CULTURE

It’s time for fun shopping at the DESTE Artstore

It’s time for some fun shopping at the DESTE Foundation’s Artstore as it opens its annual display of household items, stationery and accessories created by young Greek and foreign designers. On the home front, displays include funky lamps by Pantelis Pantelopoulos, who combines odd materials such as wooden shoe molds and large Chinese hats to create unique lounge styles, while Stavros Georgiou opts for a more minimalist approach to home lighting with earthy materials in ethnic Japanese compositions. On a more romantic note, Nikiforos makes tree-like lamps of wire, adorned with sparkling semiprecious stones. By now essential to home decor, the DESTE Artstore suggests a break from classic crystal vases with Lilly Mitropoulou’s wood-encased creations or Areti Hadzi’s twist on ceramics, which she marries with leather or semiprecious stones to create an ethnic feel. Candles are always a favorite either for personal use or as gifts, and Nina Papaioannou opts for classic earthy tones and scents, while Vicky Panka is playful and saucy in her compositions, combining pinups with bunches of flowers. Coffee time always offers a moment of relaxation from the hurly-burly of the working day, and what better way to enjoy it than in fine porcelain cups, munching on cookies from question or exclamation mark-shaped platters? To impress dinner guests, the Artstore offers a set of serving dishes made of three separate pieces which can either be joined or separated and serving spoons with handles shaped like clothes pegs. Lilly Mitropoulou adds a touch of color to the table with place mats decorated with cherubs, leather and glitter. Artist Christiana Moira returns to the Artstore this year with a new series of small, humorous decorative puzzles bearing the catch phrases «Live today like there’s no tomorrow» and «Don’t talk to me, I’m on a diet,» and to liven things up further, Anna Mathiou creates small sculptures in lively colors, Paris-based Son Yanagi transforms objects he has found in the streets, such as a stool metamorphosed into a flying bird, and Smaro Botsa chooses cushy comfort with her childlike pillows adorned with logos and photographs. The exhibit also includes a few special items such as Yiannis Karlopoulos’s exclusive notebooks and diaries. The artist, who has had extensive experience in bookbinding and publishing, has designed a series of high-quality notebooks in a limited edition. Old-fashioned, uncut paper and hand-sewn bindings are the trademark of this selection, which he has covered in modern materials such as silvery plastic. The series also includes luxurious leather-bound photo albums. Clothes and accessories A DESTE Foundation art sale would never be complete without unconventional clothes and bizarre accessories. In this part of the display, Stavros Georgiou transforms drab military khakis such as bags, jackets and belts into original men and women’s wear, some of which are hand-painted with Korean lettering and others which are covered in flowers and fun motifs. Shawls, shiny chocolate-brown pony-skin purses with silk handles are the specialty of Vassilia, who complements the look with metallic bracelets and necklaces, while for the young at heart, Lost Toys makes eccentric accessories out of old upholstery, jazzing them up with toys, as well as hand-woven belts-cum-necklaces. Olga Mergou creates bags, a series of purses inspired by luscious forbidden flavors – vanilla, chocolate and caramel – while Athina Synesiou and Eleftheria Kasouli give their black and brown jersey and viscose caftans a touch of class with colorful fringes. The fun, ethnic trend is interrupted by Sofia Papazoglou who insists on the Gothic style, with large wooden crosses, wooden necklaces and belts/necklaces of velvet ribbon, colored chains and sequins. The collection ends with Areti Hadzi and Yianna Vassilopoulou’s shirts, belts, shawls and bolero jackets in striking brown, black, ivory, purple and green combinations, as well as gold-based caftans in combination with large leather bracelets dotted with semiprecious stones. DESTE, 8 Omirou Street, Neo Psychico, tel 010.672.9460.