Sita Raiter’s fashion work centers around the question of what it is possible to express in the language of clothing and its emancipatory potential. Sita Raiter, the designer of this eponymous label, has lived in Vietnam for nearly twelve years, and the spirit of this beautiful land and its people is woven into her work. Past collections feature patches of ‘luc binh’ or water hyacinth on the Saigon River which appear embroidered as French knots on silk chiffon tees. Banana trees, seed pods, and words from the Vietnamese language play on the surfaces of the garments. The inspiration Raiter takes from her surroundings is evident throughout.
The physical and concrete world is just one of the many layers which inform the clothes. Poetry and wordplay is another such layer. Take the Spring/Summer 2016 collection for example; two one-word poems are embroidered on two silk dress designs: “Tieng Me De” or “Mother Tongue” and “Coi Doi” or “Realms of Life.” The meanings of these words are not fixed and are open to interpretation by anyone. Playfulness and the abstract are important components both in the process of designing and producing the clothes. As time goes by, Raiter hopes to share her unique vision of the world and her desires for this planet that we share through her fashion work and other artistic pursuits.
Furthermore, as she seeks to understand the values she has observed in her current environment, she finds ways to demonstrate her learnings in the clothes; she is especially touched by the sense of family observed in Vietnam – the way in which people of different generations share all stages of their lives - and this is explored by integrating children’s drawings and lessons on the garments.
Continuously searching for inspiration in the earth, its plants, animals, and languages, the SITA RAITER label challenges itself to produce something beautiful, narrative, and perspicacious.