Costumes at the Benaki

I managed to do quite a bit on my day off yesterday, which included visiting my friends currently working at the Agora, and finally getting round to walking around Kolonaki and going to see both the Benaki Museum and the Museum of Cycladic Art. The Cycladic Art Museum had all sorts of interactive goodies and large displays that both adults and kids would appreciate. What however is most  relevant to the blog and readers is the extensive costume exhibit at the Benaki Museum, showcasing different types of traditional dress from different areas in and around Greece. One can definitely tell that a whole assortment of foreign influences that were introduced and worked into the costumes, such as some Turkish elements for example seen here and there.

However what really drew me in were the rich details and intricacy of the embroidery. The sumptuous fabric and jewel tones of the different pieces are absolutely beautiful. I can't imagine scarcely imagine just how much time and energy it would have taken to craft each individual article of clothing, and the incredible amount taken to don the many layers. Of course, I highly doubt ordinary folk were dress as such on an everyday basis; these were likely the clothing of the elite who could all the handmaiden and servants to assist them each morning. While this makes me appreciate all the conveniences of modern sportswear and the like, there is a part of me that wonders what would have it been like to actually see people dressed as such on the streets. I guess the modern answer to this would be couture.

A post on Artist's Jewellery Special Exhibition at the Benaki next :)

GANT Amongst Others

If there is one thing that has truly surprised me in Greece so far, it would be finding GANT stores where you least expect it. Like my first night in the small but charming town of Chania, where it was tucked away not too far from the Venetian Harbour. Or after we bused all the way to to Heraklion, only to find another just down the road from Lion's Square. The sightings though should not surprise me since it is currently owned by the Swedes, despite its New Haven, CT, origins. I haven't talked about PITA much at all; the last post I had on it was a rather more negative one back in February. I think all the silence on the subject owed to me getting a little sick of all these "heritage" brands cashing in on the resurgence of all things wonderful and trad, with the Made in U.S.A. moniker all too gimicky for my liking.

In spite of all this, I am still very much in love with PITA. It's alive and well in the wardrobe––you should see all the gingham button downs I brought with me! I am happy to find this lookbook for their GANT Rugger Summer 2012 lookbook to wake me from my menswear lovin' schlump. Nothing here is dramatically different from past (PITA has a way of being super reliable and un-trendy), but I love the subtle variations between this collection and the last.

Some more menswear favourites as of late includes (from Milan Fashion Week):

  • Missoni: Unexpected runaway favourite here. I'm not usually much of a Missoni fan girl but I do adore the relaxed vibe and dusty palette here. LOVE.
  • John Varvatos: Very clean and easy on the eyes. Not spectacular by any means, but it's wearable without being boring. Plus he's Greek! 
  • Prada: Just adoring all that quirky vibe there. 
  • Jil Sander: I think it one-upped Prada for over-all coolness vibe. It is likely that it's only because it's the return of Madame Jil Sander herself after eight looooong years.
  • Trussardi: Great subtle use of colours here with just a touch of Palm Spring-y tone here and there, which was unexpected. 
  • Carven: Of course, right? What else. Please read Miss Bubble's review, it's fantastic and I haven't been sooo jealous of someone in a very very long time. 
  • Vivienne Westwood: Let's end with another unexpected favourite here of Vivienne Westwood. I never pay too much attention to her menswear collection despite liking her womenswear stuff quite a bit. Super quirky and cute all at once––trust me on this, despite the flower crowns.
And by the way, thanks for all the encouraging comments FOR street style photography. I can't wait to snap away very soon (as luck would have it, I'm got this Friday off so I'll have the time to go and stalk people >:D)

Life's not Glamourous, But Life is Good

This year I vowed to try my hand at photography. While I snapped away quite a bit on the islands, once I reached Athens and my internship started, my output inevitably trickled down till I barely take any until the weekend rolls around (just finished week two of internship!). Working plus buying groceries and trying your hand at cooking kind of has its way of sucking time. In an effort to push myself to take more photos, I've decided to upload them onto the blog to push myself and chart my progress. Part of it too though is also trying to slowly adjust to blogging more often in general :) And here you can even take a sneak peak at my Socrates sandals! (LOL) I don't live in the ritziest part of Athens by any means, but everything's within walking distance so I'm a happy camper.

One last note: what do people think of me trying a hand at street style photography in Athens? Perhaps it isn't the most "appropriate" thing in the time of the crisis (the elections went OK so far, though a functional coalition government is not guaranteed), but I think in spite of all the negativity of the euro crisis , it would be a more positive way to show that life still goes on, in an equanimity in face of intense pressure and stress sort of way. While it's really not all that big of a deal on the scale of things, I would most definitely appreciate all sorts of insight and input from everybody, casual readers of the blog included.

5 Things This Week

1. Bought tickets to go see Oedipus the King at the Epidaurus in early July. So excited, ERMAHGERD.

2. Finally happy with state of tanning for my Melissinos Sandals. TBB (to be blogged).

3. Amanda Brooks has a blog!!!!!!!!! You would have guessed that since everybody's out to have "an online presence" nowadays that I wouldn't care less about yet another fashion insider opening something as predictable as a blog. However I really really really like I Love Your Style (count the times I've said really) and predictably, the classics section the most. I never really read fashion/style advice books since none had anything new to offer or just flat out boring, however this book was above the rest. A well meaning friend of my mother gave me a copy of Tim Gunn's book, A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style, but I still remember disliking it intensely and that was all the way back in eighth grade. To be perfectly honest, I never like the man on screen from my brief viewing of Project Runway Season One way back when, so my dislike could stem from me not like the author than not liking the actual material itself. I digress. Anyhow my main point that despite Amanda Brooks being a rather cookie-cutter blonde fashion muse/socialite/etc. etc. etc., there is much knowledge to be gained from reading her book (the gorgeous presentation too helped), along with providing sources to find additional inspiration from. So imagined my delight to find that not only does she have a blog, but that it doesn't look too slick or polished like she has some fancy corporate sponsor behind it and dare I say, I smell authenticity here? (The far opposite end of the "celebrity blog" spectrum would be Olivia Palermo's, comparatively speaking.) What's curious though is that it doesn't seem too well trafficked, even after being linked to the NYTimes article; yet then again, a low number of comments does not necessarily reflect low traffic per se.

4. A menswear blog infograph, as seen on Unabashedly Prep. I already read and actively follow around 80% of them listed there but yay for more finds that I can actively procrastinate with. And how is this all that relevant? This blog was modelled heavily on the way that menswear blogs are structured and written, though of course mine is all that minus the awesome behind-the-scene factory visits, sweet product previews and exclusive interviews, sadly. I SWEAR I WILL ONE DAY, even if I never intend to "make it" in the fashion world.

5.  The possibility of Greek blogger meetups? I don't know why I never thought about it until Dora reminded me that there are Greek readers of the blog out there (my apologies for being too lazy to consistently check Google Analytics). So if you're in Athens (and I will be until the end of July) and just want to hang, feel free to tweet/email me. There are so many different cafés and tavernas I want to check out! I even have a Greek cell. AND NO, I'M NOT A CREEP. Για!

My Friend, R

Who says scientists (and in particular geologists) can't be stylish? R shows us that brainy stylish scientists are out there with her simple, neutral layering – perfect might I add for the Mediterranean weather. What I really admire is that she wears more "practical" looking outfits for fieldwork, but still could make it work for the streets.

Rock on R, rock on. (Pun intended)

At Melissinos

It seems that Lindsay K of Un Petit Bijou was rather prophetic in writing about sandals just two days before I got my two pairs from the famous Melissinos in Athens, Greece, last Saturday. It was very easy to get to from where I live –– the walk only took something like twenty or so minutes down Ermou from Syntagma.

I've always wanted a pair of sandals, but could never find a good fit due to my narrow feet with high arch. After coming across the Poet Sandal-maker again and again on every guidebook on Athens I read in preparation for my time in Athens, I felt like I really had to get them, if not at least check the shop out. It seems that I have struck gold as it only cost me 28€ per pair and I could choose from so many different styles. I've decided against customising my two pairs, since I wanted something basic and simple that I could wear many years down the road (hopefully). Eventually after long time deliberating with friends that I picked a pair in Socrates and another in Olympia. I've convinced my friends to get two pairs too (at such great quality at a great price); they got Hermes and Cleopatra, and Jeremy Irons and Aeolian 2 respectively.

We ended up spending at least two to three hours there, as we took our leisurely time picking out different styles, talking about The Bacchus, a play that Melissinos' wrote, with many fittings in between. My friend hilariously connected with the Algerian assistant to the maestro, in that her step-father was also Algerian. Mine are superbly comfortable and already they have started to mould to my feet only a few days after wearing them constantly, day in and out.

I currently don't have a picture of either of my sandals to show, since one of them I'm still trying to tan with olive oil (and is currently drying on the balcony), and the other I have to clean the salt stains from after wearing them to the beach yesterday. The shoes themselves remind me of raw denim in a way, in that they age accordingly to the habits of the wearing and each will therefore, end up rather unique. I'll be happy to update them a few weeks from now, and they will definitely appear in any outfit post in the weeks to come.

– Getting my pair fitted, legs still scratched from the Samaria Gorge hike – 

– My friend's newly fitted pair of "Cleopatra"-s –

Baby Steps


Yesterday was a day of many firsts. It was my first full day in Athens after coming from setting off from Ermoupolis on Syros into Piraeus and then celebrating my friend's 21st birthday in a Greek bar, went to the National Archaelogical Museum of Athens then jettisoning off to the nearest supermarket to stock up on food for the apartment. Since I can't cook to save my life, I watched my friends cook while I did the dishes later on. It felt so "grown-uppery" –– sorry pampered baby talking here –– but I can see myself blissfully happy with this arrangement for my next seven weeks in Athens. I can't wait for life to slow down a little as I've been feeling like I'm going 120 m.p.h. everyday due to our jam-packed schedule.

Of course, as the dutiful nerd I am, I went online to check if there are any interesting cultural events. As you will have it, Oedipus the King (Oedipus Rex) by Sophocles will be on at Epidaurus, which I am SO PSYCHED to see. It will be entirely in Greek and I will not understand a word of it, but I think it will still be completely worth it just to experience the famous acoustics there.

All in all, I am just happy to be blogging again and catching up with everyday. Thanks for all the wonderful well wishes on internship. It has yet to start since the seminar still has around less than a week to go but you'll know when my internship starts. It's so nice to feel like a complete newbie at everything (including blogging) again. God knows how many unread posts there are on my Google Reader, so hopefully I can catch up with everything very soon. I apologize for being a bad blogger friend for neglecting to reader your posts and updates.

I can now proudly say I can order a frappe just the way I like it entirely in Greek along with some other short phrases. You might be wondering why I am still up at 2:15 AM when I have the friggin' Acropolis ahead of me tomorrow however I am already fully adjusted to the siesta schedule. Baby steps people, baby steps.

P.S. I've streamlined the blog for summer but apart from removing the link to my Pinterest, everything is left mostly unchanged. I've decided against using Pinterest despite it being a great tool for curating the little things found on the internet due to the iffy grey legal issues that I don't want to be exposed to. Again I know I am long overdue on the site makeovers; rest assured it will be my top priority after the seminar is over.