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Beyond Dress Codes

Catalog, published on the occasion of the thematic exhibition Beyond Dress Codes – Contemporary Greek Designers in Dialogue with Greek Costume organized by the Hellenic American Union in 2010.

The volume contains articles and photographs of designs by contemporary fashion designers as well as drawings of traditional costumes by Gisis Papageorgiou.

Costume is a game of concealment and revelation that has functioned throughout history as a multifaceted communication code.

The garments cover the body, while at the same time reveal the overt or covert elements of our identity, our cultural background and progress through life. By designing a garment, the creators bridge the gap between elements of tradition and modern-day perspectives and propose fashion trends that actively co-shape our aesthetic criteria and the image we present to the world in our day-to-day life.

The catalog presents all the texts for 2010 exhibition Beyond Dress Codes - Contemporary Greek Designers in Dialogue with the Greek Traditional Costume at the Hellenic American Union, curated by fashion historian Lydia Kamitsis. Also included are color designs of Greek traditional costumes and headdresses by the artist Gisis Papageorgiou, as well as photographs of original creations of modern fashion designers, who draw their inspiration from Greek tradition and highlight the permeating influence it has had in artistic production.

The ensuing conversation between the local clothing tradition and modern fashion reveals the value of Greek traditional costumes not only as invaluable historical artifacts, but also as a primary source of inspiration that continues to excite interest.


Leonidas Phoebus Koskos
Ira Papadopoulou
Lydia Kamitsis

Gisis Papageorgiou is a former captain of the Hellenic Navy, from which he retired in 1981. For 12 years, he worked as a cartoonist for several Athenian newspapers and magazines. In 1996, he published a monograph on Stone Lighthouses of Greece, which is based on documents and other material he collected on the history of the Hellenic lighthouse network and drawings he made of 130 lighthouses. In like fashion, his drawings and research on the history of the uniforms of the Hellenic Navy, from the time of Kapodistrias to the present resulted in the publication of the album Hellenic Naval Uniforms in 1998. He first became interested in Hellenic traditional costumes 40 years ago, and for ten years it remained a purely amateur pursuit. It was then that he met Andreas Papageorgiou, a folklorist and collector. His engagement with the subject soon acquired a more focused approach, leading to the systematic research and recording of Hellenic traditional costumes and the production of an extensive number of documented drawings. This project has absorbed his professional efforts since 2000.

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