Something of a cult figure amongst the fashion and art glitterati, Greek artist Konstantin Kakanias irreverently blends the two worlds together in his animated film, Tependris Rising. Brilliantly bringing to life his longtime alter ego Mrs. Tependris (Kakanias introduced the character in a New York Times Magazine illustrated article, back in 1996), the tongue-in-cheek short prods a firm fashionista finger at our perception of high society, the fashion industry and their obsession with eternal youth.
Emerging from her four year beauty sleep – cryogenic, of course darling – Mrs. Tependris beckons her assistant Pearl and dog Pepe, and teeters off – declaring “I’m going to be a fashion icon again, I need a catwalk”. The animation brings Kakanias’ character to life for the first time, and was commissioned by Co. to accompany their A/W ’12 collection. Featuring caricature versions of fashion’s elite – Anna Wintour, Carine Roitfeld and Andre Leon Talley, amongst others – the Greek artist does a quite splendiferous job interpreting Mrs. Tependris, and lending her his voice.
Kakanias also created a series of drawings to accompany the film – a mix of illustration and caricature – which serve to highlight and question the world’s great obsession with fame, eternal youth and wealth.
I recently got to see the show at the wonderful Rebecca Camhi Gallery in Athens. Set within a splendid neoclassical building in the Metaxougeio district, the exhibition (his fifth at the gallery) will run until 22nd December and, boasting the perfect mix of humour – drawings comprise quotes such as “Oh! The filthy sun, radiation, I can’t bear it” and “Madame are we going to die? No Pearl, to die would be banal!” – and couture aesthetic, is hugely engaging and fabulously presented.