Art & Design

Christina Ioannidou for OZON Raw: “There are no limits to how fashion can be used.”

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Christina Ioannidou left her hometown of Salonika to complete her studies in artistic jewelry in London, as well as work and live there. Her trademark masks, have already made it around the fashion world and she hasn’t even finished her studies yet.

By Efi Alevizou

#1. What does a mask symbolize for you?
A mask holds great power. It transforms, covers, beautifies and decorates. My research on masks, was based on what it symbolizes to the person wearing it. That’s why I created “Prosopon”, a collection that is made up of various pieces, each representing a muse-like personality. Looking at  masks and face decorations in general, through various traditions and tribes, I realized how much power these types of decorations and disguises had. They have the power to build a form of identity within each social circle. As I’ve mentioned before, the sense of what is “normal” and “different” is not the same for every part of the world and its people. Traditions that may appear normal, ordinary and boring for one set of people, may seem weird, impressive and worth searching for somebody else.

#2. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Traditionsandimagesfromaroundtheworld.Colors, shapes and materials that can be found in hidden corners of history. Discovering new people, objects, traditional uniforms, books and images describing ceremonies from around the world excites me.

#3. How would you describe your work?
My work is the result of my research, that’s how I would describe my pieces. It’s defined by a combination of techniques and materials that come together in a shape, so as to express emotion. Dynamism, passion, hesitancy, vividness and punchiness are some of the words that give you an idea of the muses that speak to me and allow me to create. It’s a matter of applying techniques and research on objects of art that can be worn or placed in the realms of theatre, cinema and fashion.

#4. Where does fashion’s usability begin and end?
I don’t think that there is a real beginning or end to that. It may take on many forms and have plentiful sub-categories but ultimately it has no limits. Some aspects of fashion touch upon art, since they are applied by artists and place an entire generation within various spheres of influence and other aspects of it just exist to cover an everyday need for expression and attire. Fashion is a general mode of social expression and not just in haute couture and magazines. It’s a trend that is formulated by history and exists everywhere as a visual language of communication. As the world changes shape, so too does fashion and it will always remain useful as a tool of communication between various social groups.

#5. What are your future design plans?
Right now, I’m focusing on collaborating with artists from other fields and I’m designing a collection based on a common theme, which produces a different result for each of us. Later on, I would like to focus on producing a more commercial collection that will provide me with the opportunity to witness the reactions of a competitive market.

#6. What are some of the more positive remarks you’ve received for your work and where did they come from?
So far, I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with some really important people in this industry, such as PanosGiapanis, Steven Klein, Mert&Marcus, Karl Lagerfeld and many others. My work has been highlighted in publications such as Vogue and W, as well as being a part of the Fashion Week in Copenhagen. Some of the names I’ve mentioned have given me some very positive feedback and I’m very glad to hear that, since it allows me to see my work through someone else’s perspective. It’s truly amazing to find people in your field that speak the same language as you and who can understand the message you are trying to get across.

#7. Panos Giapanis, another “international” and established Greek, used your mask in an editorial of his. How happy did that make you?
It was a wonderful moment, because I’d just come out of university and it was the first time my work had ever been published. It was a very strong editorial for Vogue Hommes International, with a superb sense of style and so inspiring. It was obviously a great moment for me since being highlighted by PanosGiapanis opened a lot of doors for me and made me really proud of what I had created.