Fashion designer Vassilios Kostetsos got political through his craft this week, when he presented his new Couture 2019-2020 collection ‘Aphrodite de Milo’ in the garden of the Numismatic Museum in Athens.
Dedicated to the late Melina Mercouri, the show was also a political statement calling on the return of various Greek marbles from institutions outside of Greece, including the Aphrodite de Milo (Venus de Milo) currently housed in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
While serving as Minister of Culture in the 80’s, Mercouri had launched an international campaign for the return of the Parthenon marbles, as well as the Aphrodite de Milo and other antiquities – a campaign that continues to this day.
“Melina Mercouri vowed under the sculpture of Aphrodite de Milo at [the] Louvre Museum her return to Milos, where she belongs,” Kostetsos told Xinhua.
“Aphrodite de Milo has a glow. It is time that this radiance, which was on loan to various museums abroad, returned home.”
Dating back to 130-100 BC, Aphrodite de Milo was unearthed on the island of Milos in the 19th century. But, as was the case with a number of Greek antiquities, ended up being housed abroad in the early days of the formation of the modern Greek state.
The location of the show, aside from being a stunning fit for his designs, was also a symbolic choice. The Numismatic Museum was designed by German architect Ernst Ziller who along with a number of other buildings in Greece, designed museum on Milos that houses a copy of the Aphrodite de Milo statue, instead of the original.
Kostetsos’ collection was clearly inspired by Ancient Greek art, but with pops of colour, and also saw the launch of the designer’s latest perfume ‘Aphrodite de Milo’.
Meanwhile he also commented on modern day beauty standards and the shift that is occurring, to be more inclusive of different body types, which he welcomes.
“There is a comeback underway,” Kostetsos said.
“Extremely anorexic women are out, at least I am one of the designers who believes so. We should return as much as we can to the real female figure and leave behind the anorexic model, which was promoted for so long.”