The Haute Couture designer who deeps into Essence
After her university studies in computer science, her love for fashion led her to study fashion design first in Athens and then at Saint Martin’s in London. There she was the only Greek designer among 9 English designers, when London Designers Ltd on Fulham Street, accepted her collection.
Her creations have walked the red carpet while in 2015 her creation from natural seaweed applied to silk tulle, became the central theme of the exhibition at the Museum of the History of Greek Costume. The distinctions followed one another. Today he is actively involved in the movement for sustainable and ethical fashion. Chara has created an elegant atelier in Alimos near the sea and continues to star in the field of Haute Couture. The CHARA LEBESSI ESSENCE collection will be presented in 2022 and will be a limited edition.
Chara, is the style innate or learned?
Style is innate and expresses your uniqueness. It could be affected. Fashion is constantly evolving. For me, it is important to adapt fashion trends to your personality. To be able to distinguish and deny exaggeration. Key elements, structured outfits, and balance in proportions, silhouette and fit.
Is there a model woman who could be your muse?
My muse is the modern woman, who successfully copes with the fast pace of the city, expresses her femininity, dynamism and fragile nature. My clients are also my muses. It is a unique feeling when I receive messages, where they express how beautiful they felt in my creations.
My collections focus on design, luxurious materials and fabrics and high seam quality. Using the moulage technique, I focus on strategic areas and the female body is selectively revealed, giving a perfect fit for a unique appearance. If I could name an artist, I would like to dress the ethereally beautiful star Charlize Theron with my hand-painted silk tulle dress with natural seaweed, “The Seaweed Chara Lebessi gown” or the white silk handmade deconstruction dress with crystals.
What was the highlight of your career?
What moment to choose? In 2001, during my studies in fashion design, I won the first prize in the Panhellenic Bridal Creation Competition. So I decided to pursue my studies in Central Saint Martins, London. In 2002 the LONDON DESIGNERS boutique on Fulham Street in London bought my entire collection.
Also, how could I not mention the special honor to have my creations presented in museum exhibitions, such as 2019 in the exhibition “100 Years of Greek Fashion Inspiration and Creation” of the Peloponnesian Folklore Museum Ioanna Papantoniou and the Foundation of the Hellenic World, where my creation “Crystal deconstruction gown” was presented from silk applied by hand with crystals. In 2010 the Benaki Museum in the exhibition “CLOTHED” “TO DRESS” included two of my handmade creations.
In 2015 for International Museum Day, the Museum the History of Greek Costume organized the exhibition “Seaweed for silk ribbons” which featured as their main exhibit the Chara Lebessi seaweed dress, framed by clothes and accessories of the Lyceum of Greek Women. I would like to add the great honor by the Peloponnesian Folklore Museum of Ioanna Papantoniou, to record my work from the beginning of my career until today.
Fashion in the years of Covid19. What has changed and how do you express it in your collections?
After the stagnation and uncertainty caused by Covid19, we see that there is a restart in fashion.
I am creative and I am currently adding a new line while designing jewelry that will accompany my collections… very special items that surround the body. Waist, corsage, shoulders, ankles, made of metal mesh, gold or gold plated material, semi-precious stones, all handmade, with a philosophy of flowing over the body, like my dresses. My purpose is to offer something different and at the same time timeless.
Fashion ethics. How does this awakening contribute?
Sustainability has emerged in recent years as a need of all those who respect the environment and human rights.
Sustainable fashion is a movement, a process of promoting change in fashion products, and the fashion system towards greater ecological integrity and social justice and concerns design, production, and purchase of fashion products, in a more conscious and sustainable way.
I actively participate in the movement for sustainable and ethical fashion. The fabrics are organic with silk as the main material, in all its forms, silk lace, silk muslin, silk organza, organic cotton, wool. My main concern is to ensure ecological production. All dresses, coats, and capes have handmade details and finishes. This achieves a lower ecological footprint.