It was one of those manic Parisian days that offers up four dramatically different seasons in the span of just a few hours, but Greta Bellamacina remained unfazed stepping out onto the balcony of La Reserve and into the sudden frenzy of freezing flurries. The London-based poet and filmmaker hopped over from her hometown to model Each x Other’s Pre-Fall 2016 collection. The Paris-based label by Ilan Delouis and Jenny Mannerheim thrives on its connection to the artistic community, which brought them to Greta by way of artist Robert Montgomery, a friend and frequent Each x Other collaborator.
“That balcony was cold,” laughs Greta, now much warmer as she speaks to us from sunny L.A. a few months after the Paris shoot. “I was reading a novella by the Canadian writer Elizabeth Smart that day, one called By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept, and luckily it brought to mind a warm wind from Big Sur.” Associating the experience with the writing is typical of Greta, whose passion for words is at the core of her various creative pursuits—not to mention her relationship with text-focused artist Robert Montgomery.
The couple, along with their 18-month-old son, are in L.A. to promote their collaborative book of poetry, Points For Time In The Sky, published by The New River Press, the poetry press they founded together. “Our collaboration comes out of the chaos of love,” says Greta. “I think, in a way, those are the most authentic and refreshing ways to work together. Our new poetry collection came out of sharing a love for writing at night.”
Greta’s love affair with the written word began when she was a little girl hungry for books. “I spent a lot of time storing up phrases and thinking about death. I think poetry is an eternal language.” While she was deeply influenced by Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, and T.S. Eliot, among others, growing up in the digital age made it possible for Greta to engage in new ways. “I think that with the internet, poetry can exist more democratically without to having to have a traditional publisher. It allows poetry to live with a free and open audience. Because of this, I think you can be more radical with what you discuss and engage with what is really happening in the world.”
Her passion for words extends into her film career, where she enjoys exploring new ways to bring language to life. Last year, she wrote and directed a short film about Ezra Pound’s 90-year old daughter, Mary De Rachewiltz, entitled “Ezra Pound: The Last Cantos.” She also recently screened her first feature-length film, The Safe House: A Decline of Ideas, which is about the closing of British public libraries. The film features appearances by Stephen Fry, Irvene Welsh, Zadie Smith, and more, and will air on BBC in early 2017.
Watching Greta move with relaxed confidence among the ornate rooms of La Reserve, it’s easy to observe the genuine depth she brings to all her pursuits, including fashion. She admits her usual style is pretty DIY and, not suprisingly, comes back to the value she places on art.
“I think fashion should be fun, but it should also reflect your political outlook on life,” she says. “Maybe it comes from growing up in Camden where everyone is a punk and nobody gives a shit!” She goes on to say that she’s drawn to Each x Other because the brand’s emphasis on nonconformity and artistic collaboration—which is, no doubt, exactly why the brand is so drawn to her.