Waving a sign thanking Giorgio Armani, Angelos Bratis opened the Spring-Summer 2015 fashion season in Milan on Wednesday. It was a singular moment for the 36-year-old Milan-based Greek designer, who had been invited to show at the Italian fashion maestro’s theater.
“It felt like entering an ‘avaton’ [out-of-bounds area] inside Tadao Ando’s temple built especially for King Giorgio,” Bratis told Kathimerini English Edition, referring to the Japanese architect’s Teatro Armani project.
As the fashion crowd gathered in the northern Italian city for a week of catwalk frenzy, the venue became the backdrop for Bratis’s only-dresses collection that captured his signature take on pleats, folds and bias-cut techniques. Bold jewelry by Maria Mastori complemented the looks.
“A fine show, setting a new mood of elegant ease in Milan,” noted international Vogue editor Suzy Menkes.
Born in Athens in 1978, Bratis spent his early years in his seamstress mother’s atelier before enrolling at a local fashion design school and, later, earning a master’s degree at ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Amsterdam. Following a stint in Rome, the designer returned to the Greek capital to establish his own studio.
The financial crisis however forced Bratis to leave his hometown behind once again. He returned to Italy where he acted as consultant for various brands, while carrying on with his own collections. In 2011, the designer’s career was boosted when he won the “Who Is on Next?” competition, put together by Vogue Italia’s Franca Sozzani and designer Silvia Venturini Fendi.
Wednesday’s opening act, sponsored by 80-year-old Armani, proved yet another pivotal moment. Previously, fellow designers Stella Jean and Julian Zigerli had also benefited from Armani’s generosity in nurturing fresh talent.
“There has been a lot of pressure and it has been a lot of hard work,” Bratis told AFP. “But Mr Armani chose me because I have my own style and that is what I wanted to show.” [Kathimerini English Edition]