Filep Motwary talks to Yatzer

published in: Fashion, Interviews By Costas Voyatzis, 12 October 2009

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Images courtesy of Filep Motwary, Mara Desypri, John Mitropoulos
© photo-collage by Costas Voyatzis for

Filep Motwary is an inspiration and a break through from the ordinary in the world of Fashion. He was born in Cyprus and has worked both in front and behind the scenes of Couture.  Some of his accomplishments entail being a stylist at the Greek edition of L'Officiel, assistant designer for Athenian Couturier Loukia, and an intern fashion designer for John Galliano, Christian Dior and Chloe.

Since 2005 he has been collaborating with the much talented Jewelry Designer Maria Mastori, creating structural fashion wonders and nostalgic originalities. Together with Mastori they have already presented five successful collections at Hellenic Fashion Week. Twice a year, he is the Editor of the Fashion issue of "Isterografo", a supplement that comes with "Phileleftheros", the most respected Cypriot newspaper. 

And last but not least he is the father of the much celebrated Fashion Blog "uN nOUVEAU iDEAL" since 2005.  A blog where we have the opportunity to capture the world of Couture through his eyes and read some of his interviews and fashion reviews!  Finaly one of the latest additions to his CV came in June 2009, when Motwary was offered a blog/collaboration with world renowned magazine THE POP.  As you can see in this case accomplishments are bigger than words.

green dress for VOTRE BEAUTE // OVERTONE CONTINUUM // Filep Motwary * Maria Mastori // S/S 2007
styling: Nicholas Georgiou

© photo by Mara Desypri

/////////////  All in all, the word "talented" fits like a glove to the name Filep Motwary.
His creations have a strong identity, they are inspiring and we can say for sure that
he is a creator not a follower.

PARIS BALCAN // Filep Motwary * Maria Mastori // F/W 2009-10
Clothes: Filep Motwary (except jacket by Deaux Hommes)
Jewellery: Maria Mastori
Make Up: Manos Vinychakis
styling: Sissy Souvatzoglou
© photo by Costas Avgoulis

Filep you are a Fashion Designer, Blogger, Illustrator, Photographer and a Journalist. How do you combine all these professions?
I see it as a combination of dishes...Like when you go to a nice restaurant and you have a salad, first course, main, dessert and a fine glass of wine. They are all necessary stages of a fine experience.
In my case, I devote myself in everything that has to do with fashion and I share it with my readers. The information I offer is accurate and most of the times it is material that I have photographed, articles that I have written, information that I researched; or conversations I had with people who interest me. You may have noticed that I used a lot the word “I”
This is because blogging is a completely personal platform that connects me with people of same interests without necessarily forcing me to have physical interaction with anyone. Since I am a real loner.
There is a great number of phony fashion blogs around though but a good fashion lover can tell when he reads a good fashion blog.

Still from SOPHIA THE FILM by Janos Visnyovszky
PARIS BALCAN // Filep Motwary * Maria Mastori // F/W.2009-10
The film was part of Diane Pernet's ASVOFF 2009  festival in Paris
© photo by Filep Motwary

From your blog *uN nOUVEAU iDEAL*, you discovered a talent which was well hidden inside you and that is no other than photography.  How important is photography in the world of fashion and who is your favorite photographer?
I don’t know how good my photography is, but thank you.
Fashion Photography is a way to inspire people, sell the new collections and at the same time reflect the epoch we are in. Fashion Magazines are the History Books of the future.
A number of current photographers touch me, each for different reasons. It’s actually a long list so I will not be precise about them. But, I will never get over Helmut Newton, Deborah Tuberville and Ortiz Echague

Sophia Kokosalaki  * Vassilis Zoulias
© photo by Filep Motwary

(left) clothes by Yiorgos Eleftheriades
© photo by Filep Motwary
(right) clothes by Filep Motwary
© photo by Filep Motwary

© photo by Filep Motwary

Where does creativity start?
It starts when you can’t sleep at night, counting the hours to get your hands working with materials that will give you a 3D form or result.

I once read the following phrase, which you have said, "I tend to choose those who are hard to be reached. Not because they are snobbish, but only for the fact that they work hard and what they do is, in a way, the future of what we call fashion."  From all the personalities which you have interviewed, among them are - Antonio Beradri, Charles Anastase, Diane Pernet, Dries Van Noten, Jean Charles de Castelbajac, Juergen Teller, Rick Owens, Veronique Branquinho, Viktor & Rolf, Yiorgos Eleftheriades, Zoren & Minori, which was the hardest interview and why was that?
I am thankful that all these wonderful creators gave me some of their precious time.
What matters for me is only the result, not the procedure. For example for Jackie Nickerson’s interview, I waited for a whole year until she responded. When she finally did, it was like my request was sent to her only the previous day. It didn’t matter.

Diane Pernet & Filep Motwary
Image courtesy of Filep Motwary

In 2004 you went to Paris where you spent one year of your life.  The first week that you landed foot in the City of Light, you went after an internship at LANVIN.  How did you react when you were informed that your application was rejected because during that period you were no longer a student?
Yes and this is almost 6 years ago. My psycho synthesis is not the same as it was. Back then I cried, and I cried badly on a bench at Place du Republique. Now I would go and buy myself a soft drink, smoke a cigarette and start making new plans. You know, at the time no one would have imagined that Lanvin would be among the King Fashion Houses of today. But I loved what Elbaz did since he was at YSL and I really wanted to work for him.
And the next question would be no other than how important were the internships in which you were accepted and was working for five months of your life with John Galliano, Christian Dior and four months at Chloe?
They were as important as they sound.

Loukia // interview on October 30th 2008 in IMERISIA Greece
© photo by Nikos Vardakastanis

Before you took off for Paris you worked for five years next to Athenian Couturier Loukia (1999-2004); during that period you also met jewelry designer Maria Mastori.  Would you ever imagine that after your return from Paris in 2005 you would collaborate with Mastori and have five successful collections at the Hellenic Fashion Week together since then?  
While at Loukia, things were different between Maria and myself. I would only see her during the pre-fashion show days. We never had our collaboration planned in the first place. It all began when I got back from Paris, when I proposed to make the costumes for a jewellery show that Maria was preparing. It was a success so here we are today, still together, almost five years later.
When I returned from France, some people treated me as the guy who failed and it was pretty hard. Only Maria continuously believed in me and I thank her for that.

self portrait of Filep Motwary &  Maria Mastori by Filep Motwary
Images courtesy of Filep Motwary

If you had to describe the "Parisian year" of your life with one word, which word would it be and why?
Truth” It was the moment when I realized what the business of fashion is all about, I saw my strength as a young creative individual and also who my real friends were. I discovered my abilities and also I killed the myth of my father.
What do you mean by saying that you killed the myth of your father?
I realized that he was not important in my life. He had never been.

Filep Motwary * Maria Mastori //  S/S.2009
Clothes and shoes: Filep Motwary
Jewellery: Maria Mastori
Make Up: Yiorgos Chatzioannides
styling : Alex Kavvadias
© photo by Harris Kyprianou

Vier Fuchse Vor Fuchsbau // Filep Motwary * Maria Mastori // S/S-2009
© photo by Harris Kyprianou

So far what have been the highlights of your career?
I don’t know. There is a number of achievements, some important, some less..
The latest collection of "Filep Motwary + Maria Mastori" for S/S 2010 is entitled "SARKA" (eng. FLESH). Would you tell us some words about your inspiration?
It came from X-RAY machines and the transformation of the female figure through skin tone fluid fabrics.

SARKA // Filep Motwary * Maria Mastori // S/S-2010
graphic design: Filep Motwary
© photo by Filep Motwary

SARKA // Filep Motwary * Maria Mastori // S/S-2010
© photo by John Mitropoulos

In the protoplast world, would you dress people up with fig leaves or would you choose something else?
Well, the history of that is already so romantic and poetic. There is no necessity of changing it.
In one of your blog's reviews on Croatian designer Damir Doma you wrote that you would wear his entire collection.  May I assume that he is your favorite  from the younger breed of designers?  Apart from Doma, which other designer’s clothing would you wear?  
He is my favorite of menswear designers. I think he is very-very special.
From other labels, I like wearing t-shirts from C.D.G (Comme des Garçons) and some special pieces by Maison Martin Margiela. The rest of my wardrobe is about clothes that I find here and there. I am not as obsessed as I was in the past. It doesn’t matter so much anymore.

SAME TIME TOMORROW // Filep Motwary * Maria Mastori // S/S-2008
© photo by Filep Motwary


SAME TIME TOMORROW // Filep Motwary * Maria Mastori // S/S-2008
© photo by Yiorgos Mavropoulos

total look for VOTRE BEAUTE // SAME TIME TOMORROW // Filep Motwary * Maria Mastori // S/S-2008
Clothes: Filep Motwary
Jewellery: Maria Mastori
styling: Nicholas Georgiou
© photo by Thanasis Krikis

Tell us a piece of clothing or accessory with which you were obsessed with when you were young, and you are very ashamed of it today.
None! I was always proud of what I was wearing. Wait, yes there’s one thing. But never mind…
What was the most embarrassing moment in your life up till now?
Well, when people misspell my name or when they assume that I have changed it to make it sound international. I am not Greek. I am half Syrian, half Cypriot and it was my father who chose my name.
I love my name.
Which movie would you like to personally have “dressed” // fashion-wise?
Orlando by Sally Potter. I will never get over that film. Never!

Historically speaking which piece of clothing do you find overestimated // Napoleon’s hat, Marilyn’s white dress, Audrey’s black Givenchy, or Elvis’s Hawaiian shirts?  
Audrey’s. The only correct black dress was in “Suddenly Last Summer” worn by Elisabeth Taylor.
You are going for a weekend “somewhere” and you have to invite seven people who inspire you, dead or alive, to join you. Where would you go and who would they be?
Maria Mastori, Paloma Picasso, Diane Pernet, Anais Nin, Kristen Mc Menamy, Meryl Streep and Marie Antoinette because we share the same birth date. Also, I would have my mother with me, because it doesn’t count.  Maybe at my grandma’s house for some barbeque and to hear her narrate stories of the past century.

Describe how you would imagine your life ten years from today.
Owning a magazine, a real bible of fashion.

DUBROVNIK //  Filep Motwary * Maria Mastori S/S.2010
© photo by Sonny Vandevelde

NOW I KNOW YOU KNOW //  Filep Motwary * Maria Mastori F/W.2008
© photo by Angelos Rassias

NOW I KNOW YOU KNOW //  Filep Motwary * Maria Mastori F/W.2008
© photo by Filep Motwary

Josephine wearing clothes from "SAME TIME TOMORROW" // Filep Motwary * Maria Mastori // S/S-2008
© photo by Filep Motwary

L'OFFICIEL // Filep Motwary * Maria Mastori // S/S.2007
Dress and hat: Filep Motwary
Necklace: Maria Mastori
© photo by Mara Desypri

total look for ELLE magazine , Greek edition // ???????????? // Filep Motwary * Maria Mastori // S/S 2007
Clothes: Filep Motwary
Jewellery: Maria Mastori
styling: Anna Z
© photo by Costas Coutayiar

© illustration-collage by Filep Motwary



  • friend
    discolata | 2009-10-13 00:05:36

    may I just say WOW.

  • friend
    Stella B | 2009-10-14 02:04:35

    This guy is good, very good!

  • friend
    PanKos | 2009-10-17 20:15:09

    Filep is a diamond which glimpse distracts you while walking in the athenian swamp

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