Mary Katrantzou cried when Temple of Poseidon show got approved

Mary Katrantzou

Designer Mary Katrantzou cried when Greek officials gave their approval for her to stage a fashion show at the ancient Temple of Poseidon in Athens.

The Greek fashion designer, who lives and works in London, will present her ready-to-wear spring/summer 2020 collection at the Ancient Greek temple, which is one of the major monuments of the Golden Age of Athens, on Thursday.

The event will mark the first time a designer has ever staged a runway show at the historical site, which is perched above the sea, and will also be the first it's ever been used for a private event, so the 36-year-old was so shocked to get approval for the show that she cried.

"It's very difficult because it needs to be approved by both the Ministry of Culture and KAS (Central Archaeological Council) and that whole process took over six months," Katrantzou told Vogue Australia. "In July we achieved what, by this time, I thought was impossible and got the yes. It was so unexpected I cried and it's the first time in the 10 years I've worked in the fashion industry that I've had that reaction."

KAS, the advisory board that protects ancient monuments and archaeological sites, are famously strict and had previously rejected Gucci's bid to host a fashion show at the Acropolis back in 2017.

Explaining why she wanted to present her show there, Katrantzou said, "You feel completely removed, it's a place where as a teenager I would go and collect my thoughts. Even though it's inundated with tourists now, you really feel connected to the elements. There's no other monument I've visited that's joined to the sky and the sea, and the earth like the Temple of Poseidon."

The designer, who celebrated her label's 10th anniversary last year, believes one of the reasons her bid got approved was because she's working with UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Marianna Vardinoyannis and a proportion of the seats will be available via donation to the philanthropist's organisation, Association of Friends of Children with Cancer (ELPIDA).

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