Summer Intensive Workshopaholics – Part 1

 My name is Mary and I am a Workshopaholic

Text & Photos: Mary Giatra


It’s ten o’clock in the morning in Psyrri and even though it is spring, the city is already on fire. The heat that is passing from the hot concrete through my shoe soles, is a good enough reason for me to run towards the school. I arrive at the industrial loft on Sari street, a place that seems like heaven during the athenian summer, and I can’t even realize how fast almost a year has passed. About a year ago I was visiting the place that would later become my school during the open day.

I remember my heart beating fast the first time I rang the doorbell of the heavy metallic door. When I opened it, I realized exactly why I should be there. A big and bright staircase covered with red carpet and on the top of it was Vicky, smiling at me. I am all about dramatic entrances, I know.

This is how the journey began. I wanted to start immediately. Summer Intensive here we come, I was thinking. Almost one hundred hours of class. Fashion Journalism, History of Styling and Costume, Photography, Art, Makeup, Illustration, Fashion Terminology… There were one hundred hours full of information and we were standing all ears in front of our teachers, ready to absorb every piece of knowledge like sponges.

“Come on guys, how many dots can there be in just one paragraph and how much innuendo can we use? Give the information, straight and simple!”, Mia Kollia was constantly accentuating during the Fashion Journalism class. “We always cross-check guys and we study hard!”, Dada Ioannidou was saying passionately while teaching us the History of Styling and Costume. What about Genevieve Manjari at the history of Photography class: “Do you realize how Avedon changed the whole history of Photography?” , she was rhetorically  asking! Every moment of learning was so dense that after the class we felt exhausted, both exhausted and amazed!

We entered a world where art and science become one. It is a world full of magic and creativity and we learned about some of the most important artists of the 20th century. We studied about the evolution of fashion and we realized that everything happens for a reason. But most of all, we were taught how to use the knowledge and become better persons. Two weeks are not enough, I was telling myself during the course.

Thankfully I listened to Vicky and the teachers advice. Vodafone, was offering four full scholarships for the next year. I realized that the journey that had begun was not even close to meet its end and decided to study for the following exams. Reading about the great masters of fashion, “How hard can it be?”, I thought. And truthfully it wasn’t. Two weeks of the summer intensive course were so helpful that I took the test feeling confident. Less than a month later, Vicky announced that I got the first scholarship. The feeling was simply pure joy, pure satisfaction.

Being already a part of a team, I started the year feeling that I was just in the right place, exactly where I was supposed to be. I remember Vicky’s question a few months ago, after having completed yet another challenging school project.

-“When you decided to attend the Summer Intensive course, could you even imagine what was about to follow?”

-“The best investment of my life, honestly!” , I responded quickly.


In hard times, times of desperation, when words like fashion and art are correlated with luxury, I feel I have found a place where I can house my dreams and turn my fantasy into creativity. I have found a home and for the past 11 months I have gained countless experiences. Most importantly, I met people that I can trust and feel close to. You can call them a team, you can call them a true family. Either way, only two simple words can describe what I am feeling right now…Thank you!

Mary Giatra