Style undressed: Aspasia Karras

Aspasia Karras, the editor of Marie Claire, is currently enjoying the vintage look that consists of dresses from the 50’s in floral and prints.

Aspasia Karras

Aspasia Karras


Aspasia Karras

Photos: Oupa Nkosi (M&G)


At the moment I am going through a floral phase. I got this dress from Reindeer Vintage Couture in Cape Town. Between this store and Shirley Fintz, I spend all my money.

I love vintage so much so that last year for our eco issue I started something called vintage Monday and now readers send in their vintage outfits on a Monday and we publish it on – really cute – a small movement!


The shoes are my current favourites – Isabel Marant Dicker suede ankle booties.

I can’t take these off my feet; I make every outfit work around them.

My fetish for shoes is a hereditary problem running through generations of women in my family. My great grandfather owned a shoe factory.  A weekend treat for my mum would be a custom made shoe of her choice.


The earrings are skeletons by Ida Elsje, which is a bespoke local jewellery designer.

The ring is by Eric Loubser – a hamster with crown. I also have the menagerie rabbit and pig in this collection. Eric Loubser is a jewellery designer based in Johannesburg specializing in contemporary and personalized jewellery.

The bracelet is Zoja Mihic.

Jewellery design in South Africa is amazing.

Aspasia Karras

Photo: Oupa Nkosi (M&G)

How important is it to look professional at work?

In my job/profession I can be a bit out there. People expect it of me. I have great freedom in how I dress and it doesn’t undermine me. Power dressing in this industry is different as opposed to being a banker.

Are women compelled to dress a certain way?

The way we dress today reflects the evolution of feminism. Real freedom is about wearing what expresses you. In the 80’s, women had to dress in a man’s suit to be taken seriously. Women should be allowed to wear whatever they want without it undermining peoples and their own self worth. However some jobs do have uniforms like lawyers. Men are equally constrained by uniforms.

Heels: pain or gain?

Gain gain gain but with pain off course

First job:

The Gauteng provincial government convened the arts and culture task group.

How has your style evolved since then?

I had a wacky dress sense back then too. I remember with great fondness a pair of vintage 60’s psychedelic pants that I wore to government. People were surprised.  I suppose I always had a quirky dress sense.

South African labels that Karras loves:

Suzaan Heyns, Marion and Lindie, and Tiaan Nagel.

Thabani Mavundla, an ex-designer for Stoned Cherrie that launched his own range at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg this year, lives in my cottage so I pop over whenever I am in dire need of something new.

One item in your closet that you will keep forever:

My Prada Mohican special edition shoes.

About Aspasia:

Aspasia Karras has been the editor of Marie Claire for two and a half years. She is on the 1st inaugural national fashion council which is launching in April 2012.

She appeared on the reality show ‘Come dine with me’ in 2011. She is an avid runner.


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