CULTURE

A new guide for perfect style: Pretty, straightforward, fun

Every game has its rules and fashion is no exception. In a new book, two style professionals make it look pretty, straightforward and fun. «Oh, So Chic! Simple Rules for Perfect Style,» co-penned by Maria Papagrigoriou and Eleni Stasinopoulou in Greek – published by IntroBooks, sponsored by TIM, and illustrated by Filio Kordoni – is a welcome addition to a rather poor Greek bibliography on matters of fashion and style. The thing about fashion editors is that while they absolutely adore their trade, they invariably know that they should never take themselves too seriously – and this is true in the case of these two fashion pros. The book, their first venture into writing a book, is defined by its sense of humor and the idea that while fashion is a fabulous passion, it should never become an all-consuming obsession. Both authors were born and raised in Athens and attended Athens University – Papagrigoriou majoring in communication and media studies, Stasinopoulou in English literature. They are style editors at the Greek edition of InStyle magazine and regular contributors to other publications. Papagrigoriou has a gift for locating the perfect item in town and promises that she will never be caught walking in moccasins, while Stasinopoulou specializes in scanning large areas covered by apparel and accessories and picking that one, can’t-do-without item. Don’t expect to ever see her sporting ankle socks. Style, say the authors, is about timeless pieces, but not necessarily about a life-threatening budget. This is where a no-frills, white T-shirt reigns supreme and where classics range from a luxurious Cartier Tank watch to funky All-Stars. What is key in the search for the perfect attire is not only to know where to find these fabulous pieces, but to make sure that they are right for you. Are you perhaps the cigarette type of trouser girl, or would you be more confident in a pair of bootcut jeans? Why is it that the «little black dress» is still a must-have at any age, while the wrap keeps coming back? The book’s fashion journey kicks off with a mental exercise, where the writers suggest a basic color palette and what kind of sensations these colors evoke: Bordeaux red is a winter shade, for instance, while emerald green has a mysterious, evening feel. The tools for achieving great style begin with garments, all the way to lingerie and accessories and the authors offer detailed guidance through it all: From the polo neck to the halter top, to the blazer and the trench coat, the pencil skirt and the ra-ra (cheerleader) skirt – the latter a remnant from the 80s. Knowing your fashion history is pivotal if you’re aiming for cool, sophisticated looks. In the book, Papagrigoriou and Stasinopoulou discuss the 20th century through the decades as a source of inspiration, highlighting moments that changed fashion and society alike. From the groundbreaking designs of Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli to the wild days of Studio 54, fashion reflects its time. When it comes to the industry’s hot items and assessing six-month cycles, the authors suggest a trend management guide, which includes tips such as avoiding total looks and refraining from purchasing trendy pieces for their longevity – they simply don’t last very long at all. Also part of the book is how to locate great buys as well as a short dictionary of basic fabrics. Besides offering advice, experience and knowledge, «Oh, So Chic,» is an enjoyable read, inviting old and new members of the fashion club to join them in a particularly creative playground.