Sunday, October 22, 2017

Greek Costumes From the Collection of Dimitris Kontogianni, October 15, 2017

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The Hellenic Community of Vancouver hosted a wonderful display of Greek Costumes/Clothing from the beautiful collection of Dimitris Kontogianni. The clothing and accessories, for women and men, are mainly hand made originals, handed down through the generations, with some very accurate, again, hand made, replicas. Dimitris learned to crochet old patterns by watching and rewatching old videos. What made this event even more special was that we were welcomed with a beautiful song, and treated to a grand finale with the dance, the dance of history, culture and a celebration of Greek wearable Art.

We were reminded that fabric was spun, woven, embroidered, embellished, by hand. The themes of nature, travel, religion, family, economic and social status, all were represented elaborately and colorfully. Carefully and lovingly preserved, some of the dresses were worn by their current owners. Walking sticks, hand carved, had also been made by grandfathers and passed down, family heirlooms. Costumes are from every region in Greece and even further. They were made to last, to be worn for formal occasions, festivals and celebrations. Black and white photos and even segments from old videos, accompanied each outfit. History in the making.

Another famous Clothing Collector, Ivan Sayers, SMOC, sat behind us and having brought a couple of hand embroidered blouses and dresses, talked animatedly with members of the Greek Community, who were able to source the likely location of the work.

Thank you to Dimitris Kontogianni and Palma Bjarnason for a terrific event. More, please!

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