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Sophia Kokosalaki S/S 09

The Greek designer turns Egyptian for this season and the experimentation pays off.

At first glance, Sophia Kokosalaki's S/S 09 collection might have jumped onto the ethnic bandwagon that is being peddled at a lot of shows. When Kokosalaki thought about Egypt being so close to her own Greece background though, the links became clearer and furthermore, she managed to avoid all pastiches of Egyptian attire; thick black eyeliner, stiff wigs and as she said herself "No Elizabeth Taylor!" Instead, the subtleties came in the patterns and colours inspired by Egyptian art, the colours and motifs like snakes coiling over the back and shoulder or pyramid shapes in the heels. "My work vocabulary is always the same regardless of the theme. This season Egypt dictated the shapes, colours and sillhouettes but if I see something that can be done with a technique I used in the past and it's associated with Greece...then I will use it." Indeed, the pleating that Kokosalaki has is known for crops up in a more sculpted form in the dresses that resembled orchid shapes and also in the way she worked gold python into tight tops.

As Kokosalaki nearly reaches a ten year birthday with her own label and with backing now from Renzo Rosso, she admits it feels great to be able to make "proper clothes". Proper meaning that the whole collection glinted with luxurious detailing, most noticeably with the gold accessories and finesse of materials that can only mean that after ten years, Kokosalaki is reaching for new heights.