It is so encouraging to meet people that got something beautiful going despite all the bad things going around lately. And in this case, it was the girls at Lazy Di, who put a smile on my face. Both from the island of Ikaria, which is the place where people live… almost forever and the fiestas are legendary and last… almost forever as well, Dorothy and Chrysa are bringing 50s back in the most colorful way possible. After a bumpy road in both their jobs, the girls decided to put their foot down and grab their scissors and needles and started their own business of vintage inspired clothes that make a girl feel absolutely chic.
So, first things first. How did you come up with the name?
Dorothy: It’s my last name. It’s the word lazy, but in Greek.
Wow. And you are far from that. Tell me your story. How did you come up with Lazy Di?
Dorothy: I had just ended working for a graphic design company. I am a graphic designer, yes. So, I wasn’t feeling really creative with what I was doing and I had just started swing lessons. And the problem was I wanted to find clothes I could swing in and that would also make me look feminine and compliment my body!
Chryssa: I had also found myself jobless and our mothers met. They’re both living in Ikaria now, so Dorothy’s mom told my mom about her ideas. And we got together in Athens and became a brand.
Which decades inspire you and what kind of fabrics do you usually use?
Dorothy: Mostly around 30s till late 60s.
Chryssa: Our summer fabrics usually have Hawain influences. Lots of florals and bright colors.
Dorothy: And we also have some Japanese fabrics as well.
Do you get your materials, meaning mostly fabrics, from Greece or abroad?
Dorothy: The plain colored ones we get from Greece. But when it comes to patterns, it’s hard to find interesting ones and at the prices we are aiming for here. So we buy a lot from the States and Japan. Usually through etsy.com.
Why vintage? What have these decades yet to teach us that we are missing today?
Dorothy: Vintage designs can be really feminine and flattering. Especially for girls with curves. They bring out the waist, they cover what should be covered and make everything just work, you know?
Chryssa: I love how they bring out the mediterrenian body type. Let’s face it, we are not super thin, we don’t have the Scandinavian sleek and thin like a stick body, so it’s designs like these that look good on us.
Do you only design dresses? What’s your signature style?
Dorothy: No, we also make skirts and jackets.
Chryssa: But we haven’t made a lot of accessories yet. Just some head bands and small brushes for the hair.
Dorothy: I guess our signature design would be the full skirt dress.
Which 5 essentials should a girl have in order to be elegant?
Dorothy: A dress that brings out the waist. Well polished shoes.
Chryssa: Just a little bit of make up, not too much. And finely combed hair.
Dorothy: And a good bag. You have to have the bag.
And what do you consider to be a fashion disaster?
Dorothy: Tiny shorts. I mean, put them in the closet already! It’s October, not the middle of summer!
Chryssa: I hate it when girls wear blouses or dresses that are backless and they have their bras showing.
Dorothy: Yup. We are the kind of girls that like to cover it up and keep it decent. And that can be stylish and it can be feminine and it can be sexy. There’s no need to bear it all out.
There’s a lot of going back to the 50s and 60s lately. Why do you think this is happening?
Dorothy: If you think about it, those decades never really went out of fashion. If you look back at family photos of weddings and great parties, even during the 80s, you will always see someone wearing a 50s inspired dress. That is because there’s something extra chic about those designs that make women look elegant. I think the difference is that today, those dresses are coming back to our every day life, whereas in the previous years you would only wear them on special occasions.
So, this is your showroom and you have an etsy shop and take part in a vintage bazaar?
Chryssa: That’s right. Our etsy shop is going really well. We have people buying our dresses from Australia and India! We recently sold a leopard print skirt to an Indian girl. Imagine that! Plus we take part in this vintage bazaar in Exarcheia, called Past Tense.
If you could bring something back from the 50s and 60s. Just one thing. Or one person. What would that be?
Dorothy: For sure, Elvis!
What is there to love about Athens?
Dorothy: Plaka. I love this part of town. It’s the heart of Athens. My dream is to open a Lazy Di store in Plaka. That would be pure bliss!
Chryssa: I also love all the choices Athens gives you. You never get bored in this town.
And what is there to hate about Athens?
Dorothy: The grumbling. And the complaining. You see people everywhere are dissatisfied and they just keep there with their hands tied and do nothing about it. They don’t go after their dreams, they don’t try hard to change their lives. They just expect something better to happen on its own, and when it doesn’t, they just complain.
Chryssa: I wish I could see more smiley faces around Athens.
You mentioned that you would love to open your own shop in Plaka. Other than that any other future plans?
Dorothy: We are currently discussing printing our own fabrics. That is going to be a challenge!
How about the guys? Are you making anything for them?
Chryssa: We’ve made some ties and some vests, but we focus on the ladies.
Dorothy: The problem with guys is that they don’t dare as much. They will wear a hat or suspenders and they think they managed to pull off the edgiest style ever. But that’s ok.
A few comments on the things pictured above: The girls were super sweet and very down to earth. I tell you, it’s the island they’re coming from that makes them so special! / The other girls, aka the dolls wearing the clothes, have names too! The black one is Angelina, the red is Marika, the purple one is Violette and the white one is Goldie. / The notebook Dorothy is holding in her arms with the drawings on it, belongs to her grandmother. She took some courses of pattern making while living in Ikaria. The notebook ages back to 1941. Yes, 1941. / The white dress Dorothy is making is a wedding dress. They follow the patterns they usually use and alter the fabrics, and you have yourself a very cool wedding dress that costs as much as a dress! Seriously think about it if you’re planning your wedding and want to keep your expenses at a reasonable level. / The scrapbook is their first look book. Isn’t it cool? A scrapbook for a look book.