CULTURE

French Vogue turns Greek ambassador

?Just over three hours away from Paris by plane, Greece is a blue paradise, a place where the sun is a national treasure,? writes Emmanuelle Alt, French Vogue?s new editor-in-chief, in the fashion publication?s June-July 2011 issue.

The French come bearing gifts to the indignant Greeks. It?s all there on the cover: ?Escale en Grece: Ses iles, ses mythes, ses heros, ses plaisirs? (Stopover in Greece: Its islands, myths, heroes and pleasures). The summer issue?s cover girl is Brazilian top model Isabeli Fontana, who turns into a contemporary Greek goddess.

The double issue is chock-full of plaudits for Greece, turning the style bible into the perfect tourist, travel and advertizing guide — no strings attached. While Greek fashion magazines organize large-scale fashion editorial shoots abroad, French Vogue has come up with 202 pages on Greece.

No local fashion designers are mentioned in the issue, although a number of jewelry designers and jewelry houses are included — Ilias Lalaounis, Zolotas, Fanourakis and Ileana Makri.

Flicking through the magazine?s pages, one feels proud to be Greek, not because of ancient Greece and the cliches associated with the country?s past, but because of Greece in 2011, minus the whinging, the indignation and the ease of defeat.

The issue includes tributes to the Saronic island of Hydra and the artistic Hydra School Projects, a tribute to Cycladic Tinos, a hotel in Monemvasia and local spas, as well as various profiles on Greek personalities from the visual arts and cinema worlds, among others.