by Lotus Ladegaard & Omi
From being dubbed “The Mad Hatter” by the Bill Cunningham of New York Times to being stuck in an elevator with no other than Liz Tilberis, Anna Wintour, and Grace Coddington, Vassilis Zoulias has tried it all in the world of fashion. Known as the Greek Manolo Blahnik, the all-around designer has created a name for himself that is synonymous with luxury and beauty. His ability to fuse simplicity into the silhouettes of femininity has made him one of the most important Greek designers of the last decade along with Mary Katrantzou.
Vassilis Zoulias SS18 collection titled “Women in the Garden” was presented in the garden of Zappeion Hall and made for a perfect backdrop to a collection brimming with poise and clarity. Floral prints and bright colors dominated the color palette that felt easy, fresh and feminine. The collection featured looks for all occasions from evening wear to trendy casuals. Models came down the garden runway styled sleek and fresh and just right, which we have come to expect from the Greek designer. Matching handbags and bold long earrings added that extra something to make every look shine, every onlooker from Greek celebrities to random tourist to our editor swoon with appreciation in the autumn heat.
Several pieces stood out to lay the foundation of a fabulous show. A bright yellow silk ball gown moved beautifully down the runway and in the wind, styled with floral earrings and a black and white pump made it a showstopper, gripping even the casual fashion insider. A sheer pastel green chiffon with white lining and boning lit up the garden runway with the ease of a nymph, the flowy and aetherial fabric added a little extra feminine charm and romance to the look. The subtle blue floral print will appeal to many women regardless of age, it is timeless and will appeal widely. Especially the jacket styled with cobalt blue sandals and handbag in matching print, stood out as the singular feminine narrative captivated much of the audience.
The collection also featured pieces with a vintage feel about them, most of them in pink, orange and brown striped and tartan like prints. The striped dress with flared sleeves is exquisite and will undoubtedly excite many women, the striped floral top and pants are charming and will appeal to bold fashionistas around the globe.
A subtle pink fabric with a grey and white floral print was used for a beautiful classic gown as well as a cape with lapels styles with a white fitted pantsuit that had tons of feminine flair. A blush over-the-shoulder dress in tea-length with a raised hemline at the front and a belt was youthful and fun and will be a great seller among his younger loyal followers. A frilly delicate pink dress with 3D flowers was another youthful and contemporary piece that will excite his fans. The peplum top in tartan ranging from petrol blue to turquoise, grey and yellow with over-the-shoulder neckline and puffed sleeves styled with bright yellow pants and black pumps was another stand out piece.
A blue floral print with orange, red and black accents on ivory colored silk made for an easy to wear dress as well as a fitted skirt styled with a sheer shirt with scarf effect and polka dots were among the standout pieces. Vassilis Zoulias is a master at mixing prints and knowing when to let them speak for themselves. The green sheer polka dot dress with cape effect was another standout, although it might not be for everyone. The pastel blue pieces with lilac floral print were also on brimming with evocative femininity and both the A-line dress with high necklines as well as the cape with matching shorts styled with a brown, almost dark nude colored crop top made the collection feel complete and meticulously thought out.
Vassilis Zoulias captivates. He leaves a lasting impression and it is easy to see why he is the perfect ambassador for the country that finds romanticism despite an economic collapse, art despite being at the cusp of anarchy and levity in despair. His SS18 collection is a celebration of greek women and women in general. It will undoubtedly excite his loyal followers as well as attract new ones. His ability to weave narratives into his pieces, his ability to maintain that narrative to singular details, meticulously carving out the miniscule aesthetic details that make or break a brand, is what makes him special, also makes him commercially viable and successful. In our first live viewing of Vassilius Zoulias, we were not only left impressed with those obvious details for his work but also the love that comes through in each piece. This may have been our first VZ show, but this won't be our last.
Photographs: Athens Xclusive Designer Week | Panoulis Photography | Omi
A Very Special thanks to Mara Anastasiades