I have always loved Anna Maria’s elegance and style but also the way she embraces colour and quality fabrics. Anna started her work life as an actress, but her passion is writing.
This led her behind the camera to produce two feature films. Her first film, La Sagnola, was Australia’s official entrant in the Foreign Language Category at the 2002 Oscars and went on to receive several International awards. Her latest film, the screen adaptation of the Booker Prize winning novel, Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee, starred John Malkovich. This film was much lauded and won several International awards.
She is fluent in four languages, lives and works in Paris and Sydney developing various projects.
Who are the designers you like?
I’m not really a designer person – I always go for the same simple things. My style hasn’t changed since I was in my twenties – I seem to buy different versions of the same things.
Dare I say that in reality, I can’t wait to get home and take my clothes off and put on a nice soft silk sarong – I think that is one item of clothing I cannot live without and always pack a few no matter where I go. In winter I wear them as scarfs.
What sort of clothes appeal to you?
Soft , with an ethnic edge – I’m drawn to colour and texture – I collect old Japanese kimonos for their silky softness and beauty, simple cut yet complex details in the fabric design.Literally their textiles tell stories – even the violent tsunamis are beautifully depicted.I also love Indian textiles – the old embroidery work and of course love saris – I have turned many saris into long skirts , scarfs and sarongs – Looking in my wardrobe, there is a lot of red, green and indigo blue – but I do love a cotton white dress and espadrilles in summer.
Do you have any style Icons?
In European cities, I do stop and admire little old lades who dress up to go shopping with hats, gloves, matching shoes and handbags that date to an earlier time in their lives – fashion has past them by and they stay in their favourite era ….. retain their individuality. They have stopped caring what’s in or out, they wear what makes them comfortable . A woman in a sari also looks elegant, feminine and sexy.
Of course I must mention my style dictator – my daughter, who puts on a rag (she calls vintage) and looks a million dollars
How Do you feel about getting older?
Oddly enough I welcome the opportunity and luxury of it – each birthday I think to myself how lucky, I’ve managed to sneak another one in.
Do Magazines or Ad Campaigns talk to your generation?
No – Magazines have lost all credibility for me – So much is photo shopped – the image is so heavily manipulated that it’s hard to identify with. – Young models who look bored and empty and think they look sexy, but they don’t. Little is original – everything is copied from the past – I also think we’ve reached a rather ‘dumb’ period – high in technology and low in common sense. Youth is celebrated in the media but we’re the ones that know everything!
How do you approach fashion compared to your mother’s generation?
Even at an early age when my mother took me shopping for fabric to make me a new dress – it always ended up in tears. She would be drawn to pretty synthetic cheap materials and I would go around the shop ‘feeling’ the fabric and choosing what was always (unknowingly) the most expensive – to this day I will not wear synthetics or scratchy things – only silk or pure cotton. So I guess some things you’re just born into.
Where are the clothes in the shots ( we take) from?
Easton Pearson is the light green dress – Japanese Kimono , silk sarong and Ralph Lauren deep blue dress from Paris.
What are the most important things in your life as you get older?
As I get older I certainly want less – in fact I’m constantly wanting to get rid of things and keep life simple – My work is very important . But when you boil it to one thing I have to say, my daughter and husband as the three of us are very close and like minded …. something I’ve learned rare in life.
Anna Maria Monticelli.
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