have exactly 10 minutes to make your own look for the entire day. How would you organize your time and what accessory would be a must one?
To be honest, most days I spend about 10 minutes to get ready. My outfits come together spontaneously depending on my mood. For my main everyday accessory, I choose a gold ring and earring set.
Back in the day, you used to hear harsh comments about your outfits or makeup. Do you think that Lithuania has changed in these terms; is it easier to express yourself without being bullied today?
Yes, it’s definitely changing for the better and at a much more rapid pace than I’d have imagined. People are more and more open-minded, eager for world knowledge and in general less grey and angry. Self-expression without bullying is a free expression; I find myself thinking less and less about dressing as I truly wish, without some form of backlash and mental preparation of my defence mechanisms for judgment that I might receive. The same as I got rid of the feeling that I need to wear what I want in order to protest against some deep-rooted stereotypes…
For all I did endure previously, I’d have to say that it made my skin thicker, so whoever is reading this and going through anything remotely similar - keep doing it until the haters want to be like you!
Which of your personal traits can be noticed in Bajoras clothes?
Attention to details, determination, confidence, artistry, humour.
Do you have any golden rule that you follow while working on your collections?
One of the pros of working for yourself is having the luxury of making the rules, so I simply try not to have many or even any of them if it is possible. Rules generally lead to suppression of my artistic side. While I understand that within education, form and rules are important, I found that so many restrictions make it difficult to be both productive and creative. So, my golden rule if I had to say one would be: to be free, work hard and never allow thinking to interfere with yourself as an artist. Do your best!
Bajoras is inspired by social and cultural twists. What are the topics that you are interested in the most?
The ones that let me send my message through and bring awareness to people. Questioning a lot of the stereotypes such as gender and equality (both female and male), social, racial, sexual, personality stereotypes. My first collection was inspired by gender stereotype. Second - inspired by the social/ political idea of ‘insanity’ and how that changed over the years. Tracksuit line is about bringing a new perspective on how leisure wear can be perceived and worn. The new collection is bringing awareness to our idea of self-identification and what role our egos play in that.
I’d like my brand to feel genderless so colours and shapes move away from the frames we are subconsciously placed in.
Does fashion have boundaries? If so - what kinds of.
As humans, we have a habit of creating boundaries within fashion and many other practices. As time moves forward, along the way we face artists, creatives, revolutionaries etc. with their different mindsets as well as new ideas and while pushing all the established boundaries away these people shift society itself towards new expressions. It is always moving forward…
The least appealing aspect of the fashion industry.
Most of the attitudes.
Inspiration, where one can take it from and most importantly, how to keep the motivation to create alive?
Always be curious, because that’s the way to keep exploring and educating yourself. There are so many things to acknowledge and absorb in this world, so you should never stop learning. Inspiration lies everywhere and it is literally the way you perceive your surroundings.
Share with us an artist, book, song or movie etc. that you believe is worth attention and explain why.
‘A New Earth’ by Eckhart Tolle. It not only did inspire me for the new collection that I am immersing myself in but also helped me to put a lot of thoughts into the right places. In the past year, I’ve spent a lot of time studying the ego within both others and myself. I’ve come to understand the power of it and what a major role it plays to our day-to-day life. It has the power to make us believe that the things we identify ourselves with are what make us who we are. This is the effect that can cause a false sense of self and also identity. If each and every one of us were free from the thugs we are taught to associate with, the things that we are taught to care and not care about, like and dislike - who would we be then? The book helps you to understand yourself and others better and inspires to seek this freedom.