Palaiologue is the new slow-fashion clothing brand created by the Greek-American American Vicky Hioureas. His first collection attracted a lot of attention for its unique philosophy and its connection to the traditional clothing of rural Greece.
Hioureas was born and raised in a suburb of Los Angeles to Greek parents who emigrated from the Peloponnese – Argos and Mani.
Like many Greek Americans, she grew up nourished by dance, music, and Greek folk traditions throughout her local community, and her first experience with Greek folk clothing was when she wore a dress from Metaxades, Evros for a dance competition when she was five. .
From then on, Hioureas’ love for Greek dance and folklore traditions took root and turned into a deep interest in the cultural history of the Greek world.
She explained to Greek City Times: “With each trip to Greece, I spent a lot of time in difficult cultural museums in cities, but also in villages, recording and studying clothes, music and dance. local.
“At the same time, I was learning to weave on a loom and to embroider from older women in the villages I visited.
This passion for the history of local traditions eventually piqued her interest in the formal study of classical and medieval Greece, and Hiourea is currently completing her doctorate in Byzantine history at Princeton University.
Of course, the name Palaiolgoue is a not-so-subtle reference to the last family to rule the Byzantine Empire: the Paleologian dynasty.
Regarding the Byzantine connection, Hioureas reflects: “Of course, it would be difficult for me not to draw inspiration from this period in history, being Byzantine myself.
“The delicate embroidery and loom, as well as the vivid colors and patterns of Byzantine art and artifacts are a source of inspiration, and I think this pluralistic tradition of clothing throughout Greece is a distant echo. of Byzantium. “
Her inspiration to start Palaiologus came years ago when her travels between rural and metropolitan areas in Greece made her wonder why this rich sartorial tradition in Greece was either closed in museums or locked in the cupboards of cultural organizations, which have been removed and carried. only a few times a year as “costumes” for dance performances.
Hioureas pointed out that Greek music and cuisine has evolved in a fresh and modern context, and that its success is due to the reinvention of something traditional.
She created Palaiologue because she wanted to see the “gourmet-ification” that happened to make music and food hit the fashion world.
For decades, rural fabrics and dress styles actively turned away, and Greek women dressed instead in fast, mass-produced fashions imported from distant lands.
Hioureas proudly declares that “we have this incredibly unique and rich heritage which represents the regional differentiation of Greece.
“I think it’s time to rethink the form and function of rural clothing and put it in a modern context.
“Palaiologue’s designs reflect traditional patterns and fabrics from different parts of Greece, but without giving the impression that I took pieces of” costumes “and added them to a modern outfit. . “
And while recently there has been a kind of revival in Greek fashion – with a number of companies creating folk-inspired resort wear that has been very popular and favored by Greeks and tourists alike, Hioureas wanted create something that could be very clearly linked to the weaving and embroidery designs specific to each village and region in Greece.
“I think it’s important to express this richness of design and aesthetics native to these distinct villages and regions. Maybe in this way the focus will be on the different communities and histories that make up Greece, ”she said.
So what are Hioureas’ plans for Palaiologer’s future?
“Each season will be based on the local dress of a specific village in Greece,” she said.
“My goal is for people who wear Palaiologos to learn the geography and local history of the country through every dress they wear.
“I would love to see the younger generations of Greek women dress in a way that organically connects them to their history and traditional aesthetic.
“I believe these dresses have a diachronic quality that a lot of women look for.”
Visit the Palaiologist Shop here.
READ MORE: Theophano: A Byzantine Tale, the must-read comic with the most beautiful illustrations.