Saturday, 4 June 2011

Nostalgia-not: The 1990s

The 1980s and 1990s saw the rise of a new generation of "beautiful people" in Greece.
 Those nouveaux-riches made their money in the 1980s as newly appointed government and European Economic Union officials, and in the 1990s they set about to enjoy their wealth.
They were unashamedly rich, often ignorant, and making a lot of fuss about their money.
Women wore Rolex watches and men drove BMWs.
They colonised the northern suburbs of Athens, turning the quiet leafy streets of places like my childhood's Kifissia into massive shopping malls, sending the prices of everything from land to bread skyrocketing high.
Sometimes they were adorable in their uninhibited enjoyment, much like children opening presents on Christmas or New Year's eve, (depending in which country you live), more often stuffing themselves with their newly found shopping power.


My favorite person from those days is Tina Daskalandonakis, the Grecotel heiress, who run sometimes bitter, sometimes hilarious newspaper and magazine articles on the high life. I have kept many of her articles and cherish her little booklets on Christmas and the best spots in Athens. I used to read her articles on line but apparently she doesn't write any more, and I do miss her wit and style.
Another person making an entrance to the Athenian art scene was Rebecca Camhi, infusing the dormant art circles with her aggressive views on traditional Greek and Christian society. The art she patronised in her gallery, encouraged the full up, newly rich folk to enjoy their after-stuffing sickness and pretend to be knowledgeable and patrons of the arts.
Her protegé, artist Konstantin Kakanias, rose to the high circles of art and fashion illustration.
His most iconic creation is Mrs. Tependris, a carricature of the disoriented lower class-turned high society folk, who strives to find her way in the fog of her new status in life.

I remembered all this while taking a look at Tory Burch's post about Kakanias' new projects.
Take a look at his current work here.

love, Irene

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