Depy Chandris’s glittering Christmas exhibition

Depy Chandris, the most popular girl of the 1970s and ’90s in New York, London and Paris, had everything – looks, talent, a name and sound common sense. She had her finger on the pulse of high society, especially that of Athens. In 1978, she had her one and only exhibition, along with Alexandros Iolas, of jewelry made to her own designs from precious metals and semiprecious stones. The entire diplomatic corps was there, bowing before her, and Chandris caused a stir by wearing a feather in her flaming red hair. She went abroad after that, mixed with Andy Warhol’s set and the high-flying financiers of New York, surprising the lot of them. Then on to London and Paris where Nureyev was an admirer. She was often seen in Athens, thanks to her stone house in Kifissia with its garden and happy cats, and she had good company in Cyprus too. This year, Chandris decided to show her latest collection of jewelry – butterflies, birds of paradise, clasps, bracelets, costume jewelry for men – first in Athens, and then in London and New York, to her regular clientele. The reason is that here Chandris and UBS Bank had the the right setting. Everyone knows what a difference the frame makes to a painting or photograph. And this is a brilliant new era for the historic Hotel Grande Bretagne, which allows for some imagination, a cosmopolitan air, just the right amount of luxury in good taste and an exhibition of jewelry with the signature of Depy Chandris under the title «Beauty and the Best.» The topaz-studded invitations, designed by Chandris, stated – Dress code: Glamorous. And it was. The Golden Room at the GB was full on the night of 17 December when the first snow of the season fell. All the big names of Athens and Cyprus were there, with ambassadors and artists, such as film director Michalis Cacoyannis, who admired Pia Zombanaki’s fiery tulle backless gown. The most glamorous of all was the hostess Chandris, in moire taffeta, Traviata-style, and a feather, but what a feather! In the room, in frames she designed herself, were her butterflies – black, red and yellow – her tulips – black and red – and the bone bracelets with diamonds. Pinned above them were notes written by Warhol in magic marker: «Depy, I love you,» and articles from Interview magazine. The food came with silver service, French champagne and Greek wine. Everyone warmed up, talking, laughing and having their photographs taken next to the jewelry, ordering items and having a good time. Later everyone sat around with their friends and a drink listening to the pianist play.