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Questions and answers on fashion Silvia Colloca; author of cookbooks on style, Australian designers and workwear

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What would you wear
on the first date? The flowery summer dress with wedges.
on a plane? I can put on or take off jeans, a T-shirt, sneakers and a hood depending on whether I am hot or cold.
at the Oscars? You can never go wrong with Giorgio Armani.

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What is your favorite fashion era?
I grew up in the 80s so I have a soft spot for that era, especially for bushy eyebrows. I used to have a monobrow, then plucked my eyebrows into oblivion in the 90s. I’m so lucky they grew back.

Who are your favorite designers?
I’m crazy about Zimmermann. I love Dion Lee, his geometric designs and construction, it goes so well. And Rachel Gilbert for her incredible dresses.

Do you have a favorite scent?
No, I brush myself with coconut oil but that’s it.

What are the three essential elements of your wardrobe?
A leather jacket, ankle boots and G-Star skinny jeans.

Do you remember a favorite outfit you wore as a child?
I was the last of the three, so it was mostly remorse, there was nothing like mine. I was not a tomboy, I loved pretty dresses. On special occasions, my grandmother would make each of the grandchildren a special outfit. My first communion dress was definitely the princess outfit.

What about your worst fashion mistake?
The leather on the leather was a bit shocking. In the early 2000s, I was making the Matrix-look full leather hat, a long leather coat, and leather pants.

What was your first fashion moment?
I don’t like fashion moments because I don’t think I can pull them off. I’m really good at being natural
don’t look at a lot of makeup, messy hair. When I’m too stylish, I always look overdone and older. Even at my wedding my hair was too busy. I went for an up-do and it took four hours, it was crazy.

What’s at the top of your wishlist?
An incredible Zimmermann dress. This is the kind of dress you just have to dream of because you can only wear it once it is too assertive.

Is there a current trend that you like?
I don’t follow fashion trends.

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Is there something you would never wear?
A thong at the beach. But never say never!

What shoes do you wear the most?
Sandals in summer, boots in winter.

Who is your favorite fashion icon?
Monica Bellucci. She exported Italian style and culture all over the world with her talent and natural beauty. She is now in her late 50s and she is incredibly beautiful, which I find truly inspiring.

What do you wear on a typical working day?
My work is so varied. If I’m on a set that’s all I need to wear for that. But if I work from home, what I have a lot in the last 12 months is a non-look, maybe jeans and a jersey. I have three kids and I have to go shopping at school, so there isn’t a lot of fashion at these times.

What’s your favorite casual Sunday look?
A maxi dress in winter or summer, I can always layer it with a leather jacket and boots if needed. Sunday is basically an extended breakfast cafe and small snacks. It’s a family day, often lazy.

New Book by Silvias Simple Italian: the basics of Italian cooking at home (Plum) is in stores Tuesday.

This article appears in Sunday life magazine in the Sun-Herald and the Sunday age on sale February 21. To learn more about Sunday Life, visit The Sydney Morning Herald and Age.

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