I first met with Stelios Koudounaris almost ten years ago, while we were both studying Clothing Design & Technology at theTechnological Educational Institute (T.E.I) of Thessaloniki, Branch of Kilkis. He was slightly older than me, only by one semester, and although we didn't meet officially in person but after a couple of years, I knew his name, where he was from and all the stories around him long before our meet. This is because Stelios was the kind of student that most of us wanted to become: professors' favourite, an ''A'' level student, with excellent critiques on his work. At the same time, he managed to get involved with every event that was happening in town!
He was everywhere and I mean..... EVERYWHERE! Pfff....
That is why the impression I had for Stelios was that he is tireless, extremely hard-working and above all that someday he would 'make it'. Judging by his current success and my personal experience by the time we worked together some years ago, I can say with certitude that I was right to all!
This last Saturday, Stelios Koudounaris presented at the AXDW his tenth womenswear collection, and third menswear. Throughout all these seasons, he has managed to evolve, to find his own identity as a designer and become distinctive. His designs are edgy, with interesting cuts and details but still wearable and highly desirable.
What more should a designer ask for, right?
The biggest surprise for me though came from his menswear collections. In last Saturday's show he presented some dynamic outerwear, such as the well-thought and equally well-tailored jackets/capes. His knitwear additions -mostly in black and grey- were equally interesting due to the complex patterns, and distinctive details such as the metallic zips and drapes. The pants were either loose on the waist with skinny leg resulting in an ''ethnic'' or ''Cretan'' style or more classic and fitted. Again, the different colour elastic waist bands and the pleats were creating a nice twist. Other beautiful details were the use of double collar in the shirts and the sewn fringes on the cuffs and the shirt collars, which were giving a slightly ''rock'' feeling to the look.
To sum up, for me Stelios Koudounaris is constantly evolving as a designer and I believe we will see even greater things from him in the future. I honestly look forward to that!
In the meantime, during AXDW we had the chance to acclaim a backstage pass as well as an invitation for the main show. Check out the pics below.
Stelios, thank you again!
PHOTOS: © Apostolis Kaliakmanis for fashionreactor.com / all rights reserved
Have a great week-end!