CULTURE

Charming, stylish New Year gifts

Known as gouria, Greek New Year charms are bearers of good fortune – and intriguing design. As the end-of-year festivities take over, these specially designed amulets provide ideas for gifts, taking care of both providence and style. The Friends of Music association and Zoumboulakis Galleries present «The Kiss» by internationally acclaimed artist Alekos Fasianos. Double-faced, the eternal symbol of love comes in silver, silver and gold, as well as in 249 (all numbered) solid gold copies. «The Kiss» is available at the Athens Concert Hall, Zoumboulakis Galleries and Papasotiriou bookstores. Prices start at 70 euros (silver), moving on to 150 euros (silver and gold) and 420 euros (gold). The long-established Ilias Lalaounis jewelry house is looking toward nature. In collaboration with Medasset – the Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles which turned 20 this year – Lalaounis is putting forward a sea turtle, in gold, silver and both silver and gold. The popular item is available at Ilias Lalaounis boutiques and the Ilias Lalounis Jewelry Museum at various prices. The Greek Society for the Rehabilitation of Disabled Children (ELEPAP) is joining forces with Zolotas. For this year’s gouri piece, the well-known jeweler suggests a design based on eight radii of the wheel of life as a symbol of hope. The amulet, available in gold-plated silver and solid gold, is on sale at the downtown Zolotas outlets. Part of the proceeds from the amulet’s sales will go to highly active ELEPAP – prices here start at 25 euros. At the house of Fanourakis, Lina Fanoura-kis gives you a choice: a signature Fanourakis nature-friendly octopus on the one hand, and the number 8 accompanied by its key. The delicately crafted octopus comes in silver, gold and a combination of the two, while number 8 and accompanying key are available in silver and gold-plated silver respectively. Both amulets are available at Fanourakis stores around Greece, in Athens, Kifissia and Crete. Jewelry creator Kaiti Tazedaki is yet another designer focusing on nature this year. Taking her cue from the summer’s fire disasters, Tazedaki has chosen the pine cone – its seeds falling onto the ground, giving way to new pine trees. Well crafted, Tazedakis’s pine cone amulet is available at the designer’s To Petradi outlet as well as the museum store of the Goulandris Natural History Museum – Gaia Center for Environmental Research and Education in Kifissia. Accessories and jewelry designer Maria Mastori has come up with a selection of gold-plated suggestions. A chair, a motorcycle, a pair of soccer shoes, a ballerina and a bicycle are but a few of the design ideas put forward by the gifted designer. Mastori’s amulets are available at the designer’s atelier as well as the Eleni Marneri Gallery, currently showcasing Mastori’s stunning works.