In an attempt to promote Greek designers both locally and internationally, Athens Xclusive Designers Week (AXDW) hosted their shows on a runway extending into the kitchen area of Ethniki Asfalistiki. Here, designers showcased their creations to an audience of journalists, bloggers, and buyers.
The eccentric Greek designer, Lakis Gavalas, whose life is often found to be more intriguing than his fashion flair opted for this innovative kitchen setting in his hopes to make a comeback on the runway after six years. Looking to cause a stir, Gavalas promoted his collection by adding an element of fun. His male models sporting "bags - for- hats" and other innovative designs, in a feast for the eye.
This year AXDW celebrated 19 seasons of Greek fashion at the show. The occasion included 13 fashion shows held over 3 days, with one day being set aside for designers who are still new to the fashion world. Designers such as, Celebrity Skin and Funky Buddha, were able to display their talents for the first time. International guests included buyers from Berlin, Dubai and Jeddah, a fashion editor for Italian Vogue online edition, as well as representatives from London. Celebrities from the local community attended the shows, with their onstage performances and took front row seats to view the designs.
This year's collections proved to be a colorful and exciting mix of designs, from corsets and feathers to sportswear. Body Sculpture presented their beige and white pieces with sexy, leather trimmings, fringes and embroideries to show off their signature style. To give the evening more of boudoir feel Tassos Mitropoulos created his Burlesque collection of corsets, feathers and leather transparencies. The menswear collections this year included Giorgios Sourgadakis who designed a camouflage theme, and the house of Giannetos showcased their summer collection using soft pistachio and soft blue pieces. A Cyprus – based designer, Natalie Jaroszawska, created a gorgeous monochrome collection of maxi dresses with plunging necklines. The audience was treated to a colorful sportswear collection, created by a Pilates instructor, Elmira Begatti.
However, many of the local designers did not display their work this year as a result of the continuing recession. The lives of everyday Greeks have changed somewhat, and fashion no longer seems to be a priority these days. Many are more concerned with being able to afford a good school for their children.
The works of 3 designers in particular were noted as having shown promising designs each year and working consistently. Some designers are still attempting to produce their brands, while others are working with celebrities, trying to develop their production or joining existing design teams. Both new and experienced designers are all dealing with difficulties in production in some way. It is expected that there should be an improvement in production of local Greek designers, as Europe is leaning more towards fewer quantities, fresh innovations and prompt deliveries.
As Greek fashion is progressing and expanding its market, AXDW will continue its runway events whilst keeping up with the international fashion scene.