Sophia Kokosalaki is a Greek designer who’s growing into the idea of letting her classical roots show. For spring, she used goddess-y draping and Fortunyesque pleating in tiny, sexy dresses and tops crafted to clasp around a perfect body. Working with a lightened-up palette of shell pink, pale terra cotta, and muted aqua, and an occasional sparkling underlay of Swarovski crystal, she also cast off her customary dark, new-wave influencesfor the time being, anyway.
Kokosalaki has always had a knack for adapting elements of her cultural background to suit the mood of the season. When fashion was in a folksy moment, she made her reputation with Empire dresses that had a Cretan peasant feel. Now that she’s been selected to design the costumes for the Athens Olympics, it should hardly be surprising that she’s celebrating the beauty of classical Greek sculpturein a form that a modern girl might wear clubbing. Was it a long, hot summer working in the Olympics office that also influenced Kokosalaki to cut her daywear down to a few pairs of shorts and the odd cropped leather shirt? If so, that’s a bit of a shame. The dresses will look fabulous in photos, but a little more in the way of daily clothing for mere mortals wouldn’t have gone amiss.