lab(ə)ˌrinTH : a complicated irregular network of passages
or paths in which it is difficult to find one’s way;
Maria Aristidou, for Spring/Summer 2017 collection,
was inspired by the Greek mythology and specifically from Labyrinthos.
An elaborate structure designed and built by the legendary artificer Daedalus and
his son Icarus for King Minos of Crete at Knossos.
Its function was to hold the Minotaur inside the Labyrinth and eventually killed
by the Athenian hero Theseus.
The maze, the path, or the collections of paths from an
entrance to the goal was the key to the creation of this Spring/Summer collection.
The fashion designer with her lab·y·rinth patterns, metallic yarns and
elaborate embroideries created a luxurious playground in her designs for women.
Sleek cuts, unexpected open backs and pleating details are the
key signatures of this elegant womenswear collection for day or night.
I have known MaRia aRistidou for quite some time and the prospect to interview her again was as intriguing and interesting as ever. With her most recent collection in mind we discussed past, present and of course the prospects of a future that comes shining!
-So,when did you know you wanted to be a fashion designer?
I was 16-17 years old, when an uncle of mine that owned a clothing production plant back then, happened to see my sketches one day and he mentioned that I should pursuit fashion design. It was the first confirmation from someone that there might be something in that sector if I develop it. However, in high-school I was an economic major and never had an education in art in depth thus, it was quiet difficult to enter a fashion design school, thus, I followed studies in Bachelor of Commerce at Guelph University in Canada. Even though economic studies was the major of my four year studies, I never stopped sketching and making costumes for a dancer friend in Toronto. Then an opportunity to participate at the Cymode’97 competition for young Greek Cypriot fashion designers organized by the Cyprus Champers of Commerce came up and my catwalk presentation of 3 outfits won the 2nd place. After that my fashion designing life begun.
-Did you want to become a fashion designer when you were young?
I don’t think that I was familiar so much with the concept of a fashion designer. But I have childhood memories of reading my mom’s fashion magazine “Gynaika” that she used to buy every month and admired the fashion in the pages followed as well as the monthly appointments she had with her seamstress to make her new outfits while I was making outfits for my dolls. Back then technology was not part of our lives as much like nowadays. Things were very simple and influences were more from our familiar environment. Such influence that not only admired but loved with all my heart, was my grandfather, a man with a strong personality that had his personal tailor and shoe designer and always dressed to the T.
All of the above, one way or another, were I guess the motivators to start sketching during my teenage years and fashion designing without realizing it entered my life.
– What’s it like being in the industry?
Its tough but exciting. You can hate it but I choose to love it no matter the obstacles or the ups and downs. You make a step forward and it can take you few back but you have to keep going no matter what. It needs a lot of patience, persistence, belief in the product you show every season, resilience without losing the control and love.
-Do you do have to be the face of your brand?
I created my brand and develop it to its best season by season. To be the face of the brand I don’t think is necessary. The brand represents all sort of women, with no limitations in culture, religion or color. Its for everyone and if I manage that then it is a huge success.
-From where do you draw your inspiration?
Nowadays the events that are happening in our lives are so intense, are political, are cultural, one picture in the media that can mark you forever, a person that I might see at the street, or a walk in the park, or in a gallery might spark the inspiration of a collection. That inspiration can be at the colors, the shapes or the theme that I might have for a season collection.
-What inspired this season’s designs?
Labyrinth (SS 2017 evening wear) and Abyss (SS 2017 luxury beachwear) are two collections that the main inspiration was derived from the Greek mythology.
– Why ‘Labyrinth’ ?
For a lot of people the Labyrinth may seem an elaborated structure without an exit. This is what is designed by the legendary artificer Daedalus and his son Icarus for King Minos of Crete at Knossos in order to hold the Minotaur inside the Labyrinth and eventually killed by Athenian hero Theseus. To me though, the Labyrinth was more of an elaborated structure of creation. Designing the pattern and working on the fabrics and the embroideries it was more of a “trap” of growing creation without wanting to find the exit.
According to the Greek mythology, Abyssos is the creation, the dark, silent abyss from which all things came into existence. I wanted to take in consideration the positive side of Abyss and bring into the existence the first Maria Aristidou Luxury Beachwear Capsule Collection. A collection that was created from scratch with great challenges in creating the fabrics, testing them in the water, coloring matching and most importantly suiting and flattering women bodies.
– How would you describe your brand/overall aesthetics?
A very feminine one, that can touch the taste of many different women styles and cultures. Easy to wear whether is day or evening wear, with high quality fabrics that are made with great love and elaborated embroidery details that give the unique touch of difference. But most importantly is very essential to flatter various women body types that will add to their fabulous personality.
-Thanks a lot!
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