Κυριακή, 17 Μαΐου 2009

Cute Little Places around the Block

Lately I’ve been trying to spot all those cute little clothing stores, which import clothes from all over the world, scattered around my city. Sometimes found hidden inside big malls or others in peaceful streets - each of them being unique and different, they adorn the places they are found at. Built with extra attention paid to detail, they clearly show that they belong to artistic people with refined taste that have minded keeping everything stylish – from the label to the doormat and up to their last hanger. What is the best part? Why the clothes of course!

You are sure not to come across trash. It’s those places that give you the feeling that you actually like everything! Every piece is tasteful; making profound it was chosen separately and with much attention paid. Each of them is different and has a personality of its own like only handmade clothes do – let alone in many cases they actually are handmade!

To make it clearer, imagine big-chain clothing stores (like H&M, Zara etc); well it’s the exact opposite! There the clothes are massively produced and distributed all over the world. There is no room for personal touch, as the clothes need to be produced in big numbers and in plain designs in order to satisfy the majority’s taste and need. I am not implying I do not have lots and lots of such clothing or that I do not buy from those huge clothing stores. One of the main reasons I do is that their prices are actually quite low – far lower than those of the small shops. Also, they make good basic parts for the wardrobe, once again due to their low price and casual lines.

However, have you ever considered that maybe buying from big-chain stores actually makes you spend more than buying from more expensive stores? How many times have you ended up with a bucket of clothes just because “they were in such a good price!” and in fact hardly ever worn them? I won’t even try to touch the subject of how hurtful over-consuming is to the whole environment, world, society, human and what so ever, as it would require pages and pages and we would be carried totally out of subject. However, it is a very serious matter to consider at this point. I guess what I am trying to say is that buying from a more expensive store makes you more thoughtful economically and less consuming. Your buys are more conscious, selective and successful since you put extra thought into them. Let alone the clothes are of a far better quality and design. In addition, you also get to support small businessmen that do their job out of personal desire and not huge impersonal companies that give no guarantee of the way they treat their employees.

So go get that a-bit-more-pinched-at-price dress you’ve been drooling for. Most probably it will repay you both by making you feel great while wearing and by preventing you from buying those others that you weren’t actually dying for but… “Oh well they were so much cheaper!”

Παρασκευή, 1 Μαΐου 2009

So What Do you think about Fashion?

It always comes as a big surprise to me seeing how much difference there is between mine and other people’s opinion on fashion. The two main points I usually come across are the following. In one case they have acquired a slavish attitude towards fashion, worshiping unreasonably high-priced designer’s clothing and trying to fill in psychological gaps with them. Over at the other hand, they are more of fashion rejecters – totally looking down on everyone who would pay even the least attention to what he wraps his body around with. Either point is just a misinterpretation of fashion – if you ask me – since fashion is something quite more simple and quite more important.

Fashion, as seen through my eyes, is a way of expression and the different ways of expression consist of Art. How is it different from creating a painting the way you are getting dressed? Making an outfit has to do with aesthetics, mixing the colors in a way that looks good to you, choosing the different parts in a way that represents you. Represents your special touch, your current mood, or even the way you think. Now, can you find too much difference in all that from creating that painting? In both cases, there is that need to say something by using different ways, other than that of words. There is a wordless dialogue taking place. And what is more? In the case of this particular painting - the one of how you are getting dressed I mean, you are dealing with having to carry it on you all day!

David Bowie, when asked about fashion once, said that the way you dress shows the way you want others to perceive you. I think the whole meaning of fashion is summed up in that phrase. Because if you come to think about it… Managing to bring into balance your inner and outer self is another step towards self-awareness and finding your style is a way to achieve that, isn’t it?

Τετάρτη, 15 Απριλίου 2009

From dots to flowers

I want to share with you a thing that keeps happening to me every year. It’s a mystery really how, like nature’s transformations, I go through my very own transformation by the changing of the season. Before you think I am some kind of lunatic that thinks she grows wings during spring, I have to clarify that I am speaking of a stylistic transformation. Let me be more exact.

Every winter I am into pin-up and vintage clothing, with dominant colors being the contrast of black and white and costars being vivid ones, like red or yellow. I am dying to lay hands on every pair of Mary Jane doll style shoes and never consider it too much or unnecessary buying another item with polka dots and stripes, such as a dress or a silk scarf. In contrast, as soon as spring makes its first appearance I start feeling like yellows and browns. I want floral prints, wooden platforms, accessories from natural materials! I turn more into a boho queen or a romantic 70’s butterfly. Now you are probably thinking “Big deal!” since the ones I mentioned are the leading trends for each season and every store is stuffed with clothing of those styles. However, before rushing into judging me unfairly, I have to tell you that the difference is that I am not doing it consciously. It’s more like a subconscious procedure taking place in my head. To support my point a bit further I have to tell you that this kept happening to me even before I knew how to name those styles or that they even belonged to a style category!

To conclude, since my flowers and bees period is approaching I thought I’d share with you some pieces I am currently drooling for! Check them out and see if you are actually changing skin along with me this time…

Τετάρτη, 8 Απριλίου 2009

Shoes in plastic - it’s fantastic and vegan!

When I first laid eyes on a Melissa’s plastic pair of shoes, my first thought was “Barbie must have started being produced in real life dimensions, since those shoes are definitely doll shoes!” – could you think of anyone else wearing a pair of pink plastic oxfords around the city? Then I noticed they kept popping up more and more on magazine pages supported by big designers’ names (Vivienne Westwood, Alexandre Herchcovitch, etc..), plus they could be found in extremely interesting styles like peep toes or platforms and sandals. However, it wasn’t until I found out more information about the brand Melissa, which produces them, that they utterly won me over.

Melissa’s factory, located in Brazil, works under very ethical right conditions, as its employees are getting paid above average wages and benefits and the shoes devoid of any animal products. In addition, both products and waste are 99% recyclable and the factory often recycles overstock in order to produce next season’s collection. The plastic the shoes are made of is hypoallergenic and 100% safe to your health, odorless and extremely flexible. Even better? The shoes go through a procedure, when heated that gives them a bubble-gummy smell!

If there is one thing that makes me gazing future with hope is seeing fashion heading towards more eco-conscious directions and in this case it did so and provided very pleasing results. Those plastic treats have an 80’s sense of style about them – that is a total must for the season, plus incredible originality and ecological conscience.

As for me, I think I am going for a pair of these electric blue wedges. Aren’t they yummy?

All photos taken from

Πέμπτη, 2 Απριλίου 2009

Athens Fashion Week – but are you a fashion person?

Last week, March 26 to March 29, Athens fashion week was taking place at “Technopolis” in Gazi. I couldn’t resist the temptation to go check it out, even though I didn’t have an invitation for a fashion show, but only got disappointed. For some reason I expected it to have more events in order to get you a little involved, even if you couldn’t watch a show. Maybe it was that big, welcoming-to-all advertisement, that had been popping up every here and there the previous weeks, that fooled me.

In fact things were quite different. The only things you could do, if you didn’t hold an invitation, was to see a photo exhibition, with very few and quite irrelevant to the subject – if you ask me – photographs and a very small boutique, where you could buy designers’ clothes at a retail price. Maybe I am the cranky one here, but I believe you should be able to see a show if you want to, even if that means you have to pay for it. Fashion refers to people, is inspired by people and thus should let people be involved with it. Not only fashion people, they do not sell to each other anyway now, do they? But enough with the nagging because, at least, one good thing came out of this...

While browsing the clothes at the boutique I found out of a very remarkable designer that I didn’t know of until then. His name is Avdantil and he is Georgian. I couldn’t choose between his great clothes and I fell in love with almost all of his dresses. Most of them were in black and white or beige and although the textiles were of a very good quality (such as silk and organza), the prices were very low and the look very accessible. Take a taste of his work in case you don’t know him from his spring-summer 2008 collection…

See what I mean about the dresses? Let alone the fact that I am still wondering how I came back home without this one:

Πέμπτη, 26 Μαρτίου 2009

Fur Collar

I’m totally into fur collars lately… I absolutely disliked them at first, they kind of made me think of old ladies, with weird feathery hats, tiny dogs in their lap and quilted bags hanging with long golden chains from their shoulders. Grandma style, in simple worlds. It’s very ironic though, how most of the times, when I dislike something, I end up being crazy about it! Same thing happened to me with platforms, pearl jewelry, huge shades, mushrooms – oops irrelevant, but still you get the point! – and the list could go on and on and on!
Since the way we look at things, has to do with experiences we have had so far, it often just takes one little new one to change our whole point of view. My reason for recanting this time is this jacket I found at Forever21. At first I was like “Not bad... But it does have to lose that fur collar!”, then I started getting fonder and fonder of it, until I came to like it MOSTLY for it’s collar! Now isn’t that a change of perspective or what?

I currently see fur collars as totally stylish and able to give a touch of elegance to a coat without the need of a scarf or anything like that. Just check those out that I found on ShopStyle, yummy!

However, since I am so short on money at the moment, buying a new jacket is out of the question. I will just stick into grabbing Markellos – Markellos is my chinchilla - and checking out if he looks good on my coat since he is the closest I have to fur…

By the way, I do have to say I am totally anti – real fur. The only way I could get into having real fur on me, is if Markellos actually decided to stay on my coat for the whole night long! It’s really beyond me why people would choose to kill and torture other living beings just in order to look chic, at least in their eyes (because they look sick, if you ask me) and ESPECIALLY when they do have the choice of picking fake. If isn’t that bloodthirstiness, cruelty and arrogance then what is?

Τρίτη, 24 Μαρτίου 2009

The day I fell in love with a cardigan

First of all, let me put up the scenery for you. It’s quite simple actually… Big glass shop window, breathtaking beige cashmere cardigan with ridiculously high price inside, love-stricken me standing on the outside, tension in the air … and that is how that love story started!
“Oh no, here come the butterflies” I mumbled while holding my stomach and while my eyes were lustily feeding from the sight. Loose straight lines in an ethereal cashmere woollen cloth that seemed even cuddlier than Thomas - your first teddy bear! It was closing all the way down with flower-shaped white buttons, which made a wonderful contrast with the cardigan’s rich creamy color and had that delicate deep champagne silken belt tying around the waist. That piece of clothing was the revival of romanticism, not just a simple cardigan!
I pictured it in my wardrobe. Oh it could match everything! I was having flash images with it hugging perfectly my comfortable tees, dancing eloquently with my dresses and vintage high-heels, accompanying my skinny jeans and shorts, it was a pure phantasmagoria! It started growing in me so badly that all my other clothes felt alone and incomplete without it. By then I knew I had found my new amigo, a partner to share sheer moments of the highest stylistic expression! That cardigan would become an extension of my very own personality. Of course I was exaggerating, isn’t that what love is all about anyway?
At that point and in between my messed up thoughts I discriminated the salesgirl’s freaked out look from inside the shop, watching me standing there with my jaw dropped and eyes wide open. I felt embarrassed, put on my big shades and left, but unfortunately the cardigan’s idea followed me all the way back home...
I am sure you realize by now that I had to make that thing mine, which consequently, would lead to my getting ripped of every penny I could lay hands on for quite some time and on top of it all, there was also that god-forsaken rent that had to be paid! Two days of psychological struggling passed and I was almost defeated, already feeling guilty towards the landlord and changing direction whenever we crossed roads. Yes, her rent-money would become cardigan, but it was inevitable, I honestly couldn’t help it since I was totally left helpless in the mercy of my beige obsession…
The next morning I decided it was about time I went and committed my crime. A woman’s got to do what she’s got to do anyway. I put on a different coat and pair of shades this time, since there was no need to feel extra bad if the salesgirl recognized the silly-staring woman from the other day. Quite childish I know, it’s things like that that make me feel I will never grow past 19, at least mentally…
I entered the shop with the same feeling as when you dip a spoon in a piece of chocolate cake after a week of diet, both full of guilt and craving! I asked anxiously for a cardigan like that at my size fearing that she wouldn’t be able to find one, as it usually happens in situations like that. Thankfully she did find one and came back with it, “ My karma hasn’t decided to get back at me just yet” I thought. I took off my coat and grabbed it. My eyes were seeing little stars twinkling from all the excitement. It was, as I expected, extra soft to the touch and the color seemed even better at a closer distance. Then I put it on…Big pause…
You mean and spiteful, cursed mirror! Are you kidding me? The thing looked hideous on me… At first, I wasn’t ready to admit it but it was terrible, it looked like a huge empty shack hanging on me, plus it was a bit tight at the shoulders making me feel like a robot when moving. Totally unflattering is the least I can say. I could see myself in that, 40 years from now, sitting by the fireplace and narrating stories to my grandchildren! Duh! I took it off and gave it back to the salesgirl that, even her, didn’t make any comments at all, she was just staring with a polite smile on her face the whole time.
“You didn’t like it very much miss?” she said, “Yeah, it wasn’t very flattering on me” I said with a prince-turned-into-a-frog disappointment on my face “ but thank you very much..” I continued and then left the shop. I guess that landlord is taking her money after all, that evil little cute old lady has her own way into always taking what she wants, I was thinking while walking back home. Don’t take it personally Mrs. Roberts somebody had to be blamed for all that disappointment, apart from me of course.
Note to self: (Because every story has a lesson to teach you!) Next time you feel head over heels for someone or something don’t be fooled! Most probably it’s a creation of your own wild imagination… At least, when it comes to clothes you usually find out faster than you do with people!
P.S. This story is fictional and does not depict any actual person or event, any resemblance to existing people and events is purely coincidental (do not want to get any cardigan's feelings hurt..). Thank you!