Alignment. Opinion. Differentiation. Imagination.

On a summer morning around the Panathenaic stadium we had a friendly conversation with Christos Mallakis, the acclaimed Greek actor, exploring the transformative power of personal style.

Christos Mallakis is a distinguished Greek actor known for his diverse roles in theater and television. Born and raised in Athens, Mallakis graduated from the National Theatre’s Drama School. He has participated in numerous acclaimed theatrical productions

 and notable TV series such as “Psychokores” and “Agries Melisses”. Besides acting, he teaches drama, emphasizing the importance of thorough role preparation and personal authenticity in performance.

What is the significance of a costume for an actor, and how does it affect their performance on stage or in front of the camera?

The old saying goes, “You should wear the costume, not let the costume wear you!”  I fully embrace this view and add that, during the process of studying a role and gradually revealing its essence, an actor also understands the character’s sartorial “preferences.” It is crucial for actors to feel comfortable in their costume to truly make it their own. I have experienced situations in theatrical productions where the costume designer envisioned a costume for my role that, upon studying the character, I felt it wasn’t correct. The character I was going to portray would never wear such clothes. We concluded that it is essential for me to wear  clothes that align with the role I am serving. The key word here is alignment.

Do you believe that style and fashion have the power to change people’s attitudes and bring about social changes? If so, how?

The way a person dresses can, to some extent, highlight their personality. Conversely, a person with a strong personality does not have the insecurities that would lead them to “hide” sartorially within the crowd. Hence, the key concepts are: opinion, differentiation, and imagination.

What is your opinion of people based on the clothes they choose to wear today, and what do you think this reflects about our society?

Very often, I see people dressed similarly, if not identically. This happens because the fashion trends of the time dictate a specific way of dressing, enforcing a style that people adopt for “common acceptance.” Personally, this does not appeal to me because it creates a sense of institutionalization and a herd mentality.

Is fashion “pretentious”? Are there trends that inspire or concern you?

In life, there is no room for pretense of any kind. Fashion should be a true reflection of oneself, not an act.

Photos by H. Giannakopoulos,  La Vaca Loca,  June 2024.