OLD LACE, NEW LIFE ৷ COLLECTION CONCEPT
This collection explores reclaimed laces sourced in Athens. These laces are historical fragments, each telling a different story, from a different point in time. I think one can assume these laces were largely made by women over various periods which mostly preceded a time where women had many other options of preoccupation. I have rescued over 1,000 laces in recent years that would have otherwise been discarded. I consider Greek laces to constitute a significant part of Greek female heritage.
As sustainability has become more and more central to my work, and also, facing the limits of the second lockdown in 2020, I used what I had to create this collection: stock fabrics and a selection of these laces that I had accumulated. Most Greeks have a προίκα of laces that they have inherited, normally created by or bought by their female ancestors. Currently unpopular and out of fashion, they are often discarded. The laces are finite. Even though they are abundant now, they are largely no longer created and will eventually become scarce. It should also be said that each piece is truly unique, even if multiple women followed the same pattern to create a lace; each hand created a different result. And there are endless designs, created through many techniques.
I hope this collection might create something of a template. At a time when up-cycling is more important than ever, perhaps this can inspire those who have a προίκα of laces to create a new wardrobe out of their overlooked treasures rather than discard them.
This collection is a series of one off sculptural pieces, each design directed by the lace. They are one off pieces, but at the same time template designs for reclaiming similar laces. The integrity of the lace has been honoured and each lace has been grafted into the garment without altering it in any way.
For the background story about this collection concept please see my blog: https://www.elenikyriacou.com/single-post/2020/07/21/collecting-a-history-of-women
Above are examples from Eleni Kyriacou's salvaged lace collection. These examples display laces that have been made using crochet, filet, Venise, bobbin and Tenerife lace techniques.