Agrita Grīnvalde

Agrita Grīnvalde

Agrita Grīnvalde

People say that whatever our ancestors have seen and learned is not lost forever, but continues to live on in their offspring, even in minor things. If this is true, then my great-grandmother probably would not have been surprised to learn that I am now working in the Fashion Museum. Judging by family stories, she was a very talented seamstress at her time and had sewn clothes for Alexandra von Wolf, the owner of Stomersee Castle (Stāmeriena). Neither of my two grandmothers would be surprised, because both of them had been experts in all kinds of handicrafts, from weaving and sewing to knitting and embroidering. I still remember the big weaver loom that almost took up an entire room in our house...

My mum was not surprised at all, for she was the one whom I tortured as a child, always begging for beautiful and fashionable clothes or shoes, which were absolutely beyond our reach in the Soviet era. Frankly, our tastes differed greatly... I will never forget my mum’s expression when, at the age of ten, I spent my first self-earned money in a department store on a patent leather belt, a yellow sweater, and a white handbag with red polka dots. Well, there was nothing to be done, it was the eighties... “Just fancy that,” my mother must have been thinking. “A whole month of weeding sugar beets – only to buy that in the end?” And then came my rebellious adolescence accompanied by grunge music and ripped jeans.

In our youth, we fall in love with bright external manifestations of life. Over the years, I have become more interested in what is hidden behind the visible exterior of things and events. As a professional, I am fond of inquiring into the heart of the matter, exploring, and always learning something new. I enjoy writing as well. Throughout almost the whole of my adult life I have been dealing with different texts, from poetry to encyclopaedias – writing, reading, translating, and editing them. For a long time I worked in the magazines: “Latvijas Architektūra,” FHM, “Cosmopolitan,” and LILIT. Before I gained the qualification of a literary editor at the philological faculty of the University of Latvia, I had spent four years of studying the theory, history and management of culture at the Latvian Academy of Culture.

Now that I am working in the Fashion Museum, I can combine my desire to write with the study of history, culture, clothing styles, traditions and habits, new trends and old prejudices: fashion provides freedom for an interesting conversation with the reader about this beautiful, sometimes whimsy, but always mobile and volatile art of making people more attractive.