“Auntie Colours”


The influence of fashion and grooming on art (and vice versa?) is of great interest to me. The mention of Sonia Delaunay brings back pleasant memories of being thrilled at a receptive age by her work and that of her husband.

Italian artist Emanuela Di Filippo uses oil pastels to create sinuous images of women wearing bold outfits in the style of Biba, the swinging 60s fashion store set up by Barbara Hulanicki.


Influenced by the vibrant colours of artist Sonia Delaunay and the slender portraits of Modigliani, Di Filippo trained in fine art in Rome before moving to the UK.


“I was inspired by abstract, minimal, contemporary artists. But then I came back to my first loves: art and fashion,” she says.

Biba’s designs are reminiscent of the classic Italian fashion Di Filippo grew up with: “They have a simplicity of shape, and I loved the colours.” Hulanicki referred to these as “auntie colours”, such as olive, rust, and “bruised purple”.


(Dominic Holbrook, “Inspired by Biba: oil pastel fashion — in pictures,” The Guardian, 3-2-18)

(c) 2019 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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