The emerging designer Laima Jurča creates collections that are bright and different, and they have been highly received on more than one occasion. At the end of October, Laima won the main prize at the «Łódź Young Fashion Award», competition for young fashion designers, and it is considered a significant stepping stone in her career.
Laima Jurča is currently studying at the Art Academy of Latvia, master’s program in Fashion Art. Choice of career in fashion design is not accidental — already in childhood, Laima developed her artistic talents by attending a clothing design club in her native Kārsava. «I am very glad that the teacher was presenting it as an art, so I got to know fashion and clothes through the best prism, in my opinion. Already from the outset I have perceived fashion as a form of art, and I think that these foundations now help me to maintain the artistically high quality of my work,» says Laima.
One of the strongest sources of inspiration for the designer is travelling. Like Laima’s works, her travels are bright and full of contrasts. Climbing the mountains, walks in the jungle, swimming in the ocean, as well as the lively rhythm of a big city and enjoyment of cultures are catalysts that help to summon Laima’s muses. However, the most important bit for the development of work is the idea itself.
Since the very beginning of her creative path, Laima Jurča’s style is characterized by bright and bold colour combinations in cloth prints. By combining these, unusually bright and multicoloured pieces are created. Laima admits: «I think that this is my strength, I’m not afraid to take risks, I rely on my feelings, my experience gained in the years of studying, and I act.»
When Laima started her studies at the Academy, it soon became clear that she was particularly interested in the processing of fabrics. White silk, polyester and cotton — fabrics for her latest collection, «Rehearsal of the Five–year Plan», — Laima bought at a wholesale base in Milan and then printed them.
Polyester repeatedly has been Laima’s ally: «People usually don’t associate it with good quality fabrics, but I can say from my experience that good polyester will certainly be better and more durable than bad or medium quality cotton.» In the previous collection, «Jarmo», Laima used also woollen fabrics. Interestingly, Laima thinks that the most important piece of clothing in the wardrobe is a coat, as it is unique and versatile at the same time.
Laima Jurča is the winner of several prizes. After the fashion show of the Art Academy of Latvia this year she received a grant from Swedbank Latvia, and won the first place in the Lithuanian competition «Virus Mada». Laima presents her collections not only in Latvia but also in other countries, for example, «ERKI Moeshow» in Tallinn.
Particular highlight is Laima’s biggest international achievement so far — victory in the competition for young fashion designers «Łódź Young Fashion Award», where she participated with her collection «Rehearsal of the Five–Year Plan». The award, 30 000 euros, gives Laima new opportunities and also responsibility to justify it and invest wisely.
The «Rehearsal of the Five–Year Plan» takes us back to the soviet times. Already in the first year of studies, Laima was inspired by the motives of Slavic culture, such as matryoshka and patterned headscarves, which correlate with the theme of the latest collection. Laima explains: «There is nostalgia, but since I myself have not lived in the Soviet period, this story is revealed through a specific prism, through my personal attitude and perception of the stories that I heard from my relatives.» This time had the most direct impact on the printing, which shows flowers from the oilcloths, sunflower seeds, tiny tractors and other elements relevant to the theme. «The very name of the collection is quite soviet–ish, which is part of the concept, but it also has a personal explanation. At that time, I was in the 5th year of the Academy, and this collection was like a rehearsal before the master’s thesis,» explains Laima.
When asked about her own five–year plan, Laima Jurča replied: «I hope that in the next five years I will be able to find a team of people with whom to bring to life the dream about a sustainable and artistically high–quality fashion brand».