CULTURE

Papantoniou: the mastermind

«We have put emphasis on today – fashion is interesting and we have to go beyond the traditional karagouna,» said Ioanna Papantoniou to Kathimerini English Edition. «What is interesting here is the identity of different peoples, who without necessarily affecting each other, use weaving, for instance, to make one-piece clothes.» A broadly respected scholar, Papantoniou has spent long years studying the evolution of garments’ shapes and forms. «It was surprising to see that no one got away from this piece of Greek culture, seen in theater, drama, philosophy and architecture, for instance – this high level of aesthetics. It’s just that in some cultures, it didn’t develop. As far as Greece is concerned, I believe that things changed because of the fabrics; new fabrics introduced new methods of creating garments.» The use of technology in general further altered the landscape: Papantoniou cites the development of plastic, for example, with manufacturers reproducing demijohns, among other things. «Pleats and drapes came back through Fortuny, and then in the postwar period, through Jean Desses, where the designers froze their pleats and drapes wherever they fancied. Then came the Japanese, who know their culture, and people like Issey Miyake who went beyond. Heavily influenced by Vionnet, he has created a school of his own,» said Papantoniou. «We hope that we can show the coincidence, the ethnological aspect, in the work of some designers, when it comes across in their work without them realizing it.» While it is unlikely that this exhibition will travel to another destination, Papantoniou welcomes closer collaboration with the Kyoto Costume Institute. In the meantime, together with her close associates, the ultimate ambition remains the creation of a museum of fashion.