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BEYOND DRESS CODES Contemporary Fashion Designers in dialogue with Traditional Greek Costume

Start Date 27/09/2010
End Date 27/10/2010
Venue Hellenic American Union Galleries
Location Athens, Greece
Curator Lydia Kamitsis

Greek tradition meets contemporary fashion in the thematic exhibition entitled BEYOND DRESS CODES: Contemporary Fashion Designers in dialogue with Traditional Greek Costume organized at the galleries of the Hellenic American Union. The exhibition opens on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 20:30. Curator of the exhibition is fashion historian Lydia Kamitsis 

 Clothing is a game of concealment and discovery. Ever since the very beginnings of human culture and up until the present day, dress has functioned as a code of communication conveying a wealth of meaning with respect to its bearer. Our clothes cover our bodies, but they also comprise a decorative element, or may bear witness to our identity. Depending on time and place, clothes can tell us about a country’s history, customs and traditions, as well as its social and economic circumstances, and at the same time convey a wealth of information about the gender, age, social status, personal situation and even the personality of the person wearing them. 

 This exhibition presents colored drawings of traditional Greek costumes and headdresses from all over Greece by sketch artist Gissis Papageorgiou, which constitute the most extensive and most comprehensive existing documentation of traditional Greek dress to date. The core of the drawings created by Gissis Papageorgiou was initially based on the material and vast private collection of Greek costumes located in Lymni on the Greek island of Evia and owned by folklorist Andreas Papageorgiou. The collaboration between the two men combined in situ research with journeys throughout Greece, and has so far resulted in 520 complete and documented drawings of costumes from the areas of Macedonia, Thrace, Epirus, Thessaly, Evia, Crete, the Northern Sporades Islands, the Argosaronic Islands and the remaining regions of Greece, as well as from the Black Sea area and Cyprus.

As a kind of “visual library”, these costumes provide contemporary fashion designers with inspiration rooted in tradition and the opportunity to show what has influenced them thus far. In an attempt to create a “dialogue” between traditional Greek dress and contemporary fashion, creations by Jean-Paul Gaultier and John Galliano will be on show, as well as by other distinguished Greek fashion designers such as Angelos Bratis, Dimitris Dassios, Deux Hommes, Yiorgos EleftheriadesIoannis Guia, Sofia KokosalakiThanos KyriakidesMastori*MotwaryMiRoOrsalia Parthenis. BEYOND DRESS CODES demonstrates that traditional Greek costume should not be regarded as the antiquated contents of museum showcases, but instead a creation of timeless interest that continues to serve as a source of inspiration.  

The exhibition is being organized on the occasion of the forthcoming publication on Traditional Greek Costume by the Hellenic American Union.