It Smells Like Egypt

IT SMELLS LIKE EGYPT was inspired by Egyption culture. The fashion Designer Panayiota Pavla had the wonderful idea to start producing works inspired by the culture around the world, keeping traditional elements of each country and combine contemporary modern points. Her influence for the line of the clothes was Japanese sport/ street style/ ready to wear clothing. She researched about the Egyptian culture and decided to create her own clothing line by using her own patterns, with silk screen printing, digital printing, laser cut and many other techniques.

The shoot was one of the best memories of the collaboration that they had; that’s why it is so important for them to represent this work. First of all, Panayiota was obligated to travel from Cyprus to Italy to find Maria to organised and make the shooting  by just having  5 days, not to mention the fact that she carried her whole clothing line in 3 luggages. Since their concept was Egypt they had to find either a place with Egyptian Points or travel across Egypt; so Maria did a research and  found a place in Florence – Italy   called “Cascine Park” where it is a Pyramid with Egyptian history. The model had to travel from Spain  to Italy  where she was for vacations and the same day that she came we had the shooting  from the 3:00 pm – 2:00 am the next morning. However the procedure of the shooting was incredible, many people approached them during the shooting at  the Pyramid and congratulated them for the work and that made their confidence even more higher.

Maria Antoniou and Panayiota Pavla, a photographer and a Fashion Designer (students)  cooperate to create their own path into the art industry. Being students at the same university despite the fact that they were in a different field they discovered that they have the same perspective creating contemporary art; thus the cooperation began.


Art is a really strong word that plays within our minds everyday. What is art for us? A question that cannot be answered in two sentences but in a whole photograph.  For us art is everything around us, everything is considering to be art from the most  useless thing to the most useful. All the creatures are art even people , as art is unique.  Art for us is an imaginary world that is located behind of each person’s mind. Some people manage to find where it is some others they just get lost. An imaginary world where everything that you like is inside, as well bad and good memories that you had.  By using these elements you create our own piece of art, which if you are able to identify  with it you did an amazing job. Art is a lifestyle.

In the generation that we live is really hard to find originality. Nowadays art is consider to be more appreciated than before so, there are so many young talents that worth to succeed in their life but unfortunately they don’t have the luck or the money to be helped. We strongly believe that to be a good artist in this generation is to cooperate with artists in different fields and of course be yourself and not be affected by  what people say. Be an individual with your own critical thinking , and mostly your own unique personality . Be something different , something weird. A good artist for us,  is a person that lives all the time in an imaginary world bycomparing the manipulated world that we live and his own world. Last but not least, not be misinformed by the mass media.


Maria Antoniou is 20 years old. She is a student of photography based in Italy , but normally  lives in a small Island in the middle of the Mediterranean called Cyprus . Particularly she studies Photography and New Media in Accademia Italiana in Florence. The passion for photography started five years agoin high school when she had the chance to choose a lesson of interest and she chose Photography. The teacher approached them in a right way so every student can start see art more deeply. Particularly, for Maria  it was not so hard , as from a very young age she was involve with art as drawing. She was always expressing her feelings through her drawings and after in her photographs. She saw photography in a more professional way when the teacher of the high school persuaded her to take part of a competition that was from the whole country; in the end she won two prizes  in Photography and the second Pancyprian award from the whole country. After that her confidence generally as a person got really high. She even started having lessons in Photography  after school  where there she  develop my critical thinking. There as well she had the chance to show my work by creating two exhibitions in the whole city for photography in one year.


Panayiota Pavla is 24 years old, born in the USA and now lives in Cyprus. She finished her BA(hons) in Primary Education. Then she decided to follow her dream in the Fashion Industry.  She studies BA(hons) Fashion Design in Cyprus at Alexander college which works in partnership with University of the West of England in Bristol.  Her lecturer Panteli Pantelis, president of CFDA in Cyprus, saw her work and persuaded her to take part in Cyprus fashion week, tv programs and many other fashion related events.  Two of her designs were chosen to be worn by miss Cyprus Contestants. Also she was called to show her work in the Cyprus international broadcasting channel.  Furthermore she works as a personal shopper stylist, merchandiser e.t.c in TOPSHOP Cyprus, in order to gain experiences.  She improved her knowledge in Fashion by doing internships with different kind of Designers that are based in Cyprus but they are active internationally. Lastly, Panayiota Pavla is a designer of ready-to-wear functional and contemporary clothes. She currently produces a range of products under her signature of PPS. Those products include footwear and accessories.

As Maria studies in Italy and Panayiota in Cyprus in a British university, they found many differences in the art industry.  Particularly, the art scene in Cyprus is not developed yet that’s why Maria  took the decision to leave and study in Italy where art is mostly invented. Due to the fact that Cyprus is a really small island people have a completely different way of thinking , they are more closed minded and judgmental. However nowadays, since many young people start to see art as a way of surviving the things are getting better and are more acceptable that it used to be.  In last five years British universities have been cooperating with universities in Cyprus, in order for the students to obtain a British diploma.  Before that there were not many chances for Cypriot students to study art, that’s why Cyprus is developing in art.  On the other hand, in Italy art is in much more high levels. Italy is a big museum of classic and history but unfortunately contemporary art is developing yet in some countries.

Maria’s style in photographs developed during the years as in the first year as a student she was 100% fine art photographer by hiding deep meaning in her photographs and creative weird psycho scenes. After the second year in photography she started finding herself in many things; one of it was contemporary photography. Her mind change completely when she started cooperating  with the Fashion designer Panayiota Pavla since they create their own  cooperation “brand” and their  interest went immediately to Contemporary Fashion Photography.  The style in their cooperation can be “expressed” as bit weird as they want to create a conceptual story behind their workwith eccentric clothes and combing contemporary elements. 


Maria Antoniou @antonioumariaa


Panayiota Pavla


Christina Kkaili @christian_kkaili