I recently had the opportunity to meet a very talented artist, because to call Angelo Lambrou simply a fashion designer, would not give him due credit.
I love clothes, especially eveningwear, so I particularly enjoy opening The New York Times newspaper each morning during fashion week in February to see what the designers are creating in the world of fashion. Unfortunately, be it Milan, New York, Paris or São Paulo, many of the clothes on the runways, while certainly creative, would be a challenge to most women wearing them. Would you really want to look like you were wearing a birdcage as an item of clothing, I, most certainly do not!
When my friend, Klio, raved about Angelo Lambrou, www.angelolambrou.com, I was intrigued and arranged a meeting with him in February 2005 at his New York Atelier and Showroom in the East Village of New York. Sitting on a comfortable sofa adorned with a sea of pillows, with African pop music by the band Mafikizolo playing in the background which seemed almost like deja-vu (since Edward F. Nesta wrote about Mafikizolo in Music Scene), we discussed Mr. Lambrou’s background, over a cup of Brazilian coffee. Mr. Lambrou, who is a Greek/Cypriot, was born in Zimbabwe and now divides his time between New York and Botswana. He was the first designer to come out of Botswana, and believes that “in order to achieve something, you have to work for it.” He is an artist that has dreams. He uses his international background as creative inspiration for his designs. He is an enthusiastic charmer, who is fairly bursting with energy and design ideas. When he was growing up, he first thought he wanted to be an architect, then later decided to switch to a career in fashion design because he “wanted to be famous.” So, he studied fashion design at the very competitive Leggats Academy of Fashion in Johannesburg, where 150 students enrolled and only 40 of them graduated, of which Angelo was one of them. He had a great teacher in the legendary Archie Leggats, and after graduating, went on for advanced coursework at St. Martins in London, and it has certainly paid off.
When I first entered the Showroom and saw Mr. Lambrou’s designs, I fell in love with them. He has 3 distinct lines of designer clothing: designer-wear beaded, eveningwear and alternative bridal wear. His clothes are dreamy confections and are definitely sexy and feminine without being too frou-frou, and have unexpected details like hand-sewn Indian beads and Swarovski crystals, and angel-hair thin shoulder straps that temptingly defy gravity. His designs are like a perfume, in that they adapt to each person who wears them. He creates gorgeous clothes with an edge using silk fabric designs that float when the wearer moves, and are lined in silk charmeuse. While other designers use silk charmeuse as a top fabric, clever Mr. Lambrou lines his designs in this sensuous fabric. Imagine how that would feel snuggled up against your body. His beaded wear is deconstructed, sexy, and the beads are hand-sewn. His eveningwear has flirty little details and come in a gorgeous array of tantalizing colors. He effectively layers different colors to maximize their impact, as well as combines contrasting colors to create very wearable luxurious clothing. His alternative bridal wear is elegant without being stuffy, and would be equally at home in a cathedral or at a destination wedding. Intricate details, some of which have an art-deco appeal, and his bias-cut designs, remind me of Angelo’s first love of architecture, which he successfully uses in his creations.
In addition to his New York Atelier/Showroom, he also has a showroom in Johannesburg. Little-by-little, the word about Angelo Lambrou and his designs is spreading. Celebrities, including Maria Bello, Goldie Hawn, Selma Hayek, Patti LaBelle, Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, Jules Asner, Mya and Gail O’Grady have been showing up at high-profile events in Angelo Lambrou designs. His designs will now also be carried in Kleinfeld Bridal stores around the United States. In addition to his ready-to-wear line of designs, he also creates custom designs for his clients. If you are tired of looking like everyone else, the next time you are looking for a special dress try one of Angelo Lambrou’s designs. Hurry, though, this artist is definitely on the way to the top!
Johannesburg, South Africa
By Appointment Only
Selebi Phikwe, Botswana
By Appointment Only
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