Olympias, the woman behind Alexander the Great

She is said to have slept with the snakes and nurse the reptiles. The muse of Greek fashion designer Laskaris’ summer 2018 collection is Olympias, the Princess of the Molossian of Epirus, the fourth wife of Philip II, King of the Macedonians, and the mother of Alexander the Great.

The inspiration behind this season’s offering is based on the journey of a strong woman which starts with the birth of Olympias in Pasaronas, an ancient city of Epirus. The collection is embroidered with handmade enamels which are depicted on clothes with dazzled Swarovski while the sandals are traditionally handmade and manufactured by Laskaris. The emblem of Epirus is an oak tree which contributes its green colour to the collection composed of ivory, pastel and bright green in Grecian style.

The story goes that Olympias served in the Oracle of Dodona where she had been initiated into the Bacchanalian Mysteries. Using this as an inspiration, the entire collection is reminiscent of ancient Greek costumes of priestesses combined with pagan music from Greek music band Daemonia Nymphe, which uses reconstructions of ancient instruments and lyrics from ancient Greek, with Bacchic ceremonies and invocations.

Olympias’ life journey then leads us to Samothrace, where the designer Laskaris was born and where Olympias became a priestess of the Kavarion Mysteries. The legend says that Philip II had been initiated into the mysteries, where he met and fell in love with Olympias, in a mystic ritual orgy of Kavarion Mysteries.

The collection is also influenced by the columns of the Temple of Samothrace, where the charismatic Alexander the Great is said to have been conceived, during the ritual. The clothes in this collection are therefore crafted by handmade meanders, destructurised columns and draped with real stones, beams of light, nervir and copper.

It is also said that Olympias told Philip II that Zeus came to her dreams in the form of a snake and left her pregnant with Alexander the Great. This is why it is believed that Alexander the Great was the son of a god and his mother’s mission was to make Alexander the most powerful man on the earth.

The last phase of the collection identifies Olympias as the wife of Phillip II in Pella and in Aigai – today known as Vergina, where the leather, embossed flowers in the wreaths of the collection are influenced by a hymn about Vergina of Macedonia, Greece.

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