Greece’s An­ge­los Bratis rep­re­sents Ital­ian de­sign in China

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

The fluid sil­hou­ettes and sig­na­ture drapes of Greek-born, Italy-based An­ge­los Bratis graced the cat­walk of the Mercedes-Benz China Fash­ion Week in Bei­jing on Mon­day. An op­por­tu­nity to reach a broad new au­di­ence, the Spring/Sum­mer 2016 show was part of ef­forts made by Italy’s fash­ion body, the Cam­era Nazionale della Moda Ital­iana, to help its young de­sign­ers to en­ter fresh mar­kets.

Es­tab­lished in 1997, so far the Bei­jing event has hosted over 450 de­sign­ers from more than 10 coun­tries.

Born in Athens in 1978, Bratis grew up in his seam­stress mother’s ate­lier be­fore en­rolling at a lo­cal fash­ion school. He earned a master’s de­gree at ArtEZ In­sti­tute of the Arts in Am­s­ter­dam, moved to Rome for a while and re­turned to Greece to de­velop his own work­ing stu­dio.

The financial cri­sis and en­su­ing re­ces­sion forced the de­signer to leave Greece be­hind once again and re­turn to Italy. In 2011, he won the “Who Is on Nest” com­pe­ti­tion de­vel­oped by Vogue Italia editor Franca Soz­zani and de­signer Sil­via Ven­turini Fendi.

In 2014, Bratis pre­sented his sum­mer col­lec­tion at Teatro Ar­mani, the Milanese cul­tural com­plex ded­i­cated to fash­ion mae­stro Giorgo Ar­mani and de­signed by Ja­panese star ar­chi­tect Tadao Ando.

On the eve of the Bei­jing show, the de­signer spoke to Kathimerini English Edi­tion.

I think it’s old news to con­sider na­tion­al­ism in fash­ion. In the era of in­stant com­mu­ni­ca­tion and work­ing in a global, unique mar­ket your roots as a de­signer is your DNA, but this doesn’t limit you be­tween bor­ders. The Cam­era Nazionale della Moda Ital­iana se­lected an emerg­ing Ital­ian brand to show in China, not a Greek de­signer.

Cam­era Moda, to­gether with Al­can­tara, our main spon­sor, are giv­ing me an enor­mous op­por­tu­nity to present my work in a vir­gin mar­ket for our brand, which at the same time is one of the fastest-grow­ing and most for­ward-look­ing mar­kets in the world.

As a de­signer born in Greece,

I have al­ways felt con­nected with an­cient civ­i­liza­tions and cul­tures that man­aged to sur­vive and emerge in the mod­ern world. China rep­re­sents for me tra­di­tion, power, craft and fragility. It is also the mother of silk, a fun­da­men­tal ma­te­rial of my work as a draper.

Within this plat­form of ex­po­sure I would like to turn the Chi­nese press lights on to our brand and hope­fully at­tract new re­tail­ers that can carry the An­ge­los Bratis aes­thet­ics to Asia. It will be also a dream to col­lab­o­rate with master silk man­u­fac­tur­ers and trans­form re­fined an­tique fab­rics into mod­ern Western pieces of cloth­ing.

In Mi­lan, we pre­sented the new col­lec­tion in a maze of trip­tych mir­rors cre­at­ing the il­lu­sion of a labyrinth while blend­ing in­te­rior and ex­te­rior views. This sea­son I cut pois on bias play­ing with math­e­mat­i­cal or­der, ge­om­e­try and arith­metic, while rhom­bus pat­terns form a struc­ture for the drap­ing of the gar­ments.

The ab­so­lu­tion of the cir­cle was the ba­sis for the col­lec­tion which was cut in soft ma­te­ri­als such as silk crepe and Al­can­tara with a laser cut tech­nique.

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