Boy George, Berlin fashion in Athens

While still recovering from an intense five-day Greek fashion week marathon at Zappeion Hall two weeks ago, Athens is hosting two distinct fashion events this weekend. The second round of the Athens Xclusive Designers Week opened last night at the Ethniki Insurance Megaron and runs to Saturday, while Berlinerklamotten, a new Internet platform for Berlin brands and designers presents an alternative catwalk tonight. Last night’s Athens Xclusive Designers Week kicked off with a series of collections by Greek and foreign designers, culminating in Boy George’s B-Rude fashion line. «I can express my perversity or humanity through fashion,» said the British 1980s pop star at a press conference earlier this week, in his bright red Philip Treacy fedora. «Expensive fashion is to show that you are rich,» he added. «For me, it is a dialect to say I don’t belong.» Fashion chameleon? Besides the street-savvy, predominantly nightclubbing genre to which Boy George’s collections belong, the Athens Xclusive Designers Week brings together more local and foreign styles. The event also features a charity angle, in collaboration with the Make A Wish association. During the three-day event, a number of designers are participating in a bazaar, putting up pieces for sale at reduced prices, while organizers will present the association with a cheque during a gala evening on Saturday. Besides good deeds, Ioanna Daraklis and Tonia Fousseki (the duo behind the organization of the second Athens Xclusive Designers Week) have brought together a varied program of fashion shows for spring/ summer 2008. On the international front, designers include Spain’s imaginative and playful Agatha Ruiz de la Prada (also showing her children’s line), Romanian Catalin Botezatu (who showed during the first edition), Turkey’s Ozlem Suer, Russian Violetta Litvinova, Britain’s Ziad Ghanem and Fani from Cyprus. On the Greek side, designers include Marcello Niktas, Melina Pispa, Alexios Romanos, Irini Eleftheriadou, Andreas Georgiou, Alexandros Talianis, Elena Vorrea, Paris Masouraki, Evangelia, Ioli Michalopoulou, Katerina Dapi, Miltos, Yiannis Karitsiotis, London-based Ioannis Dimitrousis and Christoforos Kotentos – the latter recently showed a collection in the British capital during London Fashion Week sponsored by Garrard jewelers. At the Zappeion Part of Berlin Vision, a series of cultural events organized by the German Embassy and the Goethe Institute at Zappeion Hall, Berlinerklamotten spans the gamut of fashion creation, from haute couture to casual. Tomorrow’s catwalk show is billed as a happening, an innovative presentation of 25 Berlin designer houses showing items from the current season. Jeans, evening numbers as well as more eccentric pieces will be complemented by live music and visual art. Berlinerklamotten is a vast online network promoting fashion, music and media. Athens Xclusive Designers Week at the Ethniki Insurance Megaron, 103-105 Syngrou, tel 210.909.2988. Berlinerklamotten at Zappeion Hall, fashion show today at 8 p.m. Showroom opening Saturday to November 18.