A Greek at the top of the world of fashion. Isn’t it unbelievable? Indeed, the miracles come when you want something a lot, when you work hard, with patience and perseverance, and when Talent, Daring and Luck work together at the same time, as Vassilis Zoulias says!
By Mania Bousmpoura Photos: Fotis Karapiperis / Studio Verve Mania Bousmpoura’s clothes and shoes are creations by Vassilis Emmanuel Zoulias. Make-up: Maria Marouga Hair: Vera Shkembi
While you are hosting me at your atelier and office, I discover your personal lifetime treasures. Photos, memos, memories, magazines, books, creations… There is an intense romantic mood in the atmosphere of absolute elegance that surrounds me, which I thorougly enjoy, as I’m also wearing one of your beautiful clothes. How did you manage, at this time, to keep your romance alive? For me there is no life without romance, elegance and style. This is the brand philosophy of Zoulias. You are the designer who praises old Athens at its best which, in its unique way, has established many elements of the past in contemporary style. How did this inspiration and love begin? Inspiration comes from the past, because the past is interesting. Ever since I was a child I had a passion about the old movies, movie stars and magazines, which I started collecting from the age of twelve. What did the woman’s dress and style have then which doesn’t exist now? What do we have now that did not exist then? In the past, the female style was in line with the needs of the time. Everything was slower and there was a “procedure”. It was unthinkable even for a girl in a village to go for a walk without gloves and a hat. Now, it’s all fast and consumable – everybody is famous for 15 minutes, as Andy Warhol had said. The same goes for the different styles that change at a very fast pace. If with a magic wand you could change something in the way women are dressed today, what would that be? I would be wiping off trousers because very few wear them like Katharine Hepburn. And what would you change in our times in general? I would eliminate all forms of violence and abuse. Timeless style is something that many attempt to have, but few succeed. What did women like Audrey Hepburn have in order to become timeless ideals? Women like Grace, Jackie and, of course, Audrey do not exist anymore, and that’s what makes us think about what had been going on at that time when such timeless ideals were created. I will say it in one word: elegance. How difficult or easy do you think it is for today’s average Greek to be elegant? If it is difficult, you will never do it. Elegance has to come out effortlessly, without any effort. What makes the difference in an elegant look? Surely the accessories. Nothing else. The wrong shoe on a man or a woman is a disaster! In which kind of clothes should a woman find it worth investing? What are the two or three key pieces she must have? A well-tailored, simple black dress will stay for years in the wardrobe along with a pair of classic pointed high heel shoes and a necklace made of real or fake pearls. What do you answer to those who think that in Greece today, the financially constrained Greece, fashion and well-tailored clothes are just futility? That, especially in this era, it is good to buy Greek products and to think positive! Let’s talk about your recent great distinction, for which I sincerely felt great joy. It is really rare, for a Greek creation, at such a time, with such meritocracy, to be at the top, surpassing huge, famous houses. What were your first thoughts when your dress worn by Alison Brie in the Golden Globes was at the top, and in a few minutes your name made the round of the world? I felt deep joy and satisfaction, feeling that the years of hard labor were rewarded in the best possible way at a global level. Let’s not forget that, that evening my dress was found in a … sea of ??black dresses. The fact that it got distinguished was indeed very important.