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‘I really believe fashion can be a force for good’

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What loads noticed as a minus – her age – Maria Grazia views as a serious supply of power. ‘Fifty-two may be very totally different from 32. You’re not so obsessive about what individuals take into consideration your work. You recognize you’re going to upset some individuals and that’s advantageous. I’m prepared on daily basis to retire. No drawback,’ she says.

I’m fairly positive she means it. I’m equally positive there was no manner she wasn’t going to make it work – and that dying her naturally raven-dark hair creamy calico yellow on the age of 50 was partly to make herself look much less ‘cosy’. With the indigo shadow that orbits her darkish eyes and her knuckles filled with rings, that’s a particular look she’s acquired going. ‘Truly, I’ve toned my garments down in Paris. In Rome, I might be extra dramatic and kooky. Right here… nicely, for one factor, I’m all the time dressing for heat.’

After I first met Maria Grazia round a decade in the past, she was nonetheless at Valentino and barely spoke – to not journalists, at any charge. ‘Nicely, I actually couldn’t communicate English,’ she laughs. Even now, I can hear Rachele’s disembodied voice chipping in when her mom’s English sometimes falters. Ultimately, Rachele joins us on display – dressed virtually identically to her mom, however in black.

They’re extraordinarily shut. When the now 24-year-old was residing in London for six years, Maria Grazia typically visited her flat, sleeping on the couch mattress. Rachele, who took a gender research course, now works at Dior, serving to to make sure the home doesn’t stumble into rows about gender and racial id. ‘I truthfully don’t assume style says the unsuitable issues intending to harm,’ says Maria Grazia. ‘It’s ignorance. I grew up within the Catholic church, so I had rather a lot to be taught.’ At Valentino after one assortment with an Out of Africa theme, she and Piccioli have been on the centre of a row about cultural appropriation.

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