Interview with fashion designer, Ms Celia Kritharioti:
“The roots of our country are reflected in our creations”
1. “Attica: Greece in a Snapshot” is the tourist slogan of the Region of Attica. What are your favourite snapshots in Attica?
I live and work in the historic centre of Athens. My atelier has been located in the Neighbourhood of the Gods in Plaka since 1906, so my favourite snapshot in Attica is the narrow streets of Plaka and the smell of the night flower at the foot of the Acropolis. Wherever the eye touches, you feel deeply connected to your roots, the story of your ancestors – a special feeling of security that few people can experience every day.
2. Are the colours, the natural beauties and the sights of Attica a field from which a designer can draw inspiration and if so, why?
Of course, the sea, the Attica light and the way it is refracted are eternal inspiration, as well as the harmony in the lines, the volumes of the buildings and their geometry. Also, the microclimate of Attica is a constant source of inspiration. This microcosm, which combines summer and winter in the same day, is unique. From the snowy peaks of Dionysus, you can reach the deep blue Saronic Gulf in no time.
3. Do you consider the creations and impact of Greek designers, in the field of arts and fashion internationally, “ambassadors” that promote our country and Attica as holiday destinations?
It is normal for the roots of our country, which we carry within us, to be reflected in our creations. We are fortunate that this blessed land is our beautiful country. And the creators who are active abroad are its ambassadors. Jennifer Lopez, who has chosen my creations many times, said that she hadn’t seen such a quality result for years, and was impressed by the fact that the atelier has been in Plaka since 1906. Fashion could play a crucial role in the country’s promotion and be a pole of attraction at the same time. A few years ago, the British Vanity Fair ranked my House as one of the best Haute Couture Houses outside Paris. In 2018, the Guardian did a tribute to Athens as an haute couture destination while a year later, the British Vogue travelled to Athens to photograph the atelier and feature it in its tribute to the best haute couture ateliers in the world. My creations have been worn by Nicole Kidman and Kim Kardashian at the biggest red-carpet events in the world and it is a great pleasure for me to hear them mention that they are creations of a Greek designer. I still remember Tatler’s post titled “The Greek Jet Set at the British Museum for a Couture evening” about my show last year at the iconic museum, while the Financial Times’ “How to Spend It” was a tribute to my work entitled “The Renaissance of Haute Couture in Athens”.
4. What is your opinion on the way people dress? Does it reveal anything about the nation itself… its culture?
The stereotypes and boundaries of the past have diminished. In an internationalised society, like the one we live in, I do not think it reveals elements of peoples’ culture; however, what you wear and how you wear it and what you choose for each occasion defines your personality.
5. Which places or attractions in Attica would you choose for a fashion photo shoot?
I would prefer natural beauties such as the sea, the nearby islands and picturesque neighbourhoods rather than the unique monuments, whose perfection and harmony should not be disturbed. Especially the monuments that used to be temples and places of worship of our ancient ancestors.
6. If Attica was a garment, what would it be?
A soft, blue silk veil that transports you to the beauties of the present and the past.
7. Why would you tell your friends abroad to visit Attica and why do you think it has won the title of safe destination in the middle of Covid?
The blessed God of the Sun and the eternal meltemi wind create the most perfect climate in the world and a natural protection. The responsible attitude of citizens and administrators from the very first moment proved that we could stay safe by following the rules.