It is rare to find a 30-year-old who has a completely thought-out aesthetic
that can sustain the flow of a collection without wavering or breaking the
spell of its own coherence. Sophia Kokosalaki, the diffidently impressive Greek
designer, is such a talentquietly carving out a coolly elegant way of
dressing that springs both from her ethnic roots and her reality as a young,
urban, cosmopolitan woman.
Kokosalaki is great at dresses, to begin with. For fall, she draped and
twisted bronze and antique-gold jersey into short, sexy shapes detailed with tiny
pleats. The provocation was tempered with opaque tights and tough boots. For
evening, her little black dresses, like a jersey smock with a raw tulle-ruffled
neckline or a draped strapless tulip dress, were stellar.
In between, she served up her signature glossily patinated leather jackets, great pants, and tiny, flattering blazers. As an erotic surprise, she slipped a plunging cross-laced bodice beneath a skirt suit. The layered complexity of this collection came not just in the way Kokosalaki put pieces together, but in her personal connection to them. The flat pleating and discreet but quietly rich embroideries that Kokosalaki has claimed for her decorative devices all come from the folk costume of her mother country. But in her hands, it became
clothing for Everywoman. Her final outfit, a heavy fur vest emblazoned with medallions of real antique Greek embroidery and worn over a high-waisted dress, had the international press rushing backstage for a closer look.