Summer in Europe is here and it’s perfect timing for pieces of jewellery inspired by Greece. During Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week we were invited to follow a spiritual thread that drove us back to Greek mythology. French jewellery artist Ariane Chaumeil, the founder of the brand ABE, has launched her Spring Summer ‘18 Collection, which is mainly inspired by Crete and the Greek myth of Ariadne’s thread.
She collaborated with the talented Greek Fashion designer Paris Valtadoros, who designed the ancient Greek white dresses, worn by the models. The project took place at the Maison des Centraliens, hosted by Méphistophélès Productions; a collaboration that made a special impression at Paris Fashion Week.
According to the ancient Greek myth, Minos, King of Crete and Ariadne’s father, in order to punish the Athenians for killing his son Androgeus, declared war on Athens, which he won. He demanded a tribute as follows: every year Athens would send seven maidens and seven youths to Crete, as a sacrifice to the Minotaur.
Theseus, the son of Aegeus, and king of Athens, volunteered to take the place of a young Athenian to put an end to the embarrassing levy of blood. He travelled to Crete, where Ariadne, King Minos' daughter, fell in love with him. She offered to help him conquer the labyrinth and kill the Minotaur, if he would marry her and take her away from Crete. He agreed, so Ariadne gave him a ball of red thread that Theseus unrolled in order to find his way back out. He found the Minotaur deep in the recesses of the labyrinth, killed it with his sword, and followed the thread back to the entrance.
Into the labyrinth of the modern world, Ariane Chaumeil takes the position of Ariadne, and gives the thread that connects people with spiritual nature, for creativity to escape from the Minotaur.
Through her collection, she presents her 14 children, ready to be given to the audience. Inspired by Greek antiquity, she creates pieces influenced by Ancient Greeks, but in a contemporary version that gives personality to pieces that remind us of ancient shoulder-hunters, tall cuffs reaching the fingers, ornate rings and jewels that look like elegant armor skeletons, with golden stitches and scattered on their eyes, exorcising the evil influenced by Naxos; where Theseus finally abandoned her savior, Ariadne and where God Dionysus fell in love with her, made her immortal and married her.
“I am deeply interested in the ancient Greek civilization because without it there would never be civilization for the rest of the world. Even Democracy comes from Greece. How can one not be influenced by a country that has contributed to the development of society on a global scale? I am very fond of ancient mythology and especially intrigued by "the Ariadne’s thread" not only because Theseus with her help was saved and stopped the sacrifices in the Minotaur but also because this story contains many indirectly messages which must be perceived by the modern world. I also enjoyed working with such a remarkable designer from Greece, Paris Valtadoros, who modernised the ancient Greek style of clothes, creating these wonderful dresses that accompanied my jewellery collection. It was one of the best collaborations I've ever had and I thank him for greatly contributing to the excellent result”says Ariane.
Greek designer Paris Valtadoros adds: "The Ariadne theme and the well-known ancient Greek legend of Crete with the Minotaur, inspired me for these airy creations you saw. I wanted the silk white dresses to form the basis, to frame and highlight the special creations of jewellery of ABE by Ariane Chaumeil without losing their character to sketch an imaginary journey to the ancient Greek civilization. I thank her warmly for the harmonious cooperation that we had, and finally I would like to thank the director of the French office Méphistophélès Productions and the Ambassador of Goodwill for Fashion at the Greek Cultural Diplomacy Institute, Mrs. Ada Iliopoulou for the opportunity that she gave me to participate in this very interesting project.”
In the next few years, we will see the evolution of this collaboration between the two talented designers in Mykonos and in Athens. According to the ancient Myth, moreover, for someone to escape from whatever Labyrinth of life, there is always a solution... the mind and the creative self.
* Photos by Mathias PaltriéforMéphistophélès Productions (Copyright)