Thursday 26 January 2023

Celia Kritharioti's Scintillating Spring/Summer 2023 Haute Couture Collection

A model wears a vivid gown in Paris for the SS23 haute couture show by Celia Kritharioti. Main photograph (above) by Matthew Fisher. Cover pcture by Elli Ioannou

Greek designer Celia Kritharioti has built a starry clientele who seek out her shimmering and sheer gowns. From Beyonce to Lady Gaga and Gwyneth Paltrow to Jenifer Lopez, they all wear her beautifully made gowns on the red carpet. The new Spring/Summer 2023 collection, shown in Paris, offers an eclectic glamour and sparkle, writes, Isabella Lancellotti. Photography by Elli Ioannou, Matthew Fisher and Nathan Geary

The trees and grasses of the show
held at the Pavillon Cambon Capucines.
Photograph; Nathan Geary
UNDER THE SOARING CEILING of the Pavillon Cambon Capucines in Paris, Greek designer Celia Kritharioti presented her new Spring/Summer 2023 haute couture collection. 

Appearing amid a tundra of African grasses and trees to an upbeat soundtrack, the models sauntered out in hand-embroidered cocktail dresses, diaphanous gowns, beaded jackets, brightly patterned mini dresses and fluid kaftans, recalling the fashion house's origins in Athens. 

A vivid color palette ranged from a mix of bright orange, green and yellow to more subtle hues such as coral, mint, scarlet, and dark red. Highlights of the collection include hand-painted taffetas and animal prints as well as handcrafted jewelry.

"Every journey begins from within," explains the designer about the collection. "It is not about a destination, it is always the starting point that matters, the connection between cultures, mythologies, and all forms of creation, filtered through my personal vision and interpreted through art."

Although Celia Kritharioti has been dressing high profile women in striking outfits since 2012, she presented her first show in Paris five years later, during haute couture week in January 2017. This season she wanted to get across a message of joie di vivre with her vibrant and eclectic collection. 

"It is the starting point that matters, the connection between cultures, mythologies, and all forms of creation, filtered through my personal vision and interpreted through art."

Beautiful tailoring and draping 
are signatures of Celia Kritharioti.
Photograph; Nathan Geary
All of her couture designs are handmade with exquisite attention to detail and include fine embroidery, feathers and beautiful fabrics such as silk lace from Paris, taffeta, tulle, often embellished with gemstones. 

“My wish is the confidence of the woman wearing my clothes to rise as the zipper goes up,” she says. The collection ranges from cocktail dresses to sophisticated wedding gowns. 

Along with her successful career as a fashion designer, Celia Kritharioti has created costumes for the Greek National Opera productions of Romeo and Juliet and Swanlake and designed the uniforms for the Greek national airline. Proud of her Greek heritage, her Athens atelier goes back more than a century in her family to 1906. 

Highlights from the Celia Kritharioti SS23 Couture Show
A cinematic gown with dashes of bright red and yellow. Photograph; Matthew Fisher 

A symphony of blues is enhanced by large, turquoise earrings. Photograph: Elli Ioannou
The front row before the haute couture show. Photograph: Elli Ioannou

Waiting for the show to begin with the grasses and moss lining the runway. Photograph: Elli Ioannou

A beaded bustier with turquoise details looked ready for summer evening party. Photograph; Elli Ioannou

A spectacular headdress was one of the highlights of the show. Photograph; Elli Ioannou

The grasses and trees surrounding the runway were an atmospheric backdrop to the show. Photograph: Matthew Fisher 

A diaphanous leopard pattern in blue with a cutaway bustier and a flower-like headpiece added to the collection's sense of whimsy. Photograph: Nathan Geary 

A barely-there concoction in brilliant turquoise turned heads. Photograph; Matthew Fisher

A dark chocolate-hued kaftan was enlivened with lime green beading across the shoulders. Photograph: Nathan Geary.  

A long celestial blue gown looked graceful with its fluid drapery. Photograph; Matthew Fisher

Draped stripes in brilliant colours were the least part of the eye-catching drama of this revealing dress. Photograph; Nathan Geary
An artistic and asymmetrical sky-blue gown with striking embellishments was a highlight of the show. Photograph: Matthew Fisher
One of the outstanding gowns of the collection was this dramatic design with a graphic print in red and earthy tones. Photograph: Nathan Geary

One of Celia Kritharioti's signature kaftans in in emerald green and turquoise blue. Photograph: Matthew Fisher

Vivid turquoise is one of the themes of the new haute couture collection. Photograph: Matthew Fisher

A black and white geometric design has a striking Seventies aesthetic. Photograph: Matthew Fisher

The sweep of a ball gown made contemporary with the bold, colourful print. Photograph: Nathan Geary 

This orange dress had a strong Mid-Century vibe with its abstract print and statement jewellery. Photograph; Nathan Geary

Translucent gowns with gold sequins were another standout of the show. Photograph: Nathan Geary

Phones are raised as the collection can be seen in its vibrant entirety. Photograph: Nathan Geary

The bright hues of the collection's gowns looked spectacular seen together. Photograph: Matthew Fisher

The finale with the bride in a lacey dress with a transparent bodice and feathered ruff., Photograph; Elli Ioannou

Subscribe to support our independent and original journalism, photography, artwork and film.