This talented design duo has already created garments for Jessie J, Lady Gaga, Daphne Guinness and The Black Eyed Peas.
And at this year’s World of Wearable Arts festival they won the Wellington International Award: UK/Europe for their entry M45 Pleiades and took out second place for the same entry in the WETA Costume and Film Section. Designers Maria Tsopanaki and Dimitri Mavinis are the brains behind Erevos Aether – a hugely creative fashion label the pair describe as “a futuristic dark chamber in the realm of Cosmos containing a mysterious and enigmatic woman absorbing the vibes of the Universe, emitting light.”
They met after graduating from their fashion studies while working at a menswear high street label and after collaborating with emerging London Fashion Week designers for a number of years, the pair developed a strong vision of their own aesthetic, launching Erevos Aether in 2011. Fashion Quarterly caught up the designers to learn more about their design philosophy and their stunning WOW entries.
FQ: Why did you choose to enter WOW? What attracted you to the event?
Erevos Aether: Heather Palmer, the director of the competition, invited us to send an entry, having seen our work online. When we saw the competition’s website and watched some of the videos of the show, we were amazed by the level of creativity and by the outstanding outfits that have taken part in the competition the previous years enhanced by the excellent stage performances. We immediately distinguished the organisers’ professionalism, which makes the show one of the best in the world. We were allured by the prospect that WOW could give us the opportunity to express our theatricality without any limits.
You entered the WETA Workshop Costume & Film section. What was it about this particular category that appealed to you?
We were always fascinated by films and theatrical costumes and WETA Workshop has one of the best costume and special effects teams in the industry. This particular category excited us, as it gave us the opportunity to go beyond the limits of fashion and delve deeply into our imagination entering the fantastic world of fairytales, adventures, imaginary characters and historical personalities. We feel ready to be involved in the creative process of a film and we hope to collaborate with the WETA Workshop team very soon.
What experience have you had working in the realm of film?
We have mostly worked with artists from the music industry rather than the film industry. However, we’ve always been captivated by films and the magical world they can put you in and that’s why we’ve produced short fashion films showcasing our collections. A film presentation always gives you the opportunity to create the atmosphere of each collection’s concept, as well as seeing the garments in movement.
What was the inspiration behind each of your three garments for WOW and what materials did you use?
We submitted three entries in different sections of the competition and all were selected to take part in the show. These were:
- Bronze Knight: The outfit consists of a headpiece, a bolero, a corset, shorts and knee-high stockings. She is Jeanne d’ Arc of 2246, a female Knight of the future, fighting all bad, evil and injustice. A powerful figure who at the same time reveals her feminine nature. Her armour is made of hundreds of custom-made mirror pieces reflecting the battlefield itself creating illusions to her rivals.
- M45 Pleiades: A voyage through the Cosmos to the extremely luminous star cluster, the Pleiades. In Greek Mythology they were the three of the seven daughters of Atlas, nymphs and companions of the goddess of the hunt, the wilderness and of virginity, Artemis. After Atlas was forced to carry the heavens on his shoulders, Orion began to pursue the Pleiades and Zeus transformed them first into doves and then into stars to protect them. Electra, Asterope and Alcyone are three of the most desirable virgin sisters and are represented with three multi-panel, see-through, maxi bodycon dresses embellished with custom made mirrors, reflecting the light of the universe.
- Knight of Fire: is a powerful female knight of the future, she is the guardian of Universal Law, seeking to create a better future in a new world of light. Her armour consists of structural pieces made out of hundreds of unique custom-made red tinted mirror pieces, which interact with the light, reflecting it and creating the numerous shades of Fire… Each mirror piece is linked with the next with metal jump rings, creating the architectural structure of the Knight of Fire.
What’s the process like designing pieces for musicians and fashion icons? Do you work closely with the artists or rather with a stylist to create the concept?
We always work closely with artists and their stylists to come up with the best result. The creative process goes from researching, to creating mood boards, designing and selecting materials which complement the final design. We always aim to create bespoke outfits that will highlight each artist’s personal style and stage performance needs.
In general, when you’re designing a garment what does the process involve, from concept to completion?
From researching inspiration, to creating mood-boards, designing, draping, pattern cutting, drafting, elaboration, to the material selection down to the construction of a garment and the finishing with attention to detail, the process requires extensive concentration and excellent skills to bring into life what you envision to be a beautiful garment.
How do creative communities like B. Akerlund’s ‘Who You Are’ help to foster the type of work you do?
Who You Are is a unique creative platform which allows creative individuals from all over the world to communicate, share ideas, showcase their work and collaborate on creative projects. It is something relatively new and we were one of the first designers to be selected to enter this promising community. We are very excited to be part of this as we have collaborated with B. Akerlund several times and she is definitely an amazing creative individual inspiring the world of fashion, pushing the boundaries, allowing you to B Who You Are.
Now that WOW is over, what are working on next?
We are running a bespoke and made-to-measure service from our studio in London, keeping us quite busy with projects and individual clients and we will be developing the new collection for AW17-18.
Words: Lucy Slight