Where others have tried and failed — London-based designer Mary Katranzou has succeeded.
On October 3, the Greek-born designer will stage a show at the Temple of Poseidon in Sounion, outside of Athens, the sacred place where the unlucky Aegeus ended his life by leaping off the cliffs, distraught at the thought that his son Theseus was unsuccessful in killing the Minotaur in Crete.
In a tragic turn of events typical of Greek mythology, Theseus was in fact victorious. But his neglect to replace the black sail with a white one when he sailed home had grave consequences for his father.
Aegeus’ memory was immortalized by giving his name to the Aegean Sea.
Katrantzou’s fame will also be immortalized at the Temple of Poseidon, but in a positive way — as the first fashion designer allowed by archaeology authorities at the Ministry of Culture to host a show at the site.
The show will mark the end of her brand’s 10-year anniversary celebrations.
According to an interview in Harpers Bazaar, Katrantzou knew gaining approval from the Culture Ministry wouldn’t be an easy process. But for her, there was never another choice.
“Everyone advised against it because we were made aware that there had been a few applications for that monument that were vetoed by the archaeological committee and the government,” she told Harpers.
“Everyone knew it was difficult, but we felt our efforts would be worthwhile. I wanted to find a monument that was connected to all the elements. When I first visited many, many years ago, it was the only monument I’ve ever come across in Greece, and also while travelling round the world, where I feel so connected to the sky, the earth and the sea. There is a raw energy in that positioning.”
Katrantzou is partnering with the Greek charity Elpida, founded by Marianna Vardinoyannis, which supports children suffering from cancer.
The show will raise funds through ticket sales and charitable donations towards Elpida’s cause.
“To be able to use something that is a gift to your country and to use it like this validates and justifies an application,” she said. “I wanted to do a show dedicated to that location. You can use a location that belongs to your country for a great cause that helps people from your country.”
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