Dimitri Arvaniti is Greek, born in Dortmund, Germany. He is the first Greek to ever graduate from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, in Antwerp with a Master of all nationalities. (see his illustrations in the gallery below)
Tell us a few words about the idea behind your collection “: crude”.
I tried to bring a more minimal, sophisticated look in a contrast using baroque prints of Rubens on mesh PVC, techno organza and other synthetic materials as well as luxurious fur garments dyed in bright colors. I tried to confront fake with luxury and bring fur in a new sense of contemporary menswear, not just use it as outerwear. Briefcases were replaced by envelope clutches, ties were bound like judo belts and biker boots in pop colors paid tribute to those awfully dressed men wearing square toe shoes. Shape-wise, the collection is influenced by 1990’s R’n’B music videos such those byTLC, giving the look a slightly oversized and sporty feel (crop tops, low waisted trousers, track suits) always questioning -with every silhouette- whether I would wear it myself or not. The main aspect of my graduation collection was that I wanted to create something more grown up, (garment wise) less fairy like and question contemporary menswear in the sense of how I would like to push it forward.
Do you agree with the statement ‘menswear is the new womenswear’?
I try to ignore the sex gender question within the fashion industry: we have seen men in dresses, women in tuxedos. Personally I just act on instinct concerning what feels right and beautiful.
In what ways does your personal story meet the philosophy of your collection?
I don’t like to tell sentimental stories with my clothes, but I suppose I am creating a mood, so in that way it’s a personal and individual process.
If you could change one thing in the fashion industry what would it be?
I would change the strictness and seriousness regarding our work and focus on creating happiness and excitement. We shouldn’t forget the fact that we live in a world where the economic crisis as well as world hunger still exist.
Interview: Lazaros Tzovaras