CULTURE

Greek design in Europe’s Big Three

Greek fashion finds itself in full traveling mode this month, with designers appearing on catwalks and showrooms in Europe’s Big Three fashion hubs – London, Milan and Paris. Based in London, Sophia Kokosalaki and Marios Schwab are two established names, each in their own distinct way. Kokosalaki, a leading name in world fashion affairs, is showing her fall/winter 2008-2009 collection at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris on February 28, as part of the city’s official ready-to-wear calendar. «Strange, sinister – and mesmerizing,» is how Sarah Mower of www.style.com, described Schwab’s collection, shown at London Fashion Week on February 12. «Schwab is the first to completely nail the new look in a bravely exaggerated form: smooth, tubular, hobbling stretch dresses to the ankle, with strange textures breaking through their surfaces,» noted Mower, adding that it was the designer’s «most conceptual collection yet, arguably one that is powerful enough to push the reset button in how we see proportions.» Schwab, a rapidly rising Greek-Austrian designer who was the recipient of the Swiss Textile Awards for 2007, was sponsored by Top Shop for the London show. Two days later, it was Christoforos Kotentos’s «Queens at War» who took over the catwalk. In his second London Fashion Week appearance so far – following a show sponsored by Garrard last season – Kotentos was part of the On/Off division of London Fashion Week, showing at the city’s Royal Academy of Arts on February 14. Athens-based, the 31-year-old designer is making elaborate efforts to develop his business abroad. Following the London show, the collection is currently available for viewing by appointment in Milan (White) until Sunday, before it travels to Paris at the Park Hyatt Vendome hotel (February 28 to March 4). Showroom activity continues in Milan this week, with more designers showing their take on fall-winter 2008-2009 at the Daniele Ghiselli showroom, following a first presentation at the same venue last season. Yiorgos Eleftheriades, Maria Mastori, Vassilis Zoulias, Mi-Ro, Katerina Karoussos, Dimitris Dassios, Deux Hommes as well as Cyprus-based Afroditi Hera and Ramona Filip are showing their collections here until Sunday. More Greek presence will be felt as the international fashion circus moves on to the last leg of this season’s runway marathon of the leading capitals of fashion, namely Paris. Loukia, Mastori and Dassios will be back at the No Season-Christina Mazza showroom in Paris from February 25 to March 5. Kathy Heyndels, Yiannos Xenis and Costas Faliakos (by Christos Petridis) will be present at the M2E-Ragi Barakat showroom from February 25 to March 25. Meanwhile, collections by Angelos Bratis and Lefteris Dotsios will be available for viewing at Le Show Room beginning on February 27 to March 2. Dukas Chatzidukas will be at Zip Zone Montaigne, participating in the Deluxe area. As the Parisian trade salon celebrates 10 years, participants also include Greek-Cypriot, London-based Elena Antoniades as well as Cyprus’s Fanni Xenophontos, designer of the Fanni Couture label.