Kyveli Alexiou

Style: the theatre of the self

The look of accessories from cosmopolitan Greece

We see her bathed in the light of St. Barth wearing a dress of Romanian origins. She is dressed in keeping with her precise – even sculptural– style credo: each to his own, in keeping with the shape of his body. It is the starting point for experimenting by interpreting ourselves in a way that is more theatrical than banal.

Kyveli was born in Greece, studies in New York and works in London, where she might go to live. A scholar in sculpture with a degree in the history of European philosophy, her idea of home is somewhat relative: “I am like a turtle, I take my things around with me”. Memento objects such as a personal patchwork are essential for any setting: “I am not a fan of minimalism with all its empty spaces, rooms that don’t transmit anything, where you are afraid to sit down. A house should be like the diary of your life”. A home with a French feel full of shabby chic elegance tells the story of Kyveli’s life in New York, whilst total white-and-blue reveals her in Mykonos. There are no in-betweens: “Grey areas do not reflect me”.

This sculpture enthusiast loves statements. Indeed she thinks like a sculptor whilst designing her future jewellery range, and even when she is dressing: “You have to know who you are and what your body is like”.

Formerly a costume designer in London, she has recently completed her New York experience as an assistant at the MET Costume Museum. Now Alexiou feels drawn to photography and art direction, although at present she is particularly focused on designing her jewellery. They are objects which she sees as micro sculptures: “It takes a great sense of balance and symmetry to coordinate the individual elements. There is no room for mistakes on such a tiny scale”. There is, however, room for energy, the different vibrations of each stone or metal. Most of all, there is room for a unique approach, a true sense of style.

The sense of the accessories: “I am obsessed by it. More than clothes, I love declarations of style: certain details, objects or special garments. I like to mix them together even if they are from different periods and make unexpected combinations.” A coat, a glove, a bag or a hat last forever and speak reams about us. How would she sum herself us, aesthetically speaking? “I follow my path”. According to Alexiou, in this global world where even our appearances are ultra-connected, greater courage is required to be ourselves and to perform: “Why not showcase exactly who we are, instead of trying to look like someone else?”. Never: A generic ensemble similar to so many others.

Example: Back in the days when I was at school in Greece, everyone was wearing riding jackets. I only wore it when I went horse riding. It went out of fashion when I was 25, so then I bought one again.

Always: Understanding what looks good on your body: I am not Twiggy. At that point, it’s good to experiment, even to excess.

Her favourite place: St. Barth.

I spend a lot of time there, at least two months a year. It is very French, a little piece of Europe in the Caribbean. It is a slightly surreal bubble and reminds me of Yellow Submarine, not least because it is difficult to get to. But it is worth it: life is relaxed, everything is simple and very Bohemian, and the people passing through are interesting to talk to.

Her obsession is perfume. As a girl I loved Fracas, my mother’s perfume. At the time she wouldn’t let me wear it, now I understand why. My favourites are Santa Maria Novella in Florence of which I use many different types, and Lys by LeLabo. That one in particular, no.31: it’s a mix of tuberose, jasmine, musk and vanilla.

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