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Our “Shopping All Over The World” Holiday Gift Guide Is Here! First Stop: Athens!

The holiday season is a magical time and, at Sicka Than Average, we believe in preserving that sense of enchantment well past the I-believe-in-Santa-Claus stage of life. So, for this year’s Holiday Gift Guide, we’re taking you on a magic carpet ride around the world, with each installment of our gift guide containing items inspired by the music, art, food, literature, landscape, history, and overall mood of a specific city. We’ll be visiting quite a few destinations throughout the next few weeks, so prepare to be taken on a thrilling ride, filled with interesting gift ideas. Our first stop: Athens, Greece.

Below, you’ll find some ideas inspired by the city regarded as the birthplace of democracy .

Louis Mariette Helena Headband, £130. Available at LouisMariette.com

Though he was born in Malawi and he currently works in London, self-taught milliner Louis Mariette tapped into ancient Greek culture when designing some of the headbands for his eponymous brand of hair accessories. The Helena headband shown above, for instance, features two rows of gold-toned metal sculpted, hammered, and etched to resemble laurel leaves, which are rife with symbolism in Greek mythology. In fact, the god Apollo is typically depicted wearing a bay laurel leaf crown as a way of mourning his beloved Daphne, who was transformed into a laurel tree by her father Peneus. With such a stunning headband in her ensemble, any woman can lure her very own Apollo.

 

 

Halston Heritage Crepe de Chine Gown, $695. Available at Net-a-Porter.com

This floor-length crepe de chine number will make you feel like you deserve a spot in Mount Olympus. The rich jade green hue makes a powerful statement, but the silhouette is fluid and ethereal with delicate pleating along the sweeping skirt, an asymmetrical neckline, and a single kimono sleeve. A crystal-embellished belt, meanwhile, adds the perfect amount of sparkle.

Oscar de la Renta Leaf Sculpture Earrings, $144. Available at OscardelaRenta.com

These 4″-long, clip-on earrings feel like miniature sculptures thanks to the sense of movement yielded by the undulating shape of the leaf blades, which help to catch and reflect light, and by the emphasis placed on accentuating the midrib section of each leaf.

Korres Butter Me Up Body & Lip Butter Collection, $38. Available at Sephora stores and Sephora.com

As Greece’s fastest-growing natural skincare company, Korres has captivated beauty lovers around the world by formulating products that rely on the healing properties of the many wonders found in nature, a concept that’s deeply rooted in ancient Greek philosophies. For Holiday 2012, Korres is offering a number of exciting kits, but our absolute favorite is the Butter Me Up set, shown here, which features four 1.69 oz. tubes of the brand’s most beloved body butter scents — Guava, Basil Lemon, Jasmine, and Apple Blossom — and three of its popular lip butters: Guava, Jasmine, and Quince. The body butters are packed with moisturizing, healing, and anti-aging ingredients like fatty acid-packed shea butter and avocado oil; vitamin E-rich sunflower seed oil; antioxidant-rich quince extract; and fig extract, which works as a natural exfoliant thanks to its betacarotene and vitamin A content. But, most importantly, they feel decadent on the skin thanks to their velvety but lightweight texture and their subtle milky aromas (I’m particularly fond of the jasmine and guava scents). As for the lip moisturizers, your lips will be replenished by the combination of safflower seed oil, shea butter, and rice wax in their formulas, plus your pout will obtain a slight rosy tint from the Jasmine lip butter or a deeper, more berry-like tint from the Quince lip butter. Bottom line: the Butter Me Up kit is like butter, baby!

 

Tibi Draped Silk Chiffon Gown, $577.50. Available at Net-a-Porter.com

The Mediterranean blue color of this shows-stopping silk-chiffon gown is reminiscent of the shade of blue in the Greek flag, while its lightly draped bodice, banded waist, and flowing floor-length skirt recall the simple elegance of ancient Greek goddess gowns.

Konstantino Thalassa Cuff, price available upon request. Visit KonstantinoTreasures.com

In Greek mythology, Thalassa is a primordial sea goddess, which is probably why Athens-bred jewelry designer Konstantino chose to name this stunning cuff, with its faceted blue stones, after her. These lush blue stones are set in sterling silver, with dotting work visible along their perimeter, and arranged into vertical rows of four which are, in turn, spaced by rows of three small blue stones inset into elongated diamond shapes. The bracelet’s closure, meanwhile, features two sterling silver plates, each boasting floral etchings.

Parthenon Square Toss Pillow, $19.99. Available at BedBathAndBeyond.com

Dating back to 438 BC, the Parthenon is widely considered the most important surviving structure of Classic Greece. This 18″ x 18″ pillow pays homage to the octostyle Doric temple, with its majestic Ionic columns, via an all-over sepia tone print of the structure’s eastern facade.

Cult Gaia The Pearl Crown, $115. Available at CultGaia.com

Tap into your inner Demeter (that’s the Greek goddess of harvest) with this Cult Gaia crown, which features a wrapped wire meant to resemble a slim branch worked into a wreath shape, itself adorned by the dainty pieces of wire emanating outward along its periphery, each featuring small white and gold pearl beads threaded through its length to create an ethereal, halo-like effect.

 

Lulu Frost Aphrodite Collage Necklace, $420. Available at LuluFrost.com

You may know Aphrodite as the Greek goddess of love and beauty but she was also, in fact, the goddess of flowers. New York-based jewelry designer Lulu Frost seems to have derived inspiration from all of Aphrodite’s domains when designing this unforgettable necklace, which features a hand-painted and hand-etched, floral-shaped resin pendant with crystal inlays along the tip of each petal and, at the blossom’s center, a deep blue glass bead in a diamond shape secured by a virtual nest made of twisted brass wire. The chain, meanwhile, is composed of oval-shaped, brass-toned links accentuated with triangular, coral red resin links and clusters of glass beads placed directly above the trillium-shaped flower pendant.

 

Jonathan Adler Greek Key Dinnerware Collection, $16 for dinner plate; $12 for dessert plate; and mug, $10. Available at Macys.com

The late Greek mythology scholar Károly Kerényi once described the geometric “meander” or “Greek key pattern” common in ancient Greek pottery as “the figure of a labyrinth in a linear form.” Interior designer Jonathan Adler reinvented this classic pattern for his aptly named Greek Key Dinnerware collection, featuring porcelain plates, bowls, and mugs in a crisp white color, each bearing the distinctive meander pattern in a modern teal blue with a touch of platinum. Opt for the stunning dinner plate, which measures 11.25″ in diameter; the quaint dessert plate, measuring 8.25″ in diameter; or the adorable mug, measuring 4.25″ in diameter.

BCBGMAXAZRIA Metal Leaf Headband, $18. Available at BCBG.com

You can, in fact, channel a Greek goddess for less than $20. Simply scoop up this irresistible gold-toned iron headband from BCBGMAXAZRIA, which features a sculpted leaf motif.

Alexander Wang Grecian Wrap Dress, $389. Available at Barneys.com

This simple white number is a modern take on a classic goddess gown, with a knee-length silhouette replacing the traditional maxi skirt, a stretch jersey material replacing the classic chiffon, and a faux wrap front creating the illusion of a draped bodice.

Lulu Frost Althea Green Earrings, $240. Available at LuluFrost.com
These vintage-feeling earrings, measuring 3.75″ in length, were inspired by Daphne, the Greek goddess of laurel trees and leaves. Each of the dangling sparklers features a luminous, diamond-shaped, near-fluorescent resin stone positioned at the center of a double brass ring frame, a conical silver stud directly above the hoops, and a cluster of three leaf-shaped glass crystals in a yellowish orange shade reminiscent of spessartite garnet.
Rabin Kayrouz One-Shoulder Gown, $1675.80. Available at KirnaZabete.com
Forget the traditional white! Give your Grecian style gown a modern edge by choosing a bold shade like this deep violet one. This 100% silk, one-shoulder evening gown features an asymmetrical neckline, delicate ruching along the shoulder, and a layers of semi-sheer fabric lightly draped along the bottom of the skirt.

Ammos by Kitty Greek Evil Eye Swim & Surf Cord Bracelet, $28. Available at Etsy.com

An apotropaic symbol, the Mati or Greek evil eye dates back to the 6th century BC when it was painted on drinking glasses so as to ward off evil spirits during the consumption of liquor. Since then, it’s become tradition for many people in Greece to wear jewelry with charms and pendants featuring the Mati. Make sure to stay on the right side of good fortune with a talisman of your very own.

Costis Jewelry Snail Earrings, $18,900. Visit CostisJewelry.com for store locations.

Greek jewelry designer Costis Chamamtzis knows how to make everyday objects and creatures look sublime. Take  for instance, these beautifully detailed stud earrings, which feature pink sapphire stones arranged in a spiraling coil shape so as to resemble snail shells.

 

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