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Tag: Maria Alipranti

Paros, Cyclades: a true craftsmanship designer; Christiane Smit

While sailing in the Cyclades islands in August, enjoying the blue water,  during a beautiful hot morning a visit  at  Christiane Smit’s studio in the island of Paros;  a pure craftsmanship  of refined simplicity of  hand stitching marvelous bags.



Christiane Smit, born in Netherlands, lives and works in Papos island, one of the most beautiful island in the Cyclades, Greece.  She creates leather bags the old fashioned traditional way, using her hands. Each stitch is formed by hand with nothing more than an awl, one needle and a length of waxed linen. Having a passion for natural and organic materials it came natural to her choosing to work with natural dyed hole grain leather form the finest quality showing all original structures and the linen wax wire, which is used in book binding and baskets weaving…



photos @VK, Christiane Smit’ s studio, Paros, Cyclades





photos@Mike Salis


basket bag

“It all started all when I fell in love with a piece of skin when I was travelling in Turkey, the most butter soft,  blood red, piece of goat suede just felt as silk in my hands and I started to design a small evening bag, using a vintage Japanese silk cloth as lining and grey sweet water pearls as handles…and the story takes it from there…”

IMG_1742 copy


photos@Christiane Smit

As Christiane says, very few companies can invest the time necessary to hand stitch their items, but the strength and resilience of hand stitching far exceeds the machine made equivalent.

basket bag 2 colours

we women, carry our life in our bags, they should be something more than a product, they should be a  extension of our own soul and personal style. Unique as every woman is.. versatile and honest good…refined simplicity:uncomplicated and pure.. 

Christiane’s “Petite Maison Christiane”, was born in 2011.  Christiane’s women are effortless chic: sophisticated but relaxed and simple.


Christiane Smit’s inspirations came from living in the Caribbean and travelling through countries as Mexico, Guatemala, Suriname, America and Asia always having a soft spot for all things hand made.




Christiane is  working only by order and customized so she cannot come out with a collection every season. The designs stay in the collection and she might make a change during time, for example The Basket Bag she did it in two colours, combined and every year or half year she  comes out with a new design. The Basket Bag that has two colours has a lot more stitching than the one colored bag. This bag goes with the summer breeze, bohemian chic, easy to wear from morning till the evening.

“I am passionate about all that’s real, clean and pure things, colour combinations because they created atmosphere. About love and my love for my work, people and working with my clients… enjoying always my passion for hand stitching… craftsmanship and creating”

Christiane Smit studied at University of The Arts London and Amsterdam. She worked  in Amsterdam in High End Jewellery, Bvlgari, Pomellato and Pasquale Bruni and High End fashion, Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garcon and Giorgio Armani. Travelling to Paris and Milan selecting collections for the different seasons… Life and her dream brought her to Paros island,  to create and live by the blue sea where she is inspired.





some  photos were taken that beautiful morning at Christiane’s studio, on August 10th, 2015 in  Paros.

here a great shot by Christos Drazos and words by Maria Alipranti, Christiane Smit in Paros, “The Tide”



Athens_at Acropolis Museum_’Samothrace. The Mysteries of the Great Gods’

exhibition: Saturday, 20 June – Wednesday, 30 September, 2015



During my short visit  in Athens amidst of the severe crisis of my lovely country with closed banks, people in agony and anxiety on the political and economical situation, it was  indeed a small breath  to visit the Acropolis museum for  the  exhibition ‘Samothrace. The mysteries of the Great Gods , organized in cooperation with the Ephorates of Rodopi and Evros and the expert on Samothracian antiquities, Mr. Dimitrios Matsas.




Nude seated woman, late 2nd-early 1st cent BC

The relationship between the ancient Greeks and their gods was well known and existed publicly in daily life. However, from very early times, mystery cults began to emerge that were accessible only to those who had been accepted into the rites following certain trials. The most famous ‘Mysteries’ in antiquity were those of Eleusis and Samothrace. The strict prohibition against insiders ever divulging the contents of the sacraments has not allowed much information to be gleaned about the ancient mysteries.

IMG_5773                                                                                                        Amphoriskos, around 25 BC


Archaeological excavations in the Sanctuary at Samothrace, however, have brought to light buildings and paraphernalia belonging to the cult that allow us to form an impression of events. Insiders believed that by invoking the Great Gods they would be saved from any serious dangers at sea and, as members of the Mysteries, they would become more just and pious people.



        Black- figure amphora with a horse’s head, used as urn. The hole on the vessel is intentionally made, around 560 BC


                                                            Karchesion, a type of Kantharos (drinking cup), 550-500 BC


                                                       Female head, which probably depicts  the Great Mother, 3rd-1st cent.BC

The rituals were held at night, the Sanctuary illuminated with torches, during which initiates had to participate in a purification ceremony, to confess their greatest sins, to attend the sacred narrative speech that included mythological stories, to wear the wide, purple sash around their waists and to witness the unveiling of sacred symbols.

IMG_5742                                                                   Bottles, last quarter of the 1st cent.BC

IMG_5771 copy

…the assortments of finds has been selected from the site of Mikro Vouni, located a few kilometers southwest of the sanctuary, where excavations have revealed a settlement with an organized social structure of the 2nd millennium BC. Of particular importance are the Minoan stamp seals and seal impressions with representations of a double ax and fish, which have counterparts at Knossos. Perhaps the ancient tradition that calls for the Mysteries to have originated in Crete and from there to have spread to other places has some historical basis.  (section from  press release)

The Nike (Victory) of Samothrace (2nd century BC) is at Louvre, Paris ,(an early classical greek sculpture, an original of Parian marble and about six feet eight inches high, was set up on the prow of a ship carved in an inferior stone and projecting obliquely into an artificial pool among carefully disposed rocks).


photos@VK by permission of the acropolis museum
Proudly  here  I share with you amazing photos of the real visit at Samothrace by Maria Alipranti  and Christos Drazos (excellent photographer) at the wonderful Aegean Pan.com
watch a video here (Σαμοθράκη. Τα μυστήρια των Μεγάλων Θεών, Acropolis Museum)


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