- What was it in your character that drew you to fashion?
People have often described me as being unconventional or eccentric because I like to have extreme makeovers and change my appearance. When I was younger, in my late teens, I would always choose outfits to stand out from the crowd and I think that I was lucky to have grown up in the 80s. This was the ‘New Romantic’ era and I was influenced by Madonna, MC Hammer, Boy George, Duran Duran and Adam & the Ants. So really, I think that my character even today is still a little extrovert even though I’ve grown older.
- Did you always want to be a fashion reporter or is it something that you’ve discovered as you were trying other careers and how long have you been in the industry?
I always wanted to be a writer and I had my first poetry published in the UK. However, on arriving in Greece, I first worked for an American Stockbrokers company and later taught English in Greek schools. During this time, I was writing for a Greek newspaper and a magazine here. Then, later I started writing for publishing firms and while still freelancing for magazines and newspapers abroad. I have also started a thriller set in Athens which is half way through. However, in the past years, I have been covering news stories from Greece for an online newspaper in LA where I have reported on everything from politics to events and conducted live interviews. It was during this time that I covered the Athens Xclusive Designers Week for the first time and discovered that I could write about fashion and be unconventional all over again. This lead also to me writing for Fashion Parkway in Florida reporting on what is going on in Greece in the fashion industry.
- Tell me about some of the projects you’ve worked on.
Well, I have interviewed various people in the fashion industry, such as the renowned Greek Fashion Designer Stephan Caras, Founder of Mini Raxevsky, Dimitra Raxevsky, Founder & Design Director, Chris Christo of Talu, Art Director and Fashion Designer, Dimitris Strepkos, who with Eleni Mparla form Celebrity Skin, the talented Fashion Designer Ira Limniotaki, Editor in Chic, Tasos Lazar of PoshFashion and the innovative Jewellery Designer Pericles Kondylatos, Of course everyone remembers my interview with hot Cypriot model, Andreas Falas . I have also conducted interviews with marvelous photographers: Nikos Karanikolas, Charis Evagorou, Francesco Ferrera and Nicollette Mollet. I have written articles and covered various fashion events such as the Athens Xclusive Designers Week and Cyprus Fashion Days plus organized a fashion event with Silicon Jewellery Designer, Petros Mantouvalos and directed my own photo shoot for a company in Australia. I think that I should also mention that I do a great deal of PR and marketing work for various companies here and abroad. I work very closely with Chris Christo and the team of Talu, in Cyprus and also with companies not connected to fashion. I believe that being in the public eye enables you to get out there and promote the things that you believe in -
Just to give our readers a little background on you, and what brought you to Greece?
I was born in Salisbury in the UK and grew up in a place called Burton on Trent. I spent a lot of time travelling abroad with my parents as a child and so I think this is one of the reasons why I chose to travel myself as soon as I completed my education. I travelled backwards and forwards to Greece quite a lot in the eighties for friend’s weddings, parties etc and when I got the opportunity to work and live here at the age of 25, I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately, I remember a very different Greece at that time and I’m very sad that my son aged 20 and daughter nearly 18 will never experience the great times myself and Greek people had back then.
- What do you think is the most important skill required to do your job and what is the biggest misconception about fashion journalism?
Any kind of journalist/editor needs strong writing skills. However, fashion writers need to be accurate and also very competent at being descriptive. I have read many fashion articles in different blogs where the writer has just stated facts and not used any dynamic descriptive vocabulary. This results in readers receiving all the correct info, but in a very uninteresting way. Also, if a writer has good public relations skills, they can help promote a company/person etc as they write in an exciting thought-provoking way that attracts a reader’s attention. The biggest misconception about fashion journalism is that it doesn’t rank as important as other types of journalism such as politics, sport, medical etc and that fashion writers are empty-headed. The general public forgets that the fashion industry is of great economic importance, only seeing the glam side of things; supermodels walking down the runways.
- Can you describe a typical day of your life?
Haha… I don’t have a typical day in my life! I receive about 50-60 invitations a day to attend events whether it be fashion shows/parties, club openings/parties, theatre performances, beauty presentations….. The list goes on. At one time, I used to try to attend as many as possible, sometimes 3 or 4 in one evening. However, now because of work commitments, I have to be more selective. I can tell you though, that I usually check my diary the night before and arrange the following day around any events, meetings and photo shoots I may have. I’m also a night ow,l so I do most of my writing late at night working until the early morning hours.
- If you ever get the chance to interview someone who you really admire who is it?who would it be?
I would absolutely love to meet and interview Vivienne Westwood, the famous British designer. I have often been compared to her although she’s in her 70’s now…. Hahaha. I love her freedom to be outrageous and get away with it. Although she was renowned in her early years for her punk collections and her work with Malcolm McLaren, she has gone on to creating bizarre quirky designs that woman in the street today can carry off if they are bold enough. Vivienne has worked through different eras and it would be very interesting to chat with her about what fashion was like in the 60’s and 70’s.
- Is there any websites, magazines, newspapers, blogs or books you're obsessed about?
I wouldn’t say I was obsessed with any particular magazine or newspaper, but I do follow some very good websites and blogs such as http://poshfashionnews.com/, www.robinrayanian.com , http://mirror-vs-mirror.tumblr.com/ http://Giselle-makeup.blogspot.com, http://livelifetothefullest-dg.blogspot.com/ and http://www.fashionfreaks.gr.
- When I googled your name could only find good reviews about you, but have you ever been criticized by designers or other fashion people?
Really? That’s nice to know, but I’m sure that I must have stepped on someone’s toes at some time. Maybe, they criticize me when I’m not there? Seriously, I have been given constructive criticism by people, but I took it as advice and didn’t get upset. (They will be reading this and know who they are)!
- In your opinion, does taste or fashion sense indicate class?
Class is about being stylish and elegant in both your appearance and mannerisms, it’s the way you carry yourself and ooze confidence, so having good fashion sense is just a part of it. A woman can put on an haute couture gown, walk out the door and still not have class; the gown will just not be enough. Take for instance, Jane Mansfield, a major Hollywood sex symbol in the 1950s who was once quoted as saying “Cleavage, of course, helped me to get to where I am,” and Audrey Hepburn, a British actress and fashion icon who was sweet and the ideal of femininity. Both were extremely beautiful women wearing gorgeous clothes, but only one of them had class.
- Who is your style icon?
My style icon has changed with my age. When I was in my twenties, I dressed like Madonna, right down to all the lacy stuff. I often went out in underwear including Basques and Corsets worn with my jeans; the look that she is so famous for. In my thirties, I was married with young children, so of course I was more conservative. In my forties, well this is when I got divorced and went back to feeling like I was in my twenties. However, this time corsets worn with jeans were no longer in fashion…… thank goodness! Now, in the past year or so, my style icons are famous women from the fifties and sixties; Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy. I have been photographed as Marilyn Monroe three times as you can see from my photos and I like this old Hollywood style from that era.
- Do you find that you follow fashion trends, or do you play by your own rules?
Yes, I do follow fashion trends but sometimes they don’t follow me! I love some of my daughter’s clothes and lots of new fashion items that are absolutely unsuitable for a woman of my age. However, sadly in the past I have gone ahead and worn a garment realizing much too late the enormity of my faux pas.
- What is your style? And is there anything that you absolutely won’t wear?
My style now is much plainer and simple; a black dress with pearls, high heels and a bright lipstick. I will dress up in theatrical gowns and clothes for events like I did when I went as ‘Mozart’ to the Athens Xclusive Designers week. I have Jenny Oikonomou Rizou to thank as my stylist on many occasions and for her patience and valuable advice she has given me. I would never wear flat shoes unless I had to climb a mountain. High heels and the higher the better……..changes the way a woman carries herself so I adore them! They make me feel confident and people can hear me coming. ….. hahahah.
- Considering the current economical situation of Greece, what do you have to say about the state of the fashion industry in Greece at the moment?
As I have said in my TV interviews, the world does not stop during a crisis and neither does Greece. Every single industry here, although they have been affected by the economic situation is striving to maintain a sound and stable business environment; the fashion industry is no exception. Earlier, I stated that the fashion industry is of great economic importance and from what I have seen; Greek designers are successfully continuing to create and promote themselves here and abroad. Fashion designers, Katerina Daoulka, Paola Papachristoforou and Ntora Antora, all friends of mine, insist that Greek fashion is alive and well and to prove their point there are many young designers such as Stylianos Rouvakis (Winner of the 12th AXDW ‘Best New Designer award’), Piximud (Winner of the 12th AXDW ‘Best Trendsetter ‘award) and Yura Tsu (Winner of the 12th AXDW ‘Fashion Xporter’ award) who are shining examples of new talent who will continue to carry the flag for Greece. Personally, I can continue naming even more promising designers such as Insomniac, Irene Lytra, Victoria Sarri, Manos Caravlidis, Polina Argyrou, E-Outfit.com, Eleni Kyriacou and Clic Jewels who we will be seeing more of in the future.
I would like to thank my team who work hard to make me presentable: Hairdressers: Panos Kourtos & George Bakelas, Makeup Artists: Giselle Karounis, Kelly Bakela & Xenia Athinodorou and Styling: Jenny Oikonomou Rizou & Stella Baxevani.
- Lastly, overall, what’s your advice to people who want to break into the fashion journalism?
While someone is studying journalism, they can also set up their own fashion blog and update it with photos and articles on events in their town/city. It’s not enough to sit back and copy paste from other sites on the Internet though. A fashion journalist/editor needs to get out there and be seen by everyone in the industry. By social networking, a writer can also make a number of important contacts and eventually get invited by designers for interviews and to cover their shows. I found that many people in the fashion industry want writers who are not only skilled, but also a little extrovert as they know their finished articles will be interesting. So don’t be shy, start socializing with everyone in the business and ask them if you can write an article for them.
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