Third generation Greek Australian Maria Koutsoukos will have her collection shown at Revive and Thrive, an independent programme of the Melbourne Fashion Festival next month.

The collaboration brings together RMIT students, Indigenous and digital artists for a transformative odyssey, exploring the themes of renewal and regeneration in contemporary climate.

Revive and Thrive offers an immersive experience, inviting viewers to see the juxtaposition of nature’s allure and humanity’s footprint—an invitation to reflect, sparking meaningful dialogue on pressing environmental issues.

Maria Koutsoukos. Photo: Supplied

It is a blend of creativity, cultural diversity, and industry expertise, in a runway that is both visually appealing and intellectually stimulating.

Koutsoukos, an RMIT honours graduate in Bachelor of Fashion (Design), will have her collection, Sto Spiti (At Home) featured.

She tells Neos Kosmos that it is an expression of her cultural heritage and explores themes of migration and cultural identity.

“Culture is deeply rooted in who we are through the customs, beliefs and values that have been passed down throughout generations,” she said.

Photo: Supplied

“My collection honours the idea of family and the concept of home by looking at the idea of material culture and how Greek identities were formed through objects and the way Greeks set up their homes to evoke a sense of place and nostalgia of their homeland.”

The 22-year-old believes that as we progress into the future, heritage and tradition is beginning to fade and as the older generation who only spoke the Greek dialect begin to die out, the language is being used less.

Maria Koutsoukos’ Sto Spiti was heavily inspired by her grandparents. Photo: Supplied

“The purpose of my project is to educate myself in Greek culture and learn more about my family’s history.”

“Through spending time with my grandparents, having conversations, asking questions and looking back at the past through photographs, I too am able to carry on these cultural notions for future generations.”

Photo: Supplied

While this project stems from her time spent with her grandparents, her career path choice can be linked back to them too.

Koutsoukos’ yiayia was a seamstress herself, working in factories when she came to Australia.

Having a machine set up at home, young Maria would wander in to the sewing room and play, sometimes helping her yiayia with some stuff to sew.

She said that being part of this upcoming runway is an “amazing experience and opportunity” that will not only help express her culture but the things she learned from her grandparents.

Photo: Supplied

When: March 2, 7pm and 8pm

Where: The Hubs @ Dockland, 80 Harbour Esplanade, Docklands VIC 3008

You can see more of her collection at @sto.spitidiaries on Instagram.