My Kitchen Rules twins Helena and Vikki reveal tragic secret

Cooking for their late father - My Kitchen Rules' competitors, twins Helena and Vikki with their mum Sophie Mour...

Cooking for their late father – My Kitchen Rules’ competitors, twins Helena and Vikki with their mum Sophie Moursellas. Picture: Tricia Watkinson. Source: News Limited

THEY’RE young, fun and obsessed with super-bright lippy, but MKR’s outgoing twins Helena and Vikki Moursellas, 25, have revealed a family tragedy which inspires their efforts in the competition.

The sisters are cooking their trademark “Greek with a modern twist” in honour of their late father.

“He passed away when we were 12-years-old,” Vikki said. “We’ve got heart disease in our family, so he suffered from a heart attack and passed away suddenly.

“Our mum has been absolutely amazing. She’s been a very strong lady. She made sure that she took us on lots of holidays as kids. Made sure that we knew everything was going to be OK.”

Helena and Vicki on their competitors:

Annie and Jason, NSW, cheesemakers: (Vikki) We love Annie and Jason. Traditional, country bumpkins. They’ve got beautiful hearts.
Chloe and Kelly, WA, well-travelled friends: (Helena) One word, fake.
Paul and Blair, QLD, surfer dads: (Vikki) We got very, very close to them, the older brothers we’ve never had.
Deb and Rick, SA, married 38 years: (Helena) They were our MKR parents.
Andrew and Emilia, ACT, newly dating: (Vikki): We felt so bad for them. They are really nice. He might come across as awkward but they’re great, humble people.

Although they were young when he died, Helena said the pair have good memories of their father, and like to think he would be impressed by their efforts in My Kitchen Rules.

“Dad would be very proud of us,” she said. “He’s always in our heads. Throughout the show it was something that kept us going. There were times when it was pretty hard. He has definitely pushed us through.”

Helena (the brunette one) and Vikki (the blonde one) have burst into MKR’s fifth season brimming with confidence and catchphrases, such as “We got this” and the less-catchy, “t-winning”.

Tragic family secret revealed ... Helena and Vikki Moursellas at the launch of the 2014 season of Channel 7's My Kitchen Rule...

Tragic family secret revealed … Helena and Vikki Moursellas at the launch of the 2014 season of Channel 7’s My Kitchen Rules. Source: News Limited

Vikki in particular has quickly become known for her not-so-savvy comments, suggesting they each have “half a brain”. Or, put differently,”We’re one brain, and two people.”

“I’ve said some silly things, but that’s all right, it’s entertaining,” Vikki said. “I never regret anything I said. Obviously … I’m like, `oops’ but I’m just being me, and I say funny, silly things.”

WILL WILL WIN MY KITCHEN RULES? TELL US BELOW

Helena and Vikki grew up in Adelaide, with no other siblings. Mum Sophie says they were outgoing from a young age.

“It was hard being a mother and father to my daughters since my husband passed away, but I was lucky because I had a lot of help from my mother and father bringing them up,” she said. “Their father Nick loved food, cooking and entertaining and was very good at all three. Nick would be so proud of the girls.”

On MKR, close friends Chloe and Kelly expressed their distaste for the tart served by Andrew and Emelia. Courtesy: My Kitchen Rules, Seven Network

The sisters moved to Melbourne a couple of years ago, where Vikki studied graphic design and Helena attended Melbourne Radio School.

“We just felt like Adelaide was too small for us, not many opportunities (there) for us,” Helena said.

“We want to try everything,” Vikki said. “Travel the world, try different types of … what’s the word? Different types of jobs and stuff.”

The girls are well-travelled, although they don’t drop it into every conversation like WA competitors Chloe and Kelly, who have described Helena and Vikki as “not the sharpest tools in the shed”. Helena reckons the two teams share a love-hate relationship.

“More on the hate side, as bad as that sounds,” she said. “We just clashed all the time. We’re actually very similar, we love to travel, we love food, and in conversations, we just tried outdoing each other.

“Throughout the competition it got more and more feisty, we wanted to beat them more than anyone else.”

MKR, hosted by celeb chefs Pete Evans and Manu Fieldel, has been a consistent ratings winner for Channel 7 since it premiered in 2010. Last year’s final – which saw Dan and Steph declared the winners – was watched by over two million people.

Greek chic: London exhibition unveils the beauty of Hellenic fashion

Source: theguardian.com

From pleats to geometric designs and intricate embroidery, the full splendour of Greek fashion is on display at a new show called Patterns of Magnificence

Peloponnese mid-19th century Kondogouni 'Amalia' jacket

Peloponnese mid-19th century Kondogouni ‘Amalia’ jacket. Photo: Hellenic Centre

The history of Greek fashion is the focus of a new exhibition at London’s Hellenic Centre, revealing the biggest collection of traditional Greek costumes ever seen outside the country. Two years in the making, the Patterns of Magnificence exhibition, which opens on Tuesday, is a partnership with the Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation Museum, which boasts a staggering 45,000 items. While the selection here is much smaller, it’s rich in detail.

Most of the costumes date from the late 18th century to the middle of the 19th. The vast array of designs would have been worn not only for everyday wear but for weddings and formal dances. They range from geometric patterns on a late-18th-century kaftan to velvet jackets embroidered in gold thread – work that would have taken a master craftsmen months to complete. “I wanted to call it ‘Greek chic’,” smiles curator Ioanna Papantoniou, “but you can see the influence of everything from the Roman empire to the Muslims.”

Cult brand Ancient Greek Sandals has been a huge success since launching in 2011

Cult brand Ancient Greek Sandals has been a huge success since launching in 2011.

This exhibition makes it clear that national dress is never singular – influences from other cultures meld to form something that we think of as distinctly “Greek”. One particularly intriguing influence is German-born Queen Amalia, who was on the throne from 1836. A fashion fan, she adapted the Greek dress of the day to feature the fashions of mainland Europe. The result was the “Amalia jacket”, a cropped, form-fitting bolero style, which used traditional embroidery. It became the statement item of Greek fashion in the mid-19th century, endlessly copied by women all over the country. “She was a style icon of her day,” says Papantoniou, “and her influence spread far – to Cyprus and the Balkans.” Marios Schwab, the Greek-born, London-based designer, who will give a talk at the exhibition on 21 February, is thrilled that stories such as these will be told to a wider audience. “I am obsessed with Greek costume, having seen these pieces in museums as a child,” he says. “This exhibition will show the younger generation why it’s so influential.”

The timing of this exhibition is canny. There is a burgeoning Greek-inspired aesthetic in fashion for spring. Ancient Greek Sandals, founded in 2011 by Greek designers Christina Martini and Nicholas Minoglou, has become a cult success. Sales of the sandals, which have been worn by Hollywood stars including Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried, rose by 30% in 2013. The trend for pleats featured in collections by Burberry and JW Anderson can be traced back to Greek traditional dress too. Papantoniou says pleats are “at the base of all of the clothes”. An early example shows a kind of bodice from the 19th century with tightly packed pleats, reminiscent of those used by Anderson, covering the back. The bodice is red, which was an expensive colour to dye at the time; this piece would have been worn by a wealthy woman.

Schwab puts the continued influence of Greek style on fashion down to an essentially timeless geometry of design. The embroidery may be complicated but “the lines are very simple”. He credits the sleeve of a man’s uniform from the Attica region as an influence on the cuts of his spring/summer collection.

The sculptural use of fabrics and classical lines of Greek costume have long been familiar to fashion, of course. Designers ranging from Madame Grès to Madeleine Vionnet used pleats for designs in the early 20th century. More recently, John Galliano, Jil Sander and Jean Paul Gaultier have been inspired by the Greek design tradition. The dates of this exhibition, running over London fashion week, are no coincidence: the idea is to underline this connection – and reveal more Greek design culture to the wider world.

• Patterns of Magnificence: tradition and reinvention in Greek women’s costume is at the Hellenic Centre in London until 2 March

Tents set up for homeless from Greek earthquake in Kefalonia

Associated Press
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    Feb. 4, 2014: A woman carries food in front of tents at a local soccer stadium after Monday’s strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude between 5.7 and 6.1, in Lixouri, on the island of Kefalonia, western Greece. (AP)

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    A ferry is docked at the damaged port after Monday’s strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude between 5.7 and 6.1, in Lixouri, on the island of Kefalonia, western Greece Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. Authorities said about 16 people had been slightly hurt, mainly by falling objects, while roads, homes and shops were damaged and some areas suffered power and water supply cuts. Islanders also had to contend with intense bad weather, with strong rain and low temperatures. (AP Photo/Nikiforos Stamenis) (The Associated Press)

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    Residents, staying at the indoor stadium are joined by others transferred from the hospital, after Monday’s strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude between 5.7 and 6.1, in Lixouri, on the island of Kefalonia, western Greece Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. Authorities said about 16 people had been slightly hurt, mainly by falling objects, while roads, homes and shops were damaged and some areas suffered power and water supply cuts. Islanders also had to contend with intense bad weather, with strong rain and low temperatures. (AP Photo/Nikiforos Stamenis) (The Associated Press)

  • dff8e084f01edb044a0f6a7067001d20.jpg

    A coastguard vessel is docked next to yachts knocked off their stands at the damaged port after Monday’s strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude between 5.7 and 6.1, in Lixouri, on the island of Kefalonia, western Greece Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. Authorities said about 16 people had been slightly hurt, mainly by falling objects, while roads, homes and shops were damaged and some areas suffered power and water supply cuts. Islanders also had to contend with intense bad weather, with strong rain and low temperatures. (AP Photo/Nikiforos Stamenis) (The Associated Press)

  • de79ae46f01cdb044a0f6a70670028a5.jpgA local resident looks at his damaged living room after Monday’s strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude between 5.7 and 6.1, in Lixouri, on the island of Kefalonia, western Greece Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. Authorities said about 16 people had been slightly hurt, mainly by falling objects, while roads, homes and shops were damaged and some areas suffered power and water supply cuts. Islanders also had to contend with intense bad weather, with strong rain and low temperatures. (AP Photo/Nikiforos Stamenis) (The Associated Press)

ATHENS, Greece –  Greek authorities set up tents Tuesday for those left homeless by a series of earthquakes on the western island of Kefalonia and were sending in dozens of prefabricated classrooms so children can go back to school safely.

A strong quake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.7 hit Kefalonia on Monday, a week after a 5.9-magnitude temblor. Hundreds of aftershocks have shaken the island and seismologists have been cautious as to whether another large earthquake could strike.

Lines of tents filled a sports field near Lixouri, Kefalonia’s second-largest town and the most severely hit area. The town’s port was badly damaged and police were allowing only emergency vehicles along the road linking it to the rest of the island for fear of rock slides.

More than 100 civil engineers were inspecting structures across the island, with 760 of the 1,680 checked so far deemed unfit. Authorities have been urging residents to stay away from damaged buildings — in response, hundreds of people have been spending their nights sleeping in cars, in a sports hall or on a ferry.

While the electricity supply has been mostly restored, the Lixouri area still has no running water.

The Greek police, coast guard and fire service agencies have all sent reinforcements to the island, and the military was sending in doctors, mobile kitchens and digging machinery.

Kefalonia lies in a highly seismically active area. The temblors have revived memories of devastating quakes in August 1953, when a 7.2 earthquake hit three days after a 6.4 temblor, killing hundreds, injuring thousands and leveling nearly every building on the island and on neighboring Zakinthos.