Marios Schwab has launched a new Greek costume fashion exhibition.
The designer, who is of Greek-Austrian heritage, will showcase the Patterns of Magnificence: Tradition and Reinvention in Greek Women’s Costume at The Hellenic Centre in London.
Forty pieces will be displayed, and are being curated by fashion historian and costume designer Ioanna Papantoniou.
The designs have been shipped to the British capital from the Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation and the Benaki Museum, in Greece.
The garments date back to the mid-18th century. Historically pleats were made in the designs using “sharp fingernails” and left in damp sand so they would become a permanent feature of the dresses.
Rich red and golds were widely used, as well as more simple designs that used a neutral pallet of beige and browns.
Marios confesses that he has taken inspiration from the pieces throughout his career, which has seen him dress stars such as Florence Welch, Sienna Miller and Naomie Harris.
“They’ve informed many of my designs and those of many other designers such as Jean-Paul Gaultier and Hussein Chalayan,” Marios reminisced to the Telegraph.
“I have a real affection for these artefacts, which I so often refer back to.”
Ioanna admits that many of the exhibition pieces are in need of restorations, with costing ranging from five and ten thousand pounds per costume making it an unlikely scenario.
“It is not likely in the UK. We have nothing in Greece, no government funding. We didn’t even have it before the financial crisis,” she explained.
Marios will be holding a free panel discussion, answering questions about the costumes. It takes place on Friday February 21 starting at 7pm.
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