Multi-talented, incredibly stylish, attuned to the zeitgeist, and surprisingly professional are just a few terms we'd use to describe this month's PL muse, Liana Rossi. Earlier this month, our creative director, Poppy Lissiman, had the pleasure of hosting her longtime dear friend during Liana’s visit to Tokyo. Between vintage book shopping and gallery visits, the two sat down together to talk about career, style, art, and everything in between.

PL: Tell us a little about your career journey and what you do?

LR: I’m an architecture dropout who fell into marketing and advertising by being chronically online in the late 2000’s. For the last decade plus, I’ve worked in-house and in-agency. In that time, my role has evolved from social media and content creation to broader creative strategy. Creating work for brands like Mona, the Sydney Opera House, Spotify and Snapchat that resonates in culture. I’ve got a few opinions, which has led to commentating in various media titles, delivering keynotes at The Design Conference and SXSW, conducting interviews and as a panellist on ABC’s Gruen. 

PL: What’s been the biggest ‘pinch me’ moment of your career so far?

LR: Spending time with John Waters, backstage before his show at Mona, shooting social content with my dear friend and extremely talented photographer Jesse Hunniford. Perhaps the most special 15 minutes of my life. Whoever said never meet your idols hasn’t met Waters.

PL: You recently went to clown school, tell us more about your biggest learnings from that experience.

LR: Ego death. Building trust. Letting go.

PL: How would you describe your personal style?

LR: Surprisingly professional. Oscillating between completely normal and totally bonkers. Sometimes it’s baggy jeans and a white tee, other times I get asked by a Maître d' on a Tuesday if I’ve come from a dress up party. I like to dress the part for the role I’m playing that day: colour, prints, tailoring, always PL sunglasses and an impractical shoe/bag combo. I’ve seen you raise an eyebrow at my heel height from time to time. It’s the wannabe actress in me.

PL: Your house is on fire… (don’t worry Kip and Jackson are safe) you can only save one item from your wardrobe - what is it and why that piece?

LR: I’m too sentimental for this. If the rest is going up in flames, I don’t want any reminder so I’m saving nothing. I’ll rise a naked phoenix from the ashes and start again.

PL: Do you collect anything?

LR: I am a baby art collector. My partner Jackson and I decided to purchase a piece of art for birthdays, anniversaries etc instead of other gifts. Most recently we purchased two works from Tony Albert’s Signified series. We often use Art Money, which is ten interest free payments, allowing us to strike while the iron is hot and means the artist and gallery are paid upfront. 

PL: If there was anyone dead or alive you wish you could have dinner with, who would it be?

LR: Donatella Versace, so we could talk about magazines. 

PL: What’s your go-to comfort movie you like to rewatch again and again?

LR: Clueless. I can recite most of the dialogue by heart. ‘You don’t understand, this is an Alaia!

PL: You’re here in Tokyo with me and you’ve bought a rather obscene number of books on this trip. Is there a book you’d recommend everyone should read?

LR: I’m really into finding rare artist monographs at the moment, probably because I have enough exhibition catalogues to last me a lifetime, and those are a bit harder to recommend. 

I gravitate towards ‘how-to’s’ and books of essays. For creativity Jerry Saltz’ How To Be An Artist and — even though I wanted to be a contrarian and not like it — The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin. For intersectional views Roxanne Gay’s Bad Feminist and Hilton Als’ White Girls. Mindy Seu’s Cyber-Feminism Index is a recent purchase which I’m using as a reference. 

I also like to push myself and read things I don’t always agree with. 15 years ago, I first read Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power. It is flawed, as all writing tends to be after time, and has been labelled a 'psychopath's bible' by critics. But, I pick it up every year to revisit. I’ve found some of it very useful for navigating a man's world.

PL: If you could own any piece of art ever made, irrespective of price what would it be?

LR: Spider, Louise Bourgeois, 1994 or maybe Svayambhu, Anish Kapoor, 2007. I can’t imagine ever wanting a home big enough to house either so I suppose I’d loan them to museums for everyone to enjoy.

PL: What is your signature perfume?

LR: Le Labo Levande 31 for most days and nights, and Maison Margiela Replica Lazy Sunday Morning for exactly that. 

PL: If aliens visited Earth and asked you to recommend one dish, what would it be?

LR: I’d take them to 10 William Street in Paddington for the pretzel & whipped bottarga. 

PL: Your favourite place in the world?

LR: Anywhere that all of my favourite people are. It could be Dark Mofo in Hobart, Sydney Harbour in summer or Hong Kong for the art fairs… or Tokyo right now with you. As long as the company is there. 

PL: A quote that hits a chord with you?

LR: ‘What a ridiculous clusterfuck of totally uncool jokers’ — Barbara Kruger’s response to Supreme suing Married to the Mob over a decade ago. I can only aspire to string words together in such a devastating manner, just once in my life. Incredible. 

PL: If and when I do a retrospective, I will have to call on you for your collection of early PL. You’ve been supporting me since day dot… The Rossi Speedway sunglasses are of course named after you and your family who love Italian motorcycles BUT if you had to choose your favourite pieces from PL, which would they be?

LR: There’s so many great memories attached to your pieces. Including how I’d write your name down on literal pen and paper so people would look your brand up. I can remember how shit hot I felt in the cherry red, blue lensed sunnies you made… maybe they were the second or third pair you produced? I think I have 7 of the OG clutches, they were such a conversation starter — probably the Wor$hip one? I wore it all the time and we got photographed at my first Australian Fashion Week wearing it. Or maybe the AS IF clutch, which makes sense with my predisposition to Alicia Silvertone’s Cher and pop-art. But, of course, I’ll never forget or go past my namesake Rossi’s.

PL: Congratulations you recently made your first reel about your trip to Seoul last week - Where can we follow you and your creative energy?

LR: This is such a troll question, and the danger of being questioned by your bestie. Payback for when I interviewed you for Semi-Permanent’s book and we opened on hair extensions? The way I see it — I’ve been on the internet long enough to become obsolete, so I’m throwing caution to the wind and just doing whatever I want. I’m bringing swag back on Instagram.

I’m @LianaDelCray everywhere.


Want to keep up with Liana? Follow her creative energy on her socials below.

Instagram: @lianadelcray

Tiktok: @lianadelcray

Spotify: Liana Del Cray