Tags: creative director
I stepped into a world of style, great clothes and good food. And this is no joke. Exhausted by the Athenian heat, I found refuge in Despina Isopoulou’s amazing veranda, where a breeze and her words carried me away to places where fashion is not at all about the clothes, but it is about the ideas and the culture and the people and the art, a place where women respect themselves and are in charge of their outfits and make-up and not vise versa. Of course, then came the delicious food cooked by Paris, especially for us girls, and all my thoughts vanished into thin air. But wait, this young lady has something to say. And she says it in words, and pictures, in her style and attitude, in her simplicity and elegance, in all her grace. Here she is, Despina Isopoulou, striking your fancy.
You started your career at Vogue. What exactly did you do there?
I started from the fashion department, and did styling, photo shoots since 2004.
Was that when Vogue launched in Greece?
No, that was four years later. Vogue was first published in Greece in 2000.
I can still remember the cover.
“Greek at last!”
That’s right! So you did the styling for Vogue?
I did styling, portraits, I wrote less, I would get involved in the main editorials, the ordering of sample clothes and things like that.
Did the Vogue headquarters have rooms filled with clothes and shoes and jewelry, like you see in the movies?
We did have a closet / room, but it was just a room. It wasn’t anything like the endless halls you see in the American Vogue.
Did you get to keep the clothes? Were there any accidents?
We returned it all. You order the clothes, shoot them and send them back. But I have seen up close some very amazing pieces, like McQueen’s huge gowns. As for accidents, of course we had! Many actually! But most of the clothes arrive in a bad condition. Imagine that they photo shoot clothes, so perhaps before they got to you they were dipped into water, or walked all over. Haute Couture was a whole different thing, though. The clothes were so expensive, they had insurance to cover anything that could happen to them.
So, what made you take a leap in the digital world?
It was back in 2011, when Vogue Greece decided to launch their website and I decided to take over. I had already been around the fashion internet field, because of my blog, so I asked to be in charge of Vogue’s website. It was time for me to do something new, something else. I had been working on fashion for quite a while and felt that it had more to offer. I had to take it a step further. A digital step further.
Did it upset you to see Vogue Greece shut down?
I got sad with the way it all happened. Things weren’t going very well, and it was something everybody expected, but then again, it is such a shame Vogue Greece isn’t around any more. It seems as if so many magazines that have a medium or low level still get published. And I miss Vogue from the Greek fashion press.
What happened after Vogue?
Things rolled so smoothly, it was hard to believe. I had already started working with Vicky Kaya, as a digital editor for her Fashion Workshop’s blogzine. Besides that, my phone was wringing and I was offered to work on many interesting projects. I am also writing for Votre Beaute, I have a column there and I also write for In Style’s website, which will be re – launching very soon.
Wow, you do so many things. So you don’t have a clear direction, but get involved in many digital fashion fields.
Yes, it’s what some friends and I were talking about the other day. People nowadays are like orchestras. They do so much, so diverse, all on their own. I do a lot of things right now, but I am thinking in a couple of months I will be able to weigh things better and see clearly where I should go and what I should leave behind.
How come you don’t write as much on your own blog?
Ha! That’s a good question. I think I am so satisfied with an image, that if it is good enough, I rather post it as it is, without any unnecessary information. There is so much data out there, so much information, so it is good to keep it straight and simple. This has always been my style, when it comes to writing, which is a great torture when I am called to right a column. You see, in my mind I have just a sentence that says it all. But an article is 300 words!
How much time do you spend on your laptop?
Very much. You?
I live in front of my pc! Do you think you could manage your time differently and spend less computer time?
Yes, because the fact that I have suddenly started working from home has been a bit disorienting for me. I was used to go to the office, work, and then stay away from my computer. Now I found myself spending all of my day at the computer, without getting any rest! I finally managed to discipline myself and my schedule. I get working hours, even though I am at my own place, and resting hours.
Is there such thing as a Greek fashion industry?
There is, but I would rather support upcoming designers, more contemporary and independent. Like the girls at SOMF, they are taking each collection to a new height. I also love Sotiris Georgiou’s clothes, Elisabeth of Deep Shallow Exposition makes the best sunglasses. And shoe designer Stahis Samantas, his work is quite good.
Lately in Greece there’s been a fashion blog boom. Do you think this is just a bubble ready to pop?
Listen, the good thing with all this internet stuff is that it is so democratic and everybody can find their place and their audience. But, you also see a lot of junk out there, and you need to scan it first, before taking it in. What I find disturbing is the fact that fashion has been distorted. I see people thinking they are stylish just because they carry a Chanel 2.55. That is not style! That is not fashion! Wearing an iconic item doesn’t make you a stylish person. They have it all wrong in their minds. Fashion has a lot of art in it, and music, and nice pictures. It has aesthetics!
If fashion blogs and pumped up fashion oriented websites are the new thing, what would be the new thing five years from now?
I guess blogs and sites will still exist. But there will be a lot less, and because of the enormous flow of information, they will be forced to keep a certain level of quality in what they publish. But am a firm believer that printing will make a comeback. At some point, Greece will have to have one or two magazines, published and printed, that would set the standards for everybody else. That would offer a point of view so unique you would be craving to see how they see things. It’s like Vogue’s website. You are dying to see their view, their vision. You see a backstage photo of some show, and even though you have seen backstage shots of that show a million times, their view, what they captured and how they captured it is so unique.
What advice do Greek women need, when it comes to style?
They need to work on balance. Most of them are not simple women. They haven’t been taught to keep things light and natural. I am not saying they shouldn’t look after themselves, or wear no make up. But moderation in everything is a good start!
Ok, and on last question. What is it that you are bringing with you on holidays?
Oh, my style on holidays is totally different than my wear heels almost every day style that I have the rest of the year. I have this limited edition kaftan. It was only available at Lak’s store in Mykonos and it has these embroideries from Beirut on it and small bells and colors. I just love it! My Isapera sandals, tones of face sunscreen and an enormous straw hat. Moroccanoil for my hair and a Pink Sands bikini I bought recently. I also want to get a 50s high wasted bikini.
High wasted bikini? That’s tricky!
I know, but I thought, who cares?
A few comments on the things pictured and said above:
If I had to name the most fashionable people in the country right now, Despina would be one of them. The rest will probably pose for imatioθiki and will be revealed one at a time. / Paris, Despina’s boyfriend could easily stop acting and become a chef! Delicious food people, I am telling you. But he is such a great actor it would be a shame to waste such talent. / I can’t even begin to describe the amazing clothes and shoes Despina has in her closet. I would need at least a whole week of shooting to show you the treasures she has! / The kimono worn in the kitchen was designed by her friend Filep Motwary. / The kaftan hanging on the tree is the one she will be taking with her on her holidays. So are the pony skin sandals. / Despina’s curls are all natural. No curling irons, no hair products. I will try to forget that, while I apply as much heat as my hair can bare each day before I head out home. / Both Despina and Paris are constant gardeners. They have done wonders with their garden.