Some people come into our lives like magic. This was certainly the case with my friend Ariane Leondaridis. Tapped on the shoulder at a busy Bondi bar, I turned to see a gorgeous, tall, elfin woman with a huge smile saying hi - we got chatting and I suppose, never stopped. She’d just moved to Bronte’s sun kissed sands from New York with her family, leaving her post as Ulla Johnson’s head designer for a dream of providing her children a laid back Aussie childhood.
Coming from a Greek and French background , she has that infectious energy and loudness of Hellenic people coupled with Parisian refinement and a keen interest in culture. With a common passion for the arts and sustainability I spent many a night talking to Ariane about different mediums of artistic expression and ethical production. She is, I must add, annoyingly modest about her talents – I asked to see her live drawing class sketches once and she refused saying that they just weren’t very good yet . After much begging , she was made to relent and dear reader, the sketches were so brilliant , I asked to put one on my wall. When she said she wanted to get into making ceramics and sculptures, I got excited because I really need some for my house and I love her aesthetic. No matter how many mediums she dipped into and experimented with, fashion wouldn't stop niggling in the back of her mind.
Fast forward nearly 3 years and Ariane is starting her own ethical, artesian label Ilio Nema with her old coworker from Ulla, Katia Kelso. The label’s name derives from the word Ilio, meaning Sun, or mythical sun god Helio riding across the sky in his chariot and Nema: meaning thread under Athena’s weaving wisdom or a special tool central to Theseus’ safe return from the centre of the labyrinth.
Effortlessly bohemian with a tomboy edge, handcrafted, seasonless and authentically sustainable, the brand exudes principles of quality over quantity and understated luxury coupled with intricate details. It’s the sort of clothes one looks after for a lifetime then passes on– as far away from fast fashion as possible. One garment sometimes takes days to make by hand by Moroccan weavers - a far cry from the churning machine of mass production. In this world of rampant consumerism and mindless pollution , Ilio Nema stands with few other peers. Making a label sustainable is one thing, making it interesting and original is another.
But, I'm not a model! - Ariane exclaimed when I demanded to shoot her in her own clothes. I think these photos prove, it's just another thing she is modest about.
In a whirlwind of travelling and my daughter getting sick, 2 weeks have gone past in a flash so here is my promised update on how my hair is faring post my amazing experience with System Professional. I really loved my salon service experience, yet does it really last? To be honest, I was dubious since I live by the beach and my hair is best friends with salt ,harsh sun and flat irons. Nothing has ever worked consistently and I wasn’t sure that anything ever would, yet I was given products to take home as part of my unique EnergyCodeTM experience, so I decided to commit and use them religiously in hopes of extending my newfound virgin-like hair. This is what I found :
Verdict: Yes, it is possible to extend the initial feeling of salon fresh hair via the amazing experience of the System Professional EnergyCodeTM service, and that is by looking after my hair properly with at home care products that have been personally prescribed for me and my hair needs. I feel like my hair is still amazingly soft and manageable and I’m sure that has to do with having a professional regime I can follow rather than ‘anything goes’ when on the go, ‘just throw it on’ type of haircare I usually adhere to. Funny that; you give your hair proper care and attention and great things happen!
To experience new System Professional for yourself and find out your unique EnergyCode™ care system, click here (link to https://www.systemprofessional.com/en-GB/salon-finder
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