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WELCOME TO TAVERNA KALISPERA

 A KIND OF GUISE WELCOME YOU TO TAVERNA KALISPERA 

Simplicity and sustainability are key to the vision of this intrepid Munich-based pair.

Bringing the exotic colours and patterns of sunnier climes to their considered, well-crafted aesthetic, they are designers with local values and a truly global language.

Their latest collection is an impressionistic interpretation of the Greek landscape and culture, taking reference from its colours and textures with sea-blue and earth tones, soft faded denims and rich animal hides.

Utilitarian designs with a military twist nod to the country’s turbulent past and present, given a luxurious upgrade in linen and handwoven lambswool.

Detailing is minimal but surprising and beautiful; white, gold and royal blue hides in the lining of the Mykonos coat, and relaxed tailoring in natural, easy-to-wear fabrics evoke the laid-back appeal of a holiday in the Med.

Hazel Perryman caught up with the brains behind the collection…

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First of all, can you tell us a bit about the concept behind your collection?

It is generally themed around Greece and all of the many preconceptions people (or perhaps Germans in particular) have about Greece. This is all centered around the theme of “Taverna Kalispera” (also the name of the collection), a fictive Greek restaurant, which can be just as well found in any city in Germany (or any other European city) as well as on a Greek tourist destination Island, where they cater specifically to the tourists.

This is very visually expressed in the collection through the “Kalispera Scarf” inspired by the printed paper napkins found at the Taverna Kalispera, sporting a German telephone number and info in German, as well as some random Greek one-liners.

The collection also plays around with the idea of contemporary Greek society and lifestyles being a wild mixture of high-end luxury and autonomous left-wing guerrilla in rather extreme forms and as such, freely mixes expensive suits with utility vests and tunics and other various styles associated with those two life discourses.

What drew you to Greece for this collection?

The collections always have a travel theme in some way. It is about exploring a new place, a new culture and finding inspiration through that. Greece was interesting because of the vast diversity and also because it is a place that we associate with summer, which made it the right choice for a spring & summer collection.

Did you visit Greece for inspiration? If so, where did you go, and did you enjoy most about the country?

I went to Athens and surrounding areas and I have also been to some of the islands previously. I like the laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle and the all of its characters and I enjoyed watching and experiencing that vibe.

Do you keep sketchbooks or take photographs for research while you are away? Is there anything in particular you usually find most inspiring? For example, colour, textile patterns, light, mood, etc.

I always take a lot of photos. It can be of anything really. People and places, buildings and neon signs. There is often a lot of things not directly related to clothing but rather to a certain atmosphere which I then take and recreate to some extent through a garment or a combination of a couple of pieces of clothes or even a whole collection when it all adds up.

Many of your designs take inspiration from other cultures. If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would you like to be?

I am really happy living in Germany, specifically in Munich. It’s right at the heart of Europe and you can reach so many different places easily and as such, enjoy a really rich variation of different cultures.

I enjoy visiting all of these new and interesting places, but there has not been another place yet where I would rather live.

How often do you both travel?

We mostly travel together and we get away at least twice every year. There is so much going on in Munich these days with the daily business of running the brand that we do not get to go as often as we would like, but when we go it is also more intense and we allow ourselves to really go all in with the new places we visit.

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Sustainability is central to your business. What, if anything, would you compromise that for?

I think that we are lucky that we do not really have to do any compromises. I think that is probably more important than the sustainability, is not having to compromise. That is a large reason why we keep the production in Germany. We do not have to compromise our ideas about making clothes but can follow through with our vision.

When you began your search for local specialists and craftsmen, were you surprised by what was out there? Has it been difficult to find specialists in particular things?

It was and still is rare to find these specialists and craftsmen, yes. It was a lot of hard work, doing all of the research to find these manufacturers. But it has also been one of the most exciting things so far. To explore your own country in the search of people you can work with, build relationships with has been great and we keep being surprised at the results every season, which is really enjoyable.

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Finally, if you had to choose one piece from the Kalispera collection, what would it be?

I probably would say the Kalispera Scarf, as it really ties this whole idea of the Greece-themed collection and I like the idea that you can wear it and have this sort of “statement”, which is also a rather playful and not too serious one, hidden in the nice mixture of the blue and white colours.

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Interview and words by Hazel Perryman

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