Julie Bishop on the fashion advice she took from Anna Wintour


What’s your favourite fashion era?
Now. Australian fashion is very much coming into its own globally. It’s got a really distinctive individual style.

Do you have a favourite designer?
Giorgio Armani – it’s classic and timeless. I still have the first Armani suit I bought in the early ’90s. In Australia, I love Rachel Gilbert’s evening dresses and Rebecca Vallance’s summer dresses. And there’s a new designer in Perth, Meraki. I’ve been wearing a lot of the label’s cocktail dresses.

What’s your favourite fragrance?
Chanel No. 5 is my staple, but a friend gave me Good Girl Gone Bad by Kilian for my birthday and I love it.

What are three essential items in your wardrobe?
Blue jeans, white T-shirt, black jacket.


Can you remember a favourite outfit you had as a child?
An Annie Oakley cowgirl outfit my parents gave me for Christmas when I was about five. It had a fringe skirt, a little waistcoat and a hat with pigtails attached to it. I wore it endlessly.

And your first fashion moment?
When I was three, my mother made a pink lace and tulle ball gown, cutting out the material and sewing into the night. On the ball evening, when she walked out in the most stunning gown, I was transfixed. It showed me the transformative power of fashion.

What’s your worst fashion mistake?
I can’t think of anything. What I wore was fashionable at the time.

What would you buy if money were no object?
Bergdorf Goodman, the department store on New York’s Fifth Avenue!

Is there a current trend you like?
When Anna Wintour was here for last year’s Australian Open and was asked about future trends, she said wearing sneakers. I’ve taken her at her word.


What shoes do you wear most often?
Armani, Louis Vuitton and Isabel Marant sneakers. Pre-pandemic it was Aquazzura black stiletto pumps.

Who is your style muse?
Amal Clooney: classic, sophisticated, elegant. We had lunch one day in London and she wore a beautiful tweed suit; I also saw her in New York where we both wore simple black dresses. Her clothes always seem appropriate for the occasion.

Favourite casual Sunday look?
Blue jeans, T-shirt, sneakers. Perth has a relaxed lifestyle that I love.

Julie Bishop is on SBS’s Who Do You Think You Are? on June 30 at 7.30pm.

This article appears in Sunday Life magazine within the Sun-Herald and the Sunday Age on sale June 28.

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