Blues


What I love the most about this time of year is how easy it is to look nice and feel comfortable at the same time, a luxury that winter with it’s puffy coats and boots does not allow.. A pair of polished sandals and a jumpsuit can go a long way making you look pretty and you can wear them from day to night. Here I’m wearing a Warehouse lace detail jumpsuit (I have a soft spot for jumpsuits and rompers in the summer) with the two of the best additions to my summer accessories cabinet – Stamerra genuine exotic leather cuffs which seem to never leave my hands these days and which you can find here in all colours, shapes and skins and my pass-partout Aspiga Beach silver Luna sandals. What do you guys like to wear most in the summer?

Denmark: All the pretty castles


Before I went I had absolutely no idea how wonderful Denmark is. Not just Copenhagen, where I could easily see myself emigrating, but also the countryside, filled with cottages offering their inhabitants the highest possible quality of life and some of the most impressive castles I've ever seen. While in Denmark we took a day from shopping and playing tourists in Copenhagen and visited the magnificent danish countryside where I had one of the most fruitful days exploring castle after castle. Below you'll find some snapshots from the royal Fredensborg Palace, Hamlet's castle in Helsingor and Frederiksborg Slot with its breathtaking gardens as well as Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen during the change of the guard.

For a day on the move I went for the cutest Monki sneakers, and ripped boyfriend jeans - kept me comfy all day!

Stockholm: Old town bound


My favourite place of all during my trip up north was Stockholm's picturesque old town, Gamla Stan, with the narrow cobblestone streets and colourful old buildings, taking up an entire island and waiting to be explored. So many traditional restaurants, cute tea places and lots of historical sites. It was breezy on the day so I wore a denim shirt with my Peter Pilotto x Target printed sweatshirt from the recent capsule. Soon to be sporting bikinis and sundresses from the same collection on my Croatian yacht week trip the following week - so excited!  

Stockholm streetstyle


A few photos from my recent visit to Stockholm, where I spent my 24th birthday exploring one of the greatest ever cities! Find below a couple snapshots from the city and Skansen open-air museum (more on my instagram). 

P.S. Addicted to printed sweatshirts, find some suggestions at the end of this post! 

Malmo day tripping

Athena Valyraki

During my travels in Northern Europe this past month (many photos from Stockholm and Denmark coming soon!) and while I was staying in Copenhagen we decided to take a day to cross over the swedish border and visit Malmö, a cute little town which offered lots of shopping opportunities. I had the best time strolling the picturesque cobblestone streets and phasing out in Kungsparken watching people canoe their way around me. Most importantly, I was ecstatic to finally find the sheepskin rug of my dreams (so good I didn't think twice about carrying it all the way back!)

For a day around Malmö I wore my favourite item from the recent H&M Conscious Exclusive collection, the white embroidered jacket (most of the collection is still available on ebay), AG bootcut jeans, Aesthet silk pink top and my new Maxwell Scott handbag, which kept me company all throughout my travels! 

Stockholm-Copenhagen instagram diary


A small Instagram diary from my trip to Sweden and Denmark in May, one of the fullest and most enjoyable trips I've ever taken! If you still don't follow me on Instagram you can do so here or by searching for my username, @athinavalyraki! More photos and outfit posts from my trip coming up soon.. In the meantime, hope you enjoy these snapshots!

1. My beautiful room at Nobis hotel, Stockholm.
2. Berzelii park 
3. Beef tartare for lunch at Bistro Berns
4. View from my room at Nobis hotel


5. Mouthwatering desserts at Cafe Petissan
6. Fairytale setting at Skansen open-air Museum
7. Geometrical flower arrangements at Skansen
8. Coffee break at Cafe Petissan


9. Early mornings at Nobis Hotel
10. The incredible industrial decor at Oaxen Krog
11. Duck and buttery asparagus for dinner at Oaxen Krog
12. Rainy evening in Stockholm


13. Springtime in Stockholm
14. A heavenly candy corner at Grona Lund
15. Swedish snack time (aka fika)
16. Nordic Viking Lines during a cruise through the canals of Stockholm 


17. Princessy atrium inside Nobis hotel
18. Leather cut out jacket decorating Acne store windows
19. View of Stockholm's port
20. Colourful homes in the old city, Gamla Stan


21. White and beige tones at Acne store
22. Selfie before heading out to dinner
23. At Skansen Aquarium
24. Visiting Nordic museum in Stockholm


25. Ericsson Globe Skyview 
26. Top of the globe at Ericsson Skyview enjoying the most far-reaching view of Stockholm
27. Inside Stockholm Town Hall, the most magnificent building in the city
28. Swedish fika time at Sturrekaten 


29. Passing by the beautiful Arms Museum
30. Quite dinner at Pontus! 
31. After my birthday dinner at Operakallaren
32. The Diplomat


33. Radhuset, breathtaking subway station in Stockholm
34. Looking at the wind turbines, in the sea outside Copenhagen
35. Coffee time at Axel Hotel Guldsmeden in Copenhagen
36. Afternoon tea at Chaikhana Teahouse


37. More from picturesque Gamla Stan
38. The famous little mermaid off the coast of Denmark
39. Out and about in Denmark, posing outside a candy-coloured building 
40. The most delicious four-course fish menu at Restaurant Koefoed


41. Coffee time at Axel Hotel Guldsmeden - love this gigantic chair!
42. Nyhavn, the most infamous little harbor.
43. At Hamlet's castle in Helsingor, in the Danish countryside
44. One organic apple a day...


45. Feeling like a little kid outside Nimb at Tivoli Gardens
46. Sprinkled Ben&Jerry's Baked Alaska between rides at Tivoli Gardens  
47. Delicious dinner at Nimb Brasserie
48. The entrance to my favourite ride at Tivoli Gardens, the Demon!


49. Frederiksborg Slot, my future home - I wish!
50. 100% organic and delicious breakfast at Hotel Axel Guldsmeden
51. Having a warm cup of coffee on my little balcony at Axel
52. Never ending bed of daisies in the danish countryside 


53. Organic sandwich and salad lunch before hitting the streets
54. Observing the change of the guard at Amalienborg 
55. A statue of Hans Christian Andersen, looking at Tivoli Gardens across the street. 
56. Spending a day at the Swedish town of Malmo


57. Making a stop at Fredensborg Slot
58. Kungsparen at Malmo, Sweden
59. Looking out the window on the train to the little Swedish town of Malmo, across the border from Denmark
60. Ready to take a boat cruise around the canals of Copenhagen

Thanks for reading!

Eye Spy


Unbelievable how obsessive and desirable the eye print became this last year, having me invest in all things eyes, from clothing to jewellery! Be it Kenzo (outfit here) or Sheinside, eye printed sweatshirts kept me warm these past few months, however I don't exactly feel like I've gotten quite enough; what about eye printed bikinis I wonder? 

Boys club

Athena Valyraki

This is one of my favourite looks recently, a combination of sporty chic and monochrome graphics, which in my opinion wraps up the Spring 14 essence. Couple that with a hint of back-to-school action and -what else- Adidas Originals and you got yourself a super trendy, super comfortable day look. 

Insider tip: If you've been drooling over the Rag&Bone Talia sweater, I suggest you go for this Boys Club one by Nasty Gal, a similar but more affordable does-the-same-job version - I truly love mine!  

Nokia Lumia Photoshoot Part II


As promised here is the second part of my collaboration with Nokia UK, shot and edited by Sylvain Deleu and the Nokia team in London a few weeks ago using the amazing Lumia 1020!

Nokia Lumia Photoshoot Part I


I'm happy to share with you the first part of my collaboration with Nokia UK, which took place a few weeks ago in London. The idea was to shoot and edit my outfit photos using the 41 megapixel Nokia Lumia 1020  and its array of editing features and filters instead of my usual SLR camera and photo editing software. As challenging as that seemed in the beginning, I ended up having the best time with the Nokia UK team as we shot at the magnificent Mandarin Oriental and truth be told I was amazed at how pretty the photos turned out! More photos from my collaboration coming up soon! 

Plunge


Jumpsuits are my favourite clothing category! As time consuming as it is to get them on and off sometimes, there's a significant amount of freedom in movement that comes with not having to worry about tucking your shirt in and pulling your blouse down that is just priceless - even when having to deal with a neckline as plunging as this one! This Nasty Gal hustle jumpsuit was one of my favourite "new ins" this spring and I paired it with a bomber jacket and red backpack for a modern back-to-school effect!

My H&M Conscious Exclusive experience


Last week I was lucky to be able to view, style and shoot with my favourite pieces from the brand new H&M Conscious and Conscious Exclusive 2014 collections before they launch this week and these are the photos we took on the day at the H&M showroom. 

The collections are not only eco-friendly, made of environmentally sustainable fabrics (organic leather and silk from mulberry trees), but also mesmerisingly beautiful and romantic. The collection as a whole can be characterised as bohemian with pieces resembling modern versions of flamenco, greek and matador costumes in a nude-cream-navy palette. 

You can view the entire collection here, launching in selected stores and online this Thursday 10th of April (mark it in your calendars right now!) 

Kittens


I've always been a dog person, but this Markus Lupfer kitten sweater was just too adorable! Other than new animal categories I'm also experimenting with new pants styles this season, the theme being the baggier the better - kinda missed being able to walk around with my hands in my pockets! 

Candy colours


Candy colours are always big on spring, and this year even more so than before. Beautiful separates in soft springtime hues (baby pink and blue, mint, soft peach and violet)  have made their appearance in all highstreet and high end stores. Take your pick and embrace your sweet side!

Buttoned up


The classic blue men's shirt is back and it's here to stay this spring. Everyone has one so get ready to dig up yours from wherever you have it, or if you happen to be one of those who never "believed" in shirts it's finally time to get your own! This takes us back to the chambray trend from about a year ago, but this time it's crisp and not too fitted, or even flared and it looks SO good when it's all buttoned up! 

Functional and passe-partout you can combine it with anything, from the floor scraping camel coat for an elegant outfit to the cropped sweater for an edgier look, like I've done here. All buttoned up it can be the best background for a statement necklace. Roll up the cuffs all the way to your elbows, or if you want to try something fresh let them hang all the way down for maximun contrast! How do you wear your blue shirt? 

Kaleidoscope


Apologies for not having posted a new look all week, gemmology exams kept me hidden inside books, but it all went great and I'm now back on track! 

A little crazy, a little edgy and very uplifting due to their vivid hues, these MCQ by Alexander McQueen kaleidoscope printed leggings have got it all, including a very tempting price at the moment. A pair of MCQ iconic printed leggings is nothing if not a collectible and trust me when I say it goes a long way making you feel like so much FUN! Same goes for the Peter Pilotto x Target capsule collection sunnies! Can't wait to start styling all my Pilotto x Target cherished acquisitions!

Transparency


Enjoying the warmer weather in my Sugarfree transparent lace top (a must-have for glamorous day or evening looks and now available at a very good price here). I matched my transparent top with the new Celine SS14 transparent cat eye sunglasses in nude, which will be my go-to eyewear in the summer! Hope you all have a great weekend! 

Fringe


Hello and happy Monday! Today I come to you with an easy weekend look for spring, comprised of the limited edition Isabel Marant pour H&M ruffle skirt (similar one here and a beautiful one in orange here), my favourite Sugarfreeshops fringe top, Kurt Geiger over the knee boots (similar) and my Chanel boy bag in off-white. I absolutely love going crazy on mini skirts in the spring, they have their way of making you feel carefree, wouldn't you say?

The Bling Edit

For a while I've been meaning to put together an edit/shopping guide dedicated to jewellery and jewellery only. I thought it would be easy to pick out my 10 faves and organise them so as to give you a few concrete suggestions, but I ended up putting aside so many different items across so many different styles that I discovered I couldn't possibly limit this edit to 10 choices. Torn between minimalistic jewellery, heavy evening pieces and the new, world-wide obsession, the evil eye, I decided no one can truly master the science of accessorising, unless they have sufficiently invested in all three of the following categories: 


1. Art Deco aka The Serious Bling



2. I Spy with my little Eye



3. Everyday sleekness



1. Pamela Love silver turquoise cage ring
2. Kenzo tiger enamel silver necklace
3. Saint Laurent silver Cassandre monogram ring
4. Maria Black D'Arling gold plated ring
5. Aamaya by Priyanka hangman gold plated earrings
6. Monica Vinader Fiji friendship bracelet
7. Valentino rockstud leather cuff
8. Gucci rose gold bamboo ring
9. Givenchy shagreen & python Obsedia bracelet
10. Maison Martin Margiela four finger plated rings



Thanks for reading!


The scarf


Have I mentioned I am a collector? I happen to collect.. .everything, which as people like to point out to me is a euphemism for never throwing out anything and living in a mess of my hundreds of garments and accessories - I hope some of you can sympathise! The bad thing about this is that I often forget what I have and end up purchasing something that turns out to be similar to something I already had. The good thing is that as trends come and go, I sometimes "re-discover" things I had entirely forgotten about and I get immensely happy, as if I just bought them. This is pretty much what happened when I realised I had 4 boxes containing scarves which I had yet to open this winter, one of them just for silk square scarves from a million years ago. I got quite amused at how these little things could give new life to an entire outfit and decided to set them free. Here's a simple three-step guide to making use of your long-forgotten headscarves: 
1. Retrieve them from wherever it is you buried them.
2. Do not consider wearing them on your head, not even for a second.
3. Try to tie them around your neck, either leaving both ends hanging in the front or tie a knot on your neck cowboy style like I've done here. 

There's an optional step 4 - let me know if that was as refreshing for you as it was for me ;) 


Vatican City: Kenzo eyes


One more look from Italy, a casual outfit that I wore for my first ever visit to Vatican City state. Had the greatest time exploring this tiny little country in the middle of Rome and even though it is impossible to see all of its magnificent attractions in half a day I can say with certainty that I made it to top 5! This Kenzo lotus eye sweatshirt from the winter 'Eye' capsule collection kept me warm and my new Giuseppe Zanotti velvet sneakers helped keep me comfortable throughout a day of non-stop walking. Turns out it's not so difficult to look stylish and feel comfy, all you need is a hot pair of kicks! 

Rome: Hero


About a week ago I had the pleasure of spending a few days in Rome with my family for my mom's birthday celebrations! We had the most amazing time running from place to place all day, playing tourists with our well-researched list of things to do and places to eat at (suffice it to say that even when I travel purely for leisure I don't leave much to chance). Hope you were following my Roman adventures on Instagram

On my first day there I wore the most incredible mesh bodycon midi dress from Asos, (now on sale here!) with my Sandro cut out Atlanta boots (unfortunately sold out, but there's a nice equivalent over at Zara) and felt like a hero going around bare-legged in February. If you feel like adding a bit of a grunge to your style, but don't want to look like a punk I highly recommend a combo along these lines! 

Boxy jacket


We've talked about sports luxe before and I knew I'd  be coming back to this again and again exploring its various forms, boxy jackets being one of them. Yes, it's hard to put away our leather biker jackets even during the freezing months of the year (speaking like a true addict here), but believe me it's never been a better time to diversify into non-moto jackets.  The boxy, cropped jacket, as sported by Emporio Armani, 3.1. Philip Lim and Thakoon among others on the SS14 RTW catwalks is here to stay. The boxy shape of this jacket comes in every imaginable print, shade and texture and will successfully accompany you to any occasion. If you happen to pass by a Max Mara store, I strongly recommend mine, from the Sportmax Defilé series coming out in intense turquoise and purple shades - both look marvellous! 

Ready for spring


No matter the cold temperatures I'm ready to put away my floor scraping coats and fluffy fur jackets and welcome spring in brighter colours and lightweight fabrics. Wearing my white Zara jacket from the fall/winter Studio series, my white Gianvito Rossi pumps and Celine baby blue shopper with transparent accessories can't shake the false feeling that it's already April. In preparation for spring outfits I plan to stock up on high waisted, A-line skirts like this one - when worn properly they go a long way to make you feel like a lady- as well as anything and everything baby blue, THE colour for spring 2014! Tune in as we'll soon be discussing more spring/summer trends! ;)


P.S. Congratulations to Sianna Marinova from Sofia, Bulgaria for winning the giveaway for the genuine exotic leather clutch by Laykh! More exciting giveaways coming soon! 

Baroque


Baroque inspired patterns have been firmly back into the fashion scene these past few seasons. Found in tops, skirts, bomber jackets and even sunglasses and other accessories, baroque prints can add an element of excitement to a plain outfit. From Dolce & Gabbana (in my opinion kings of baroque) to Balmain and McQueen, high fashion houses have been obsessed with the trend. I wore my baroque sweater with a Max Mara pencil pleated skirt, favourite Balenciaga sling backs (similar here) and Lovett&co vintage statement necklace. How do you feel about baroque patterns and how do you like to match them? 


Good Morning Tokyo!


Aaah you got me I'm actually in London, not in Tokyo for these photos, but with Isabel Marant anyone can dream these days. Psyched to have finally gotten my hands on the Sandro Atlanta boots (even though I had to search every store in London to find them in my size), the epitome of stylish comfort. Sold out everywhere unfortunately now, but you can find something similar on a budget here. For a day spent walking about town I suggest some fur to keep you warm, and some skinnies to keep you stylish - visit Sugarfree shops for a good selection of both! 

P.S. Enter my new giveaway for a chance to win a genuine exotic leather bag of your choice! Wish I could enter this one myself! 

GIVEAWAY! Win a genuine exotic leather bag of your choice!


Hello friends! Today I write to you with the best antidote for Monday blues! I happen to have a great chance for you to win a genuine exotic skin leather bag from luxury brand Laykh, brought to you by my good friends over at Slate Design. Slate Design is a brand strategy and creative agency that specialises in designing impactful visual stories for beauty, fashion and lifestyle brands. One of the many brands they collaborate with is Hong Kong based brand Laykh! I’ve only recently discovered this brand and I must say, it’s a bag lover’s dream!

By entering this competition you stand a chance to win one of these beautiful, genuine exotic skin leather bags, the ultimate evening accessory, custom-made just for you! Since personal preferences differ and everyone has their own taste in accessories, this time I'm really happy to be able to offer you a choice! 

You can choose between:

The Emma, made of genuine tangerine ostrich, retailing for $820. 


The Krish, made of genuine python skin, retailing for $370. 

The Nancy, made of genuine African Violet Lizard, retailing for $475.
The Tara, made of genuine Gunmetal Metallic Python, retailing for $485.



To enter this exciting international giveaway competition please complete the following steps:

1. Follow @brandmeslate and @laykhhandbags on twitter.

2. Follow Not Your Average Style Fix with Bloglovin and Instagram.

3. Leave a comment below with your email address and bag of choice! The email will be used to contact the winner.

This giveaway will be open for 10 days and the winner will be announced here on the blog on Thursday 13 Feb! 

Good luck everyone!!!


------ This giveaway is now closed! Congratulations to Sianna Marinova from Sofia, Bulgaria for winning the clutch of her choice! Tune in for more exciting giveaways soon! ------

Sports luxe


Sports luxe is one of the trends that keeps coming around, because it's simple, elegant and at the same time highly wearable. Most designers have been embracing the idea of introducing gym clothes and athletic silhouettes into day and evening-wear and with good reason. Boxy jackets, crops and slouchy pants/luxurious track pants make for comfortable styles, and who doesn't want to be comfortable and fashionable at the same time! I had been searching for a pair of easy-going, glamorous track pants for a while when I came across this pair by Sportmax code. The fabric feels silky and comfy, plus the side stripe supposedly creates the illusion of longer legs - worth a try if you ask me! Paired with a lightweight wool turtleneck, classy S Max Mara coat and my new favourite accessory, the floppy hat, I'm torn between going for a cocktail and going for a jog! 

Boho chic


As a long dedicated fan of skinny jeans I rarely tried anything which didn't fall under this category, simply because I didn't think anything else would suit me as nicely. I only got my first boyfriend jeans about a year and a half ago and it took me more than a few tries till I managed to style them to my liking. This started a chain reaction, an incessant shopping spree where I was trying to get my hands on everything but skinny jeans. I think this is probably when I developed my insane space-making skills, very useful if you're always faced with a wardrobe that's over-capacity. 

What I found most irresistible in the previous H&M collab with ma chère Isabel was the beautiful selection of bottoms, from mono to printed and from leather to cargo. These printed cargo pants were the first item I put in my basket and one of my favourite purchases, as they helped me attempt one of my first boho-ish looks. I matched them with a draped crossover SS14 Helmut Lang top in light grey and a leather biker jacket for a walk around my favourite city :)

Paris excursion


Even though just for a day I managed to take the train from London to Paris and visit some of the best fashion exhibitions yet, those of Alaia and Cartier. We started the day very early trying to fit everything we wished to accomplish in the few free hours we knew we'd have. I first visited the Alaia exhibition in its two separate venues, Musee Galliera and MAM, where I was blown away by the beautiful couture. I was awestruck at the sight of the magnificent Alaia dresses, handcrafted in excruciating detail, standing in all their glory underneath some enormous Matisse paintings in the Museum of Modern Art. I then moved on to the Grand Palais, to visit the Cartier exhibition, where I saw some of their most historical and valuable pieces, normally scattered across the globe, but brought together in one place for this exhibition. The Cartier exhibition will be on until mid-February, so if you happen be in Paris during the time I strongly recommend it (as well as booking in advance!)  


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