Twenty-two-year-old recent graduate from Leeds Arts University, Iphigenia, showcases her fashion brand ‘Orthodixia’ in the York Fashion Week Student and Graduates runway show. Being half Greek herself, Iphigenia displays her love and passion for her Greek heritage through her work which celebrates Greek culture, “keeping a bit of her in the brand”. The collection is based on Greek beliefs and symbols, with the vision of creating a new light for ancient Greek traditions by offering a refreshing modern twist. She has already featured some of her work in catwalks, Leeds Drag Show and also Glasgow Refugee show.
Iphigenia argues that Greek mythology is overly used and aims to discover “new parts of Greek” throughout her work. She explores the story behind her name since in Greece it is common for individuals to be named after a Saint. She also delves into Greek name days, a day of commemoration of the Saint by the Greek Orthodox Church. Iphigenia asserts that she is careful not to offend the Greek Orthodox Church at all through her ideas and her work and makes it clear that her intentions do not involve rewriting any beliefs or traditions. With the brand logo as the Evil Eye, Iphigenia hopes to educate people on the real meanings behind symbols such as the hamsa hand and Evil Eye that are popularly used in mainstream, trending design patterns in the fashion industry and spread awareness about the reasoning and history behind these concepts. For example, the reasoning behind the Evil Eye is the protection against evil thoughts. She puts forward the idea of how many people utilise these symbols for aesthetical purposes yet are not actually aware of what they mean/ where they are from.
Iphigenia strongly believes that originality is key, using fashion as a tool to express oneself fully and trying not to follow the crowd by adopting popular trends. She places a large emphasis on the idea of creating clothing sustainably with the use of upcycling garments throughout her work. In her spare time, she enjoys sourcing items from charity shops, favouring the recycling and upcycling of clothing as opposed to buying from stores or fast fashion companies. She aims to keep her work as ethical and sustainable as possible by creating versatile pieces that are mainly created from recycled materials.
Iphigenia has big visions for her brand for the future and remains busy at work with the hope to eventually release small clothing drops of collections for her brand. She plans to produce items such as corsets, tops and blazers. While also aspiring to take a couture route with her work, her biggest dream is to create a high-end brand and she is currently planning to hire a seamstress.
Words by Molly Bramham