This evening, I had the pleasure of being in the presence of the uber-fashion editor who spoke these words: Anna Dello Russo.
"England is the country of cool", she says. "Cool is a fortress, cool is easy. Why not look different?"
This was the V&A Museum's third collaboration with Peroni, and Anna Dello Russo proved herself to be just as strong a personality as she is a stylist within it.
The Vogue Nippon editor-at-large, who has held the post for five years, celebrates Italian beauty and fashion in all of its forms. The current Nippon cover features Bianca Balti (also the star of the current Dolce & Gabbana adverts - Anna's favourite Italian designers) who radiates "healthy beauty", which Anna loves. She is a big supporter of new Italian designers, too - and notes that she was fascinated by Isabella Blow's support for young designers.
"I have a responsibility to improve fashion", Dello Russo claims.
And that she has, not at least for the fashion blogger. Anna says that she was ready to embrace the street-style revolution, and wanted to talk to the "new media" and become a "street style ambassador". She certainly understands fashion blogging, having one of the most popular fashion blogs in the world with 25,000 hits a day.
"Fashion bloggers make revolution in fashion. Sometimes, I dance for them! I went to see the Queen and Cecil Beaton exhibition, and I thought, 'this is just like me and Tommy Ton".
Explaining her approach to styling and fashion editing: "I am always a maximalist - I like a full table of food. I grew up with images of Gianni Versace and Thierry Mugler, they do glamorous and sexy style. My styling is full of humour, and I style a look from head to toe. I love to work on the head, using hats, playing with hair. It is playing with freedom".
Anna talks a lot about "playing" with style, and a running theme throughout her talk is "don't be afraid". She is ridiculously endearing, especially so when she struggles to find the English word for something.
A few final questions for the mighty ADR...
Why are Italians so strong in fashion?
"Sense of colour, sense of fabric, sense of embellishment. We have the best painters in the world with the best sense of colour. Designers travel from all over the world to learn about fabric with us, and there are a great many hands still to work on embroidery".
How many clothes do you have?
(She guffaws) "I don't know. I collect clothes.. since I was a teenager! I know that at one point I had 4,000 pairs of shoes.
Do you ever wear jeans?
"Sometimes! I have a dog, I go to the park. But flat shoes.. no way!"
What's your biggest faux pas?
"So many faux pas! If you don't do faux pas you will never get the look. So many women say 'I have nothing to wear'; put on a high heel, go outside, you'll feel better".
On that note, Anna offers us all a few closing pieces of advice: "Be flexible, jump in, do it! Break the rules, be avant garde".
To a roaring applause, Anna says "grazie mille". No, Anna.. grazie mille a te.