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I spent an evening with Anna Dello Russo recently – Lane Crawford, one of Hong Kong’s chicest shopping venues, invited Anna to be fairy godmother for a day – a fantastical shopping spree with fashion’s iconic style mentor.
Of course I have followed Anna and her work for ages, with Vogue Nippon and Vogue Italia – she is old-Hollywood, Italian-style. So honored was I when KOTUR’s mosaic mirror d’Abo made its way onto Anna’s arm, and into the Paris and Milan fashion shows.
Self effacing and funny, bright and sincere – Anna is completely aware of her artifice – acting more as artist, director and producer than movie star… j’ADR!
FK: What’s in your make-up bag?….
Anna Dello Russo: Not much…I don’t wear much makeup. The older I get, the less I wear. People think the opposite, but makeup makes you look older. On me, I look like a drag queen. You have to have good face – perfect lips, perfect eyes – if you want to wear makeup, otherwise, it looks like a mask. It’s like a drawing, it has to be perfectly done. For me, my face is not so good, but my body is incredible…
FM: Do you have a beauty secret?
ADR: I always like tanned – my wish is to be Giselle. You know this kind of girl, like beautiful Brazilian. Because I am from Southern Italy, sunny girl, I get tanned or wear tanned makeup. But real beauty comes from the inside – see this color (pointing to her cheek) – this is the perfect color. I do so much yoga and swim everyday, and that makes me the best color skin… there is no make-up to create this color skin.
FM: What do you wear on a fat day?
ADR: What is this? A day you don’t feel so good? I do the opposite. If I feel bad, I will get dressed up, because it makes me lift my spirit. The more I feel bad, the more I prove myself in the opposite way: I put [on] a high heel, I take a short dress…
FM: How do your friends describe your style?
ADR: Like a transvestite… You know, 10 years ago I used to go clubbing, always clubbing, clubbing – to gay clubs. One night, during dancing, I hear “I know the truth, you are woman transvestite” and I said, “I tell you the truth, I am transvestite like you…” and we laugh and he says to his friends “I knew it!”, and every Saturday I would go to the club because they all want to see my look…
FM: What’s the most treasured item in your wardrobe?
ADR: I collect clothes…it’s not about this piece, another piece…all of them are a treasury. It’s an entire collection….
FM: Name your desert island essentials?
ADR: Lots of stuff… I will need a camel to carry my collection. No – LOTS of camels!
FM: Is there anything in your wardrobe you should get rid of?
ADR: Are you crazy?! Tell you a story, my nieces are female, of course – 4 nieces… Every one comes to me and asks, “Will you please leave me your entire clothes when you die?” – “I will, I will, I will, I will” I say, but very finally I think, I cannot give to anyone. Because, you know, it’s my full life. I think I will be Tutankhamun. One day, I will put everything with me in a vault, a cave.
FM: How high is too high a heel?
ADR: I can tell you, not too high, because my favorite is 11mm, without a platform, otherwise you cannot walk like natural, or in a sexy way, which I hate.
FM: How old is too old for jeans?
ADR: I want to tell you, jeans is not my favorite piece. When I used to be young, everybody used to wear jeans. “Listen, I give you my pair of jeans, you give me your grandmother’s jacket”, because, even then, I was always looking for luxury pieces.
Of course, jeans is part of our world. If you are skinny, if you have a beautiful body, you can wear it anytime. It depends about the fit. For me, jeans needs to fit very well.
FM: How old is too old for a mini?
ADR: How young [are] your legs?
FM: Who would you like to be reincarnated as?
ADR: Lady Gaga – I would love to be a singer, a famous pop star.
FM: Yes or no to nip and tuck?
ADR: Oh yes, absolutely. I am transvestite, I can’t live without…
FM: Which of the various KOTUR bags is your favorite?
ADR: I like the little clutches, the one with stars – like Napoleon!
FM: What do you wear to bed alone?
ADR: It depends on the season… but I always sleep with my dog, Cucciolina.
FM: How about with your boyfriend?
ADR: Sexy stuff…I cannot even tell you because this is secret….
FM: How would you like to be remembered?
ADR: Like an internet icon. People told me that, they say “you are an internet icon”. I love it, because it’s another life.