Fabric Tour of India: Discover India’s amazing handloom heritage

Mountain Partnership: Working together for mountain peoples and enviroments

The Hellenic Centre London | Venue Hire & Greek Cultural Centre – Patterns of Magnificence: Tradition and Reinvention in Greek Women’s Costume

Patterns of Magnificence: Tradition and Reinvention in Greek Women’s Costume

Tuesday 4 February to Sunday 2 March – Great Hall, Hellenic Centre

The multiform traditions of Greek women’s dress are among the richest and most splendid in the world. This exhibition brings together over forty superb originals from the eighteenth to the early twentieth century, many of which will be on display in London for the first time.

They include the richly embroidered costume from Astypalaia in the Dodecanese, the astonishing assembly of fabrics, colours and jewellery from Stefanoviki in Thessaly and the sumptuously brocaded dress from Janina in Epirus.

The exhibition will also illustrate the interplay of native tradition and western aesthetic by displaying the court dress of the first queen of the independent Greek state, Amalia of Oldenburg and that of her successor at the end of the nineteenth century, Olga, the Russian-born consort of George I. These costumes represent a synthesis that is emblematic of 19th century nation building. Along with these costumes the exhibition will display for the first time in public two original dolls from a series commissioned by Queen Olga to form a miniature gallery of local costumes.

All but two of the costumes come from the superb collection of the Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation in Nafplio. The other two are being lent by the Benaki Museum of Athens and the dolls by the Lyceum Club of Greek Women, Athens. The curator of the exhibition is the Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation’s founder and renowned expert, Ioanna Papantoniou. The designer is Stamatis Zannos.

A fully illustrated catalogue with seven essays by specialists in the field will be available for sale as will a variety of exciting design items created specially for the exhibition.

During the period of the exhibition the Hellenic Centre will hold lectures on costume, textiles, the reception of the indigenous tradition and the history and culture of Greece after inde-pendence. Some events, parallel to the exhibition, will also take place at the British Museum.

The exhibition is open daily Monday to Friday, 10am-5pm and Saturday and Sunday, 12-6pm. Free entry.


Lectures during the period of the exhibitions:

-Wednesday 5 February – From Loom and Needle to Canvas and Paintbrsuh: Images of Greek Costume in 19th and 20th Century Painting. More…

-Friday 7 February – Dressed to kill or Dressed to rule? More…

Wednesday 12 February – What Lord Byron Saw in Greece (1809-1811) More…

Tuesday 18 February – Traces and influences of Greek Local Dress in Contemporary Fashion and Costume Design. More…

Tuesday 25 February – Athena’s Craft: Greek Textiles and their Meaning. More…

-Friday 28 February – “Old embroideries of the Greek Islands and Turkey” An Exhibition at the Burlington Fine Arts Club 1914: A Celebration and Commemoration. More…


Further information on 020 7487 5060 or at

Guided Tours by the curator of the exhibition on Tuesdays & Thursdays, 12-12.45pm. Further guided tours for groups available on request.

Special Workshops modelled by the Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation available on request on Saturdays & Sundays, 12-6pm.

The exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Koula Lemos who gave so much for the Hellenic Centre.

Sponsored by George & Natasha Lemos and Dinos & Calliope Caroussis.

Organised by the Hellenic Centre.

Mountains’ University in Blue, the Aegean Airlines Inflight Magazine, July 2011

Where scientific knowledge meets the countryside’s ancient wisdom, and professors from the University of Crete (as well as visiting professors from prestigious foreign universities, such as Harvard’s anthropologist, Prof. Michael Herzfeld) trade places with the inhabitants of the mountain villages of Crete – that’s what the Mountains’ University is all about. A pioneering project that has already attracted global attention thanks to CNN reports and lots of worldwide press coverage.

Read the article in pdf format.