Musician Pete Molinari and his wife, the dancer and actress Mila Molinari, are used to turning heads. But this talented couple are about more than just their cool vintage style. British-born Pete has just released his new single ‘Careless Heart’, from his upcoming album, ‘Wondrous Afternoon’, and he’s also published a collection of illustrated lyrics and poems, ‘Caffè Del Artista’. He met his Brazilian-born wife Mila – who grew up in the circus – in LA, and it was a meeting of minds (and wardrobes). Mila has recently leaned into acting, appearing in the critically acclaimed films ‘Mank’ and ‘Babylon’. They tell us about their singular style, exciting new projects, and the Hollywood legends who inspire them.
How did you two meet?
“We met in June 2019 at a mutual friend’s place in Hollywood – she apparently invited lots of people, but we were the only two who showed up to bake cookies and drink cocktails. She swears it wasn’t a set up! Two months later, we moved in together.”
What have been your favourite musical and artistic projects, Pete?
“I love every record I’ve made, from my early acoustic/café/solo efforts to my latest album, ‘Wondrous Afternoon’. The album is released in November and is my most adventurous to date. I’ve also recently published a collection of illustrated lyrics and poems – ‘Caffè Del Artista’.
I continue to write dramatic plays and literature, and plan to publish and produce them in the near future.”
Mila, you’re a multi-talented artist – tell us about your burlesque?
“I come from a Brazilian/Italian circus family and that gave me the foundation to explore many different art forms. My persona as an artist has unfolded very naturally, combining a strong sense of self and a passion for musicals and cinema. I’m a ‘triple threat’ [actor, singer and dancer] inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood, and I was nominated ‘Miss Burlesque Idol Los Angeles 2015’. This award opened doors for me to tour and teach around the world for several years. I continue to produce my musical revue ‘Tropical Follies’ and perform residencies in Los Angeles.”
How have you moved into acting recently?
“Recently I’ve focused a lot on acting and music, including my debut as a showgirl in the huge Oscar-nominated film ‘Mank’, directed by David Fincher, and you can also see me in Damian Chazelle’s ‘Babylon’. I will also be releasing my first single at the end of this year and I’m working on a screenplay.”
You’re both very stylish – do you feel like you complement each other in your fashion sense?
“You could say one of the qualities that attracted us in the beginning is our mutual love for style and sophistication. Fashions change, but if you know your sense of style then you will always have a handle on what suits you best. We are both inspired by vintage styles, but we also love to mix it up and we each very much have our own thing going on. As well as the vintage aspects, we love to come up with our own designs and have them hand-tailored.”
Who inspires your fashion?
“We both love timeless couture – Schiaparelli, Dior, Givenchy, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent. We equally love the Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Weimar periods, and also the colours and flamboyance of the 1950s and 1960s. Pete has grown to love a lot of vintage and collectible sportswear recently, and I’m inspired by Old Hollywood costume designers Edith Head and Natacha Rambova, and stars such as Nazimova, Dietrich, Rudolph Valentino and Maria Callas. For us, style is about being free, knowing yourself, having fun and putting a unique spin on something to make it entirely your own. We also have a few boutique collaborations: Pete has his ‘Molinari’ shoes and clothes collabs with 66 Clothing, and I work with my friend Gowns By Roberta and model for Je Suis Swing from Paris.”
What is next for both of you?
“The big thing right now is the release of Pete’s new single ‘My Careless Heart’, recorded in Rome, ahead of the release of his amazing new album ‘Wondrous Afternoon’, that’s out in November on Blind Faith Records. We plan to get very busy with promotion and tour it around Europe and the USA.”