The Amanda Eliasch – Not only a published poet, writer, film producer and director but also a keen photographer and fashion editor the fabulous fashionista at 60 – Amanda Eliasch is a one-off.
Born in Beirut, Amanda’s childhood years were spent in Wiltshire, where she lived with her mother Caroline Brown, an opera singer, and grandfather, film director/producer/writer, Sidney Gilliat (St.Trinians).
After training as an actress at ALRA and RADA, she studied photography and was assigned to photograph for British Artists at Work by Franca Sozzani, editor of Italian Vogue. Since 2008 she has been the fashion editor for GenLux.
As well as a stream of success in the business world, on a more personal note, Amanda has two grown-up sons Charles and Jack and currently resides in an incredible designer townhouse overlooking the Bridge in Chelsea. For an insight into the private world of Amanda – she can currently be seen on BBCiplayer on ‘Inside Chelsea Britain’s Wealthiest Borough’.
With a keen eye for fashion, Amanda is a collector of hats and as you can only imagine, has an incredible wardrobe of clothes.
Amanda’s extraordinary life unfolds in a film she wrote, produced and directed about her life called ‘The Gun the Cake and the Butterfly’ for which she won 7 awards. These included ‘Best Documentary Art Film for the Ischian Film & Music Festival, Best Female Director at the Burbank Film Festival and the most exceptional documentary award at the La Jolla Indie Fest.
Women Talking had the opportunity to uncover more about this compelling and talented lady.
You are such a multi-talented Lady, from all that you have achieved what is your greatest passion?
Money comes and goes but family is forever. I was fortunate in the 1980s that the world was open and expanding and I and my ex-husband joined in. He was young and dashing and I was able to pursue my interests.
I went to drama school very late when I was 28 and discovered a love of theatre and writing. Inspired by great writers from Shakespeare to Christopher Hampton, it opened my brain to enjoy the magical experiences around me. My greatest passion at this time was photography and I did this hand in hand with acting.
What inspires your poetry?
Conspiracy and intrigue are always fascinating to me. Hidden romances are the most exciting. I am inspired by heartbreak and loss. I can write for hours when there are daggers in my heart. I find it more difficult to write if I am happy. I like being the devil too. I like real feelings and real people too. People that suffer are always appealing. When my life is too good I get comfortable and lazy. I like a few broken mirrors.
What has been your favourite fashion era?
Mainstream eras come and go but, in my soul, I am Marilyn Monroe singing Happy birthday to JFK.
Mr President. I love the 1940’s to 1968 when everything changed. Woodstock was the honey that attractedthe bees. I do not like scruffy and lazy. I like to make an effort every day as it puts me in a better mood. I always put on my makeup as you can guarantee when you don’t you meet the man of your dreams.
How did your family react to your film – The Gun, the Cake and the Butterfly
My Father told me to write a script as everybody in my family were writers. Everybody else laughed. That is why I did it. He told me to write 5,000 words in 48 hours and I chose towrite it about my life. At 10 am in the morning, he said it was incredible, at 5 pm he said not do anything with it until everybody in the family were dead. When someone tries to imply, I am a dumb blonde it makes me get up and work.
How did it make you feel to see your life unfold on film?
A film is organic, and I had no control over it. It has a story of its own which comes out in the atmosphere of the film. I relied on other artistic people too. While making it I was looking at myself from the outside and was strangely critical. I had several people playing the part of me, I chose a brunette Justine Glenton, she is the opposite to me, and I think it gave the film an edge. I also chose Lisa Zane in the film to sing. I love her voice she is a jazz singer. I love that. I also liked working with my son who was really inspirational as he sat at the piano aged 12 and could play Rachmaninov, something I could never do.
What advice would you give women on relationships?
I would say choose three and pick one. You have to love someone and be best friends to get through life’s ups and downs. I would also suggest that you live life first better to not get married too young. However, most of my friends who have remained married did so at an early age. I don’t know it is touch and go. I wish there was not a thing called divorce. It is too easy to break up. You should never make someone’s life miserable; they deserve to have a good life too.
Would you change anything about your life? If so, what would it be and why?
Longer legs? Height would have given me the ability to run faster. I think I have Napoleon’s syndrome. I always wanted to be the human equivalent of a greyhound and I am more of a terrier. I like elegance, instead, I am a bit earthy. I think I would rule the world if I was tall. HAHAHA I have been very lucky in life so it would be greedy to ask for more.
What can you not do without?
I could do with some temperance. A bad temper never enhances your life and as the year of the rat, if I am put in a corner I will attack. Remember though The Rat wins the race by charm, jumping on the backs of others and being cunning. If I wanted anything, I would want to be calm when faced with drama.
Do you enjoy being a mother?
With motherhood comes resilience and humour. I was worried about being a Mother as I felt that I had characteristics that were not suitable for the job.
My Mother was pretty good. I never thanked her for it in her lifetime. I should have. She was a brilliant teacher I owe her everything. I feel I am still 12 sometimes and I still make bad decisions.