Monday, June 06, 2011

Dimitris Petrou - Theros (or how I met one of the best Greek designers out there)

You must remember my previous post about the talented Dimitris Petrou, if not, freshen up your memory here before reading on. When I was in Athens last April, my dear Margarita (another extremely talented person who I am so lucky to have met) arranged for me to visit Dimitris in his atelier in Kolonaki, Athens and see his newest collection, Theros (means Summer in Greek) first-hand. I must say I approached the atelier with a little trepidation. Kolonaki is a very haute-bourgeois quarter and fashion people are notorious for their huge egos and condescending approach to anyone outside their cocooned world. Boy, was I in for a huge and pleasant surprise.

Dimitris welcomed me in the atelier himself. He was alone, waiting for me, and even though I was a bit late (I will  be late for my own funeral just like Liz Taylor, trust me) he welcomed me with a warm smile and seemed genuinely happy to have me there. Extremely well mannered and polite, he offered me a cup of coffee (in a vintage cup just like one my mother used to have ages ago) and we sat on one of the minimalist white sofas (in Le Corbusier style) that make up the few furniture of the atelier, matching the lovely 3D effect wallpaper on one of the walls. The whole place is painted in grey and white and decorated (sparingly) accordingly, in line with the winter collection. We talked a bit about how he wanted to change that and bring some colour in, to match the latest offerings and the theme, Theros - also his summer mood I must add. In no time we were talking like old friends (I found out he is from Northern Greece as well, Naoussa to be exact) and I felt really at home.

He had a fitting before I arrived there, with a Greek singer named Tamta for her new show opening the week after, and earlier in the day a couple of magazine editors were there for interviews and the new collection. He told me business was going well and the new clothes were greeted very positively from the Greek press and fashion people. I must remind you that his work is sur mesure - so you can find these exquisite pieces only in the atelier at 32 Kanari St, Kolonaki, Athens. 

As enjoyable as our conversation was, it was time to look at the clothes as well. Contrary to the winter collection, the summer one seems infused with colour, even though in reality he is using only three: a caramel/copper brown, a dark navy blue and a lighter blue on denim that looks really old and washed but very uniformly. His fabrics are gorgeous to feel and exquisitely cut while his idea of using a huge batch of silk scarves to make up whole items or part of clothes was brilliantly used and informed rather than dominated the collection. I got to see his incredibly textured knits up close, where he uses 3 or 4 materials knitted together in one piece that looks delicate and feels airy to touch (and wear as well). The denim he uses in this collection has a bit of stretch in it of course; he cut it into a most beautiful evening gown that must surely become one of this season's hits (see last photo of the post). As for his leather, it is soft as fresh butter and even the details made with it on some outfits are meticulously stitched and cut, adding an edge to them.

I loved the fact that again men and women's outfits are equal in the collection - Dimitris does not focus on one part more than the other, while some pieces can be worn by both men and women alike. Some details of course are mostly for the catwalk effect or a client mostly interested in stage clothes than every day (like the heavily embroidered cuffs and collar on a male shirt or the long almost transparent sleeveless knit top shown on male models but being on the women's rack in the atelier). I absolutely adore the shorts and I definitely would have gotten one if I had the time to do the fittings (the prices are really good and very very very affordable). I promised myself I will get something from the next winter collection instead.

Dimitris told me he is working a lot with couples getting married. I loved the idea of a bride and groom getting something made for them in the atelier by Dimitris and recommend it wholeheartedly. Plus it will be something you will surely want to wear again and again and not let it hidden in the back of the closet.

I must also point out that the accessories are designed by Dimitris as well: brilliant belts and gorgeous bags were there, in matching colours to the clothing, while he told me of his bespoke service too. There are two bag designs in two sizes each, where a client can pick the colours she wants for it from a palette and it will be made for her in two weeks. This service is also available in Thessaloniki, at the boutique of Anna Kapsali, Stylefax at 19 Proxnou Koromila St.

After checking out all the clothes of the summer (and last winter's too) collection, it was unfortunately time to go. I promised my self to visit again when in Athens, and said goodbye to Dimitris, wishing him all the best - he really deserves it. If you find yourself in Athens, go and check the clothes - I bet you will not be able to resist getting a piece of the collection. And it is a keeper. Promise.

Photographer :Yiorgos Kaplanidis
Fashion editor: Manos Jojos
Make up artist: Christina Agatha
Hair stylist: Dimitris Sarantou
Models:Idan - vn models, Kelvin - d models
Graphic Design : Angelo Pantelidis.

A few words about the show (which took place ten days before Easter, in April) at Thision theatre, with about 150 special guests, due to the size f the venue (Dimitris always shows his collections during their proper season and not earlier as the clothes are made to measure and there is no sense in making them 6 months before). The show started with a dance, choreographed by Apostolia Papadamaki and performed by Ioannis Emmanouilidis and Maria Lambropoulou, dressed of course in Dimitris' clothes, bringing to life the painting by Michael Tsakounti, made especially for the collection and featured on the invitation cover (designed by Aggelos Pantelidis). Then the proper fashion show began with 30 models parading like an army of modern reapers, with music by Amateur Boyz and video art by Thanassis Tsimbinis. 
The make-up was done by the talented make up artist Yiannis Marketakis with MAX FACTOR products. Hair was designed by Dimitris Sarantou and fashion direction by Manos Jojos.
Sofia Alexiadou took care of lighting (alluding to summer light) while the twin 2D gave a sense of a field of wheat on stage under the direction of scenographer George Asimakopoulos. The art direction was by George Nanouris. And of course Margarita Gourgourini was helping organize the whole thing. So much talent together!