Saturday, March 17, 2012

THEIA Absolut(e) Crochet

THEIA crochet dress--photo by Minas Minatsis

On Wednesday the 14th of March THEIA was invited by Absolut to participate in a "multiple-designer-catwalk". We had a very short notice, which means we had to think and move fast. I guess that when there is lack of time, the last idea one should come up with is to make garments out of crochet pieces...This did not happen to us though...

I wish to show you pictures of the construction process of THEIA's showpieces and grab the chance to shout "THANKYOU" to everyone who helped with this mad project!

So...first comes the crazy designer's (i.e. myself's) idea to attempt to complete a crochet gown within a week. The idea pops up on Wednesday the 7th. I scan my brain in order to think who could wish to bear with my madness and start crocheting along with me ASAP!

Athina Anagnostopoulou gathering yarn

Melpo Stefopoulou & Dina Papadonikou crocheting --the first pieces!
I had decided which yarn to use. It was a perfect cotton, shiny "Petalouda" yarn and I wanted it in my two favourite colours for this summer. I called up to place my order, but the person who answered informed me that that the factory had stopped producing the particular yarn! "WHY?!", I cried. "Cause people don't ask for it anymore!". First thing I learnt through this process: people prefer to pay less and use bad quality yarn even in their very own handmade creations :( The "Cotton Lux" line, a yarn that had been produced for decades by Greece's largest yarn company would no longer be seen on the shelves! At the same time, the polyester yarns are on high demand...Sad...
You may realise I could not let that go so easily! I insisted more than I thought possible and managed to get the lady off her chair and down to the factory's storage. Half an hour later she'd happily call to announce she had found 4 last boxes of the yarn I wanted!!!HURREY!!! :) The boxes were so well kept for me that they actually never arrived the next day! That's Murphy's Law, right? I sent a cab to pick them up. Murphy does hiw job again: only half the boxes arrive!!! I spoke again to someone from the factory in order to find out what made the delivery soooo hard and we ended up talking about Zeus...Didn't understand much!
The first pieces

The first pieces
With the two boxes at hand, we started crocheting. Although we were VERY stressed with time, it was very nice. I have already told you how happy I am I have strated to crochet. But the truth is that time never seems to be enough. This time I had created a perfect excuse to do nothing else but crochet! On top of this, I was doing it with another 1 to 5 persons (depending on the time of the day...).

The first pieces were gathered and placed on a big table in order to check on our progress. It was impressive! Now, the point was to start joining the pieces in such a way that the final product would not reseble a blanket!Tough one!

THEIA crochet dress collar

On the third day Eleni threatened me she'd stop knitting if I didn't start putting the pieces together at once! So, I did! The truth is that I was very much afraid. I preferred the security and comfort felt while crocheting. "Building the Monster" was another story...I started from the top and created the neck line.

The second "threat" arrived over the phone from Danae, the stylist responsible for the show. She naturally asked to see "something", "anything at all", in order to choose the shoes. Panic entered! The pieces on the table were obviously not enough of that "something". The picture below is what she received from me.

The first impression
 And this is how the pieces were connected for the second, 60s like dress.

Round crochet pieces connected
Enough with avoidance. Everything had to take shape. I presented Aliki with a final sketch and the first pattern was completed within about two hours. We decided to sacrifise a corset we had made for another show in order to save time, but more importantly, so as to manage to lift the weight of the thousands of meters of yarn :)
The lower part of the dress needed something extra. I din't want the dress to look "hippie". So, I had to avoid a straight falling line. I gave it an extreme volume that would directly break any connection to the 70s popular crochet patterns.
That was the point I so much wished for a man to be around. (I saw none and it was too late at night to call one). Heavy wire had to be pushed through a tight tunnel of about 3.5m. (The 2m tunnel was a joke compared...). Fortunatelly, Vassiliki was there to help us. We were hillarious: three girls pushing and sweating over a rigid cotton "thing" that so much desired to acquire shape!

Vassiliki and Aliki taming the wire!

We have made quite a few crinolines and countless tutu skirts at THEIA. This dress was impossible to tame! After all this -triple- effort, some sort of shape appeared, but we were still far from the desired effect. (Next day, I had to pull MORE wire through! Don't try this at home, especially if you have better things to do!)

Eva Dimopoulou's last minute crucial touch!

It's standing! It's standing!

It's 1am. One full week of crocheting. Tomorrow we're live! The organizers are fed up with us cause we didn't turn up at the fitting with the gowns. (You will probably agree with me that the gown seen above is far too big to be moved around! It didn't even fir in my car!) That means that the next day we have to be very punctual and arrive at Bios (the venue of the show) at 14:00, as told. But the second dress is not over yet (and won't be until next day 13:50...)

There we go! Lights, music, go, go, go!

I will never forget the smile on the model's (Klaudia) face! She felt (and looked) like a princess. It's always GREAT to see the person wearing your design happy. It's the utmost pleasure!

photo by Yiorgos Lephoto

photo by Yiorgos Lephoto

headpiece by Martha Charalampidou

Thank you everybody, friends, colleagues and fans for your support! It was a great night!

It is worth taking a look at Minas' blog for pictures of the other participant designers' work. I thought it was great! It was really nice to see so many different styles on the same stage!


  1. You are so talented! And I'm really happy for you, for all the wonderful people you have around you to help. Those dresses are AMAZING!

  2. I'm feeling lucky to have them around! :)
    thank you very much Demi for your kind comments!