Behind the Seams with: Anouk Colantoni
When After Eight founder Emma Petterwood approached New York based Tasmanian artist Anouk Colantoni about collaborating for her new label Romy, it was meant to be. Both having a background in the fashion world, an appreciation for art, and a huge love for Tasmania, the concept of the Salamanca print was born.
We go behind the seams with Anouk discussing the inspiration behind the Salamanca Print, what drew her to collaborate with Romy, her journey to becoming an artist and moving from small town Hobart to the concrete jungle of New York City.
Can you share with us the inspiration behind the Salamanca Print?
The concept for the Salamanca Print is a playful, joyous, and elegant, a celebration of how every person should feel when wearing it!
Salamanca is vibrant - the blend of the old Sandstone facades and new architecture, a focus on local art and design and, style on a whole, which is unique to Tasmania.
The motifs found on the print evoke the world of the Romy woman. The print can find a woman in her element, dancing across the fabric in a flaming Scarlett Wattle-flower inspired dress, striding down Salamanca Place layered in her classic trench, lounging on her chair at home reading, packing her bags for travel and relaxing outside on her towel with a beach bag.
Tell us a bit about your collaboration with Romy - why were you drawn to work with Emma/Romy on this project?
I am inspired by the evolution of Hobart’s art, fashion and design scene, specifically with special spaces such as After Eight pushing ahead in curating a beautiful space and elegant fashion for the Hobart woman to access. It is exciting!
When Emma approached me about working together - it just seemed so natural! I appreciate how wearing beautiful garments is a form of expression and collaborating to create a print that embodies the small town of Hobart that is exclusive to a Hobart-founded label was just so fun and special. Wearable art to make you smile and feel sexy!
You grew up in Hobart and now live in New York, tell us a bit about your journey as an artist and how you ended up in NYC? And, how has fashion influenced your art?
I love that I was lucky enough to grow up in Hobart! I studied design in Sydney at Whitehouse Institute of Design, and came to New York as a fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar and GRAZIA firstly - communicating through visual mediums has always pushed me, opened up new ways of thinking - whether it is styling, or painting. It is creative play with a purpose.
I left Sydney in 2011 and worked in NYC at Vogue magazine, as a personal stylist - working with inspiring women to build their wardrobes to take them forward in the life they want - so I have had a lot of experience with beautiful design, and how what you wear impacts how you feel, the way you move.
I began drawing and painting as a way to express my life experiences here in this wild city - such a huge change being away from the Australian landscape and anything I knew, I was having mind-blowing experiences and really digesting how I was changing and wanted a new way to communicate the nuances of being a woman! Words unsaid, feelings that make little sense - I am obsessed with colour and shapes and really, it flowed out of me. I am lucky that I shared it, and people related to my experiences in a way that led to a solo show at The Hole gallery - and from its success, I have been making art, developing my style - ever since!
Taking a closer look at your personal wardrobe - what are the top five favourite pieces in your wardrobe that you can’t live without?
This is an ever changing one for me! I dress by intuition, colour and texture daily, not a prescribed basics kit - that sounds so relaxing though! I would say right now as it is getting cold for Fall over here in Brooklyn -
- My Henry Zankov bright blue/deep blue striped unisex Mohair cardigan
- Neous deep blue ankle boots or fur lines black classic slides
- A vintage woolen belted coat that was a gift from a vintage shop in Battery Point or my Burberry trench
- Vintage dark Denim bootcut Levi’s from The Rose Bowl Market in LA
- Great lingerie: Fleur du Mal or CUUP balconette bra’s
- One more for good luck: Auteur’s fine knit pale yellow cardigan, sexy, elegant, classic and fun
We often talk at After Eight about slowing down, so, we’d love to hear what you do to slow down in this fast-paced world we live in? What would we find you doing after 8pm?
I love to slow down…in fact it is essential to my life. I have always had a lot on the go at once, and New York is so full of energy I have rituals that keep me centered. I love to take time to read daily, listen to podcasts or music at home, burn incense (I have an addiction), bath time, and I love to cook - it is creative and brings friends together in a calm way! I do love to go out for a cocktail or vino with friends - and an evening hot yoga class rounds off my day so beautifully. After Eight is a real mixed bag of slow activities for me depending on my day. Slower is sexier!