CULTURE

Fashion Week on and around the catwalk

Local fashion?s old and new guard meet at Technopolis this week, as the 13th edition of Athens Fashion Week opens at the Gazi cultural complex on March 30 and runs to April 3.

While Greece?s established and rising talent will meet on the catwalk, the event is defined by the absence of a group of designers who make up Greece?s current fashion point of view, among them Yiorgos Eleftheriades and Deux Hommes.

Organized by Q Productions, Athens Fashion Week is part of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism?s ?Athens Every Week? program and is due to be inaugurated on March 30 by Mayor Giorgos Kaminis.

Presenting collections for fall/winter 2011-12 are well-known local fashion brands Kathy Heyndels, Vassilios Kostetsos, Nikos-Takis, Makis Tselios and Aslanis. Also showing are designers Andria, Panos Apergis, Katerina Alexandraki and Paris Valtadoros, while the local scene?s new blood will be represented by Evangelos Kavathas, Sotiris Georgiou, Dimitri Zafiriou and Delight. Guest designers include Romania?s Corina Vladescu.

The event?s inaugural fashion show on March 30 comes with a charity angle and will see Dimitris Dassios presenting ?Arabesque,? a collection for fall/winter 2011-12. Proceeds from the invitation-only show will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation (prices range from 30 to 50 euros and tickets are available from Q Productions, tel 210.331.3004; JGK Dassios, tel 210.957.3582).

The fashion week?s ?Next Generation? competition will take place on April 3 at 3 p.m. and will feature catwalk presentations by students of local fashion design schools as well as a young designers competition.

Athens Fashion Week organizers are aiming at broadening the communication of fashion through a series of parallel events. In one of them, designer Daphne Valente will present the second part of the ?Lightness of Being? exhibition, in which her signature pleated scarves take on new dimensions through the media of photography and visual arts. Among the participating artists and photographers are Lydia Venieri, Tassos Vrettos, Vassilis Karidis, Pericles Kondylatos, Lina Pigadioti, Vangelis Rassias, Natalia Tsoukala and Manolis Charos, The exhibition, which also runs to April 3, will be open from 6 to 10 p.m. Part of the proceeds from the sales of the works will go to Make-A-Wish.

The idea of garments as the home of the body will be explored in four in situ workshops set up by the Athens School of Fine Arts. Working through April 2, the students will create a series of 3D pieces which will subsequently be shown at the final event on April 3. The workshops will be open to the public from 6 to 11 p.m. daily.

Fashion Week organizers are also collaborating with TEXMEDIN, a European Union program focusing on the textiles and garments legacy of the European and Mediterranean region. Through a network of ?Inspiring Labs,? young designers and fashion professionals are able to access museum archives and documentation centers as well as the program?s online library. Those who are interested in participating are invited to design new products inspired by existing objects found on the digital library. TEXMEDIN?s Greek research partner is the Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation in Nafplio.

The work of those who participated in the 2010-11 program will be showcased at Technopolis on April 3 at 3 p.m., while an exhibition of the works will be on display through April 2 from 6 to 10 p.m.

Fashion will also be available on screen through the following three projects: Fashion journalist Minas Minatsis is behind a tribute to Parthenis, a Greek fashion brand currently celebrating 40 years, with a video directed by photographer Roberta Nitsos and featuring dancer Emira Goro; designer Sotiris Georgiou will present his fashion concept for next winter in a short film directed by photographer Roula Revi, based on an idea by Minatsis; Dimitri Zafiriou will showcase ?Le Diner Surrealiste,? a black-and-white film inspired by the 1920s, echoing the designer?s collection for next winter. The movie was directed by Stavro Christo Vlahakis with Thanos Kyriakides acting as art director.

While the various parallel events are open to the public, access to the fashion shows is by invitation only.

For those with purchasing power, a visit to the event?s Night Boutique, which will be operating throughout Athens Fashion Week, might prove productive as well.