Thursday, 5 March 2009

Vassili Zoulias’ Old Athens



The ’50s were amongst the most influential decades in fashion and style. Whether followed and copied to an iota or being parodied by inventive designers in search of their own identity, one must admit that fifty years ago, fresh from the rubble of the devastating World War II, women in Europe discovered a hidden identity that made them feel comfortable with the power they had acquired while men were away fighting their heads off.

Greece came out of the war a pile of rubble, suffering the worst casualties per total population than any other country. However, women will always be women, and Greek women were determined not to be left behind. The new world order was being formed while the new ruling class of wealthy merchants and young scientists were traveling the world, bringing in new ideas and habits, and making local womenfolk green with envy.

Fifty years later nostalgia knocks our doors as we recall the heavily scented boudoirs of our young and pretty to a string of hair, mothers. Yes, we may have declared our revolution living within our jeans and having our hair loose over our shoulders, but visions of Grace Kelly-esque mothers, aunts, grandmothers and other influential figures in our lives become all the more important as we are rapidly draw closer to their age.

Enter Vassili Zoulias, a stylist of the rebellious 80s, who has discovered his raison d’etre in his late mother’s wardrobe. The talented stylist is experiencing unashamed fulfillment riding his admittedly very stylish mother’s old stuff, finding inspiration for his increasing line of shoes and bags, recently clothes and probably one day soon objets d’ art.

Even though I do now own any of his pieces, I am a big fan of his. I believe he is very talented, with an understanding of female vanity and an eye for translating the old into the most perfectly new. He has recently opened an atelie in a 1957 apartment block in the center of Athens, itself the work of Kapsambelis, a renowned architect of the time. I had met Kapsambelis’ wife through my mother, and I have to say that I still recall her long, lean figure in perfectly tailored clothing that was flattering as it was unassuming. She was a perfect lady, indeed.

Zoulias’ creations pay tribute to an era of promise and hope that we desperately try to emulate in search of our own identity and our own hope among a world that falls apart morally, esthetically and physically. In his work we see reflected the taste of a time when there was time for everything, when life was more carefree, when time was not an issue. We look for the certainties of our peers in the hope of getting in touch with a hidden side of our fast paced lives that is called femininity. It takes a man to point us to it.

2 comments:

Debbies-English-Treasures said...

I LOVE the look of your blog!
Debbie Moss

Mrs.Naz@BecomingMe said...

What a very neat blog you have here. So nice to find you. I saw the comment you left on Beth's blog. You asked so many good questions.

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