Di Petsa’s Spring/Summer 2024 Ready-To-Wear Collection

Dimitra Petsa’s spring collection explored the notion of love. But it wasn’t anything to do with the unconditional type from parents—it was about the intricate journey of self-love and coping with the complexities of adult relationships, including love’s inevitable losses and the healing that follows. She looked to her heritage for inspiration from ancient Greek mythology—in particular the goddess Aphrodite. “In culture and films she’s depicted as a hyper-sexualized deity, but if you read deeper into her experiences, they are full of hardships and emotions in a very human way,” the designer said at a preview.

The show, held at the Old Selfridges Hotel, began with a performance depicting the birth of Aphrodite, emerging from the ocean. A model, initially semi-nude, was surrounded by dancers in white halter-neck dresses symbolizing the sea’s waves, with Petsa herself among them. As the dance unfolded, the Aphrodite figure was then gracefully propelled down the runway to embark on a metaphorical journey of life. Petsa elaborated, “It represents the way one’s body becomes increasingly sexualized as you grow up, thrusting you out into the world to experience and discover self-love.”

The mood embodied a goddess fantasy with cut-out dresses of varying lengths and lashings of gold details throughout. Hand-knitted cream seafoam-inspired minidresses created an alluring, disheveled-yet-refined look from cotton offcuts. A coral off-the-shoulder minidress with a draped, ruched skirt was particularly striking. Elsewhere, gold lamé draped the body with peekaboos, fashioning seductive dresses.

Previously, Petsa explored concepts surrounding the pregnant body and its symbolic meanings. She crafted a pregnant belly from clay for spring, designed to hold wine and equipped with handles, reminiscent of a Greek vase. Petsa explained, “It revolves around the idea of feeding your own self-growth and being pregnant with yourself.”

As the show progressed, the idea of breaking and healing was depicted through the garments—“like piecing back a broken heart,” said Petsa. Form-fitting gowns in ivory and nude featured cut outs with lace-up details on the sides and back, emulating corsetry, as well as a Greek statue wrapped in fabric and string for cargo shipping. A hand-drawn graphic of the body was digitally printed onto waist-cinching column dresses made from bamboo fabric.

Petsa’s enduring wet-look dresses, a long-time and often-imitated signature, here took the form of two-piece sets with low-slung maxi skirts and off-the-shoulder gowns featuring extreme thigh-high slits. As a whole, Petsa is confidently finding her stride and expanding her repertoire without compromising her design language.

This article was originally published on Vogue Runway.

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