Julie Bishop on the fashion advice she took from Anna Wintour

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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.

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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.

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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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