Chilikova’s deep and creative connection with the land is evident in her Meteora collection. Her use of natural fabrics such as cotton and silk draw us closer to the earth. But going further than this, Chilikova offers us a deep relationship with the earth and its elements through her use of natural, simple and ancient techniques. Burying the fabrics in the ground with various metallic elements both ages and stains them, producing unique and beautiful prints that capture our imagination and draw us closer to the land in which they were made. In this way, the dramatic designs take on an identity and a story of their own; they become part of the landscape and history of the place.
Believing strongly that ‘place’ can make us who we are, both in terms of its culture and its unique personality, Chilikova draws significantly on her Greek roots to create the Meteora collection. In fact, her deep spiritual connection with her homeland is the inspiration for her SS16 collection. In these garments we see architectural patterns that remind us of the bold, robust and multi-layered constructions of Greek Orthodox churches and monasteries, each built securely into the earth and each rising from it to create striking silhouettes against the sky. The stone and wood structures of the monasteries seem to soar heavenwards as if they were almost suspended in the air, reminding us of the fragility of the monks’ humble and traditional way of life.
The significant elements that define the Meteora collection include votive symbols, which throughout history have drawn people closer to God. Indeed, votive and religious symbolism is at the heart of Chilikova’s innovative collection. Composed of clerical cassocks, Chilikova focuses on the eyes in her design – both in archaic and Christian terms. The eyes represent vision and they allow us to appreciate the natural world around us, but they can also force us to ask spiritual questions about what our place is in the world, why we are here and what our purpose might be. Through her flowing, layered and architectural designs, Chilikova gifts us with a deep sense of religiosity but also an unbreakable bond with the land.