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Patterns of Magnificence. Tradition and Reinvention in Greek Women’s Costume

Start Date 30 October 2014
End Date 19 April 2015
Venue Hellenic Cosmos Cultural Centre
Location Athens, Greece
Curator Ioanna Papantoniou
Designer Stamatis Zannos
Exhibition display of dressed mannequins and images

From the multiform traditions of Greek women’s dress the exhibition brings together over forty superb originals from the eighteenth to the early twentieth century, mainly from the collections of the Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation, in Nafplion 

 The exhibition’s starting point is the development of two main types of garment: the 18th-century Karpathos chemise, a T-shaped garment which developed out of the Roman dalmatic, and the loose pleated dress, of which there is a strikingly beautiful example from Crete. These two garments are the Benaki Museum’s contribution to this significant collection on display at the Patterns of Magnificence exhibition.  

 The exhibition illustrates also the interplay of native tradition and western aesthetic by displaying the court dresses of the two first queens of the independent Greek state: Amalia of Oldenburg and her successor Olga, the Russian-born consort of George I.

Image © Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation.