It’s becoming a pattern. The beginning of autumn is about the only time of the year when I seem to write about fashion, except for my designer interviews and for the one regular style series on the blog, which are about expressing my love for fashion through featuring real women wearing real clothes. Long gone are the days when I was blogging, quite religiously I may add, about fashion. But despite my total lack of interest in the fashion shows (I think I have not viewed one single runway collection in almost two years, nor have I felt the desire to) and in penning my thoughts on anything much related to fashion, I still love it. I think it’s just that my interest has shifted towards a different kind of approach to it, more mature, more balanced, more lived-in (hello, motherhood and mid-thirties!).
You know what I mean? I may go to the playground in the park in the morning, but still enjoy dressing up for the evening. I still love a good pair of heels, but don’t take myself too seriously (and usually go for flats – honestly, I hadn’t worn heels in almost a year when I finally put them on again last week when I attended a few screenings during the American Independent Film Festival here in town). The bottom line is, I like to look lovely and cool and not need to apologize for it. And I think every woman that I admire (many of them not working in fashion; and those who happen to work in fashion, I admire for making fashion on their own terms) will admit to that. Because you know what? “Looking good isn’t self-importance, it’s self-respect,” said Charles Hix. These are some of the words I live by. And, yes, feeling put together and elegant does wonders to the psyche, too.
That said, I don’t need to know the trends to know what looks good and what looks good on me. And if I am to seek inspiration, I’d rather take it from the daily life (and maybe try to please my two-year-old son, too, along the way – he makes me change my t-shirt if he doesn’t like it, and does not stand me wearing sunglasses, so he makes me take them off, takes my face in his little hands and makes me look him in the eyes for a few seconds and then runs off happily), from the movies I watch, or turn to old fashion magazines (how is it that I find old editorials much more relatable than the latest ones?) and fashion books. Because any person with a decent amount of common sense and a little sense of style will manage to put this kind of inspiration into practice, and look modern, put-together, effortless,… herself.
So I’ll get myself some fine tailoring, a menswear inspired trench and a smattering of herringbone tweed for good measure, seek pleasure in the comfort of my most priceless and comfortable sweater on the cloudiest of days, overdose on wearing grey (my favourite colour) head-to-toe, and not give up looking for that perfect camel shawl. And if we are to talk trends, let’s invent our own: wear clothes that make us feel good. That is something worth cheering every single day.
It’s about writing your own story. And speaking of stories, I am going to tell you one about my favourite jewellery store in the world. I am not much of a jewellery person, but: 1) for a few years I have been developing a thing for bracelets; and, 2) if there is still a part of shopping that I enjoy, it’s bracelet hunting everywhere I go. My encounter with KIPKH store (the name means Life with A Path in Greek) took place three years ago, during my vacation in Syvota, Greece. Among the multitude of more or less kitschy souvenir shops, this concept store stood alone. I was immediately taken with its charm and beautiful selection of genuine art, from jewellery to ceramics, hand-made by Greek artists.
This year, on our way back from Corfu island, we specially took a detour to Syvota to pay another visit to the shop. Not only did I find another bracelet which I fell in love with (see second and third photos above)(actually, I wish I could have bought the dozen of different bracelets I fell for) and which I will most probably not take off for a long time, but the owners, mother and daughter, also remembered me and vividly recounted my first visit there and the bracelet engraved with a poem that I last bought. It is the kind of personal touch, customer care and passionate work that can make me embark on a 1,000 km car drive just for visiting this fantastic little store tucked in the picturesque village by the Ionian Sea. And, in case you are wondering, they have no online store, no Facebook page and no Instagram account. They just exist there – they chose not to open another shop, not even in Athens, where the owners reside off-season, in order to preserve the authenticity of their store, and they do it so beautifully that their decision makes perfect sense. It’s also the reason why I simply could not bring myself to take photos of the shop: I want to keep part of the secret to myself. This place is special like that.
photos by me