The very heart of Ethos inspiration lies in the Greek traditional costumes, as well as the textiles and embroideries used by women to decorate their homes. Memories from the past, forgotten stories and values can be traced in each creation, while carefully selected materials and special techniques remind of Greece’s rich past. ‘We focus on colours dominating in each region so that we achieve uniformity and respect to Greek traditional designs diversity’.
Ethos first collection is dedicated to the island of Crete and more precisely, to the prefecture of Chania and the region of Sfakia. ‘We chose Crete as it is an island rich in history and traditions, preserved by its inhabitants up to now’.
Cretan embroideries, of geometric decoration, are the richest and most well-structured traditional textiles one can find in all five continents. Even if they only deal with one geometric shape: rhombus. Such embroideries are no longer weaved and very few of the old ones are preserved. Some of them are exposed in well-known museums in Greece and abroad. Apart from the embroideries beauty, wealth and variety, it’s worth mentioning their uniqueness, both in terms of textile technique and qualitative features.
Original traditional costumes showing people’s position in the society adorn museum facades, individuals’ living rooms and book pages. Several folk researches have been conducted by young people in Crete, in an effort to discover the island and its people and to preserve the art of Terzides.
Krikelia Earrings – During the Venetian Rule in Crete, the big Byzantine earrings were called Krikelia. This design is inspired by the embroideries found on women dresses, as well as on pillow covers that girls used to embroider for their dowry.
Sariki Necklace – inspired by the costume’s headwear scarf or sariki, as it is commonly known. Knitted with silk fabric and fringed ends, it can be found in black or white colour. Its fringed ends look like tears. According to Evangelia Fragkaki’s book, ‘The Popular art of Crete’, sariki represents a tribute to the Arkadi Monastery Holocaust in 1866. Sariki’s fringed ends stand for the many years of Ottoman slavery. Their shape symbolises Cretan’s pain and suffering for the loss of the brave men of Arkadi.
Chirami Necklace – In Chania, the woolly bed linen with fringed ends was called hirami. It was usually single-coloured, while embroideries with friezes or geometric drawings could be found on its bottom.
‘In our effort to find records, we visited historical museums such as the Benaki Museum and the National Historical Museum. We read books talking about the history of Cretan costumes such as Evangelia Fragkaki’s and Ioannis Tsouchlaraki’s books, as well as the book of Tatiana Giannara focusing on Greek embroidery’.
‘All these created an immense source of knowledge, that first made us proud and then taught us that we may find all missing values hidden in Greek tradition.’
Vagioli Necklace – The long and narrow towel is called vagioli. Cretan women used to place it at the centre of the table and during the festive days, they put it on the walls to decorate them. The motif designed at the edge of the jewelry is inspired by the Sfakiani towel. The towel’s colours seem to preserve the geometric combinations of Knossos vessels.
Mirmidi Necklace – Cretans used to call Mirmidi, the long necklace that reached the women’s chest (mpeti). This design is a combination of Cretan geometric drawings, colours and cadena as chains of the Cretan man costume was called.
The basic line consists of the largest number of jewels that will be available for sale even after the launch of the next collection. The limited line consists of five different jewels, of which only three pieces per creation will be produced. The number three symbolises Ethos Stories’ soul; the three women’s vision to create the company. At the end of the collection, those jewels will not be produced again, showing in this way that they are designed with respect to uniqueness and value.