Vasilis Loizides, a rising designer who makes frothy, over-the-top confections that aren't limited to any gender, hosted a spring 2019 presentation, his third, at One Art Space in TriBeCa over the weekend. At sixteen looks, it was the designer's biggest collection yet, and it was inspired by his native country, Cyprus.
"For this collection, I played a lot into the complex of the soul and how the soul is eternal - even if you die, your soul transcends into the heavens," said Loizides. "I used prehistoric statues and figurines from my home country to symbolize that as an allegory."
And the designer, who has dressed the likes of queer icon Jake Shears, showed gleaming silks and baroque brocades in neutrals, seafoam, and lilac, on a diverse cast. The models were set against a background with an image of the Cyprus beach where, legend has it, the goddess Aphrodite was born. And several looks were printed with those ancient sculptural works – as Loizides put it, "both the soul and the figurines have withstood death."
Multiple pieces were trimmed with large copper-colored poppies; in Cyprus, poppies signify an "eternal sleep," and copper trade is essential to the history of the island (the word "Cyprus," in Latin, actually means copper). The floor was littered with pennies.
"I miss Cyprus a lot," said Loizides, who studied at Parsons and has lived between New York and London for the past six years. "It was a subconscious reason why I have made this collection. I miss my family a lot and my roots in a way - I miss my lifestyle and the beach. Here, I work and all those other things. I only get to go back once a year, which is still a great luxury, but I wish I could go back more."
And Loizides is pleased to be part of the wave of designers challenging gender norms.
"I just try to produce the work that I like and defy these associations and categories," he said. "I try to not pay so much attention. I mean I love that I am participating in this whole dialogue, and I do think that we're marching towards changes. I am glad that the brand is part of this movement.
"I love for that to be normalized and not be a huge deal of course. It's going to take some time obviously, I am always getting questions like 'what male is going to buy that?'" But some day they will."