Photos by Carlo Raciti
Black cotton lace romance, sheer chiffon and lace dresses, and checked men’s suits and brogues dominated day two of Athens Xclusive Designers Week (AXDW) Autumn-Winter 2016-17.
Fitness wear newcomer Elmira Begatti and Polish designer Natalia Jaroszewska presented their collections alongside established Greek names Makis Tselios and Tassos Mitropoulos, as well as the super-talented Gio Sourgiadakis.
Elmira Begatti: Life in lycra
Greek celebrities seek out Pilates instructor Elmira Begatti to gently whip them into shape and now she’s gone and created a sports and casual wear line of her own.
Her Spring-Summer 2016 collection featured plenty of shiny, unforgiving ‘80s-inspired lycra leotards and leggings though I thought it was understood that they didn’t flatter anyone back then, so why would they now?
Her cotton hoodies and shorts in pastel pink and aqua, showcased by models who practiced Pilates on stage with the requisite equipment, are much more wearable – and actually let your body breathe.
Jaroszewska: Black lace romance
Polish designer Natalia Jaroszewska went for an all-black Autumn-Winter look focused on romantic embroidered cotton lace – from short skirts to gypsy tops and dresses, with lashings of leather thrown in for good measure.
Her stylish, slinky black jersey maxi dresses, cinched in at the waist, with plunging necklines would certainly work well for many a figure.
A standout favourite was a black evening dress with a revealing bodice and swirling circle skirt.
Tassos Mitropoulos: Where’s the crochet?
An unwavering favourite among Athens fashionistas, Tassos Mitropoulos relinquished his sexy signature, body-hugging, crowd-pleasing crochet knits in favour of ’30s-inspired muslins, crepe and lace creations and a dash of ‘40s-style corset-centred pieces. It was actually a bit of a mish-mash of fabrics and styles.
Among the highlights was a flouncy lemon lace dress edged with frills, beige lace leggings and an elegant beige modern-day Cinderella bridal gown with a stiff, structured above-the-knee skirt.
Points for super cuteness go to Mitropoulos’ ‘30s-influenced fringed, lightly-sequined mini dress with a sheer overlay and ruched edge that gave the impression of boots.
I was also impressed with a sheer cream lace bridal gown with thigh-revealing muslin.
Of course, Mitropoulos couldn’t give up the crochet completely, adding in some ‘70s-flavoured brown and beige fringed knits.
Gio Sourgiadakis: Checks and balances
One of the designers who really stood out in the AXDW Spring-Summer 2016 shows last October, Gio Sourgiadakis returned with more serious, sombre tones for his AW 16-17 menswear collection.
Sourgiadakis, who has a certain knack for mixing and matching prints, teamed patched denim on jeans and shirts with navy sports coats and paisley print shirts with grey waistcoats and beige trench coats.
A designer with Italian flair, he recognises that quality matters and deserves kudos for beautiful cuts, tailoring and fit, and the fine fabrics he uses.
My standout favourite was his use of checked wool for an entire suit, while I also loved the khaki camouflage waistcoat, but then I’m a serious sucker for anything army.
Sourgiadakis is one of the few menswear designers who really gives shoes their proper dues, so I found myself, once again, glued to the stylish brogues he carefully chose to complement every single outfit in this collection.
Makis Tselios: Classic glamour
A long-time haute couture label of choice among moneyed Athenians seeking to make a splash in striking sheer evening wear, monotones dominated Makis Tselios’ AW 16-17 collection.
Black and white racy lace, velvet and silk evening gown-like dresses feature delicate muslin, tiny jewels and wispy feather details.
Tselios highlights included soft cream silk draped wide leg trousers with a high-neck lace top and a white wrap dress with sexy thigh-high split.
A red silk flouncy backless ‘20s-inspired dress with a deep neckline that skimmed the floor was a hit with the A-lister audience.
His men’s suit in black velvet with wide lapels was a cool fixture on the catwalk, as was an androgynous tux coat and tails.
In a fashion high-five to the Greek parliament’s recent passing of a law permitting same-sex couples to enter into a civil partnership giving them full marriage rights, Tselios closed the show with a pair of young men in matching black and white cropped tuxedo jackets and bow ties.