Tilda Swinton's ESSENTIAL Fashion Rules

11 July 2011

When it comes to Tilda Swinton, we’re in the ‘like’ camp, and we’ve always thought that people who aren’t, probably just haven’t given enough thought to how cool she actually is, or what’s known in the trade as ‘a grower’, rather than instantly appealing to all. Think about it. She’s a fashion icon, with the likes of Alber Elbaz, Stefano Pilati and Raf Simmons of Jil Sander, beating a path to her door. She’s been in tonnes of worthy, indie films as well as blockbusters and acts very well in both. She doesn’t appear to wear (much) makeup. AND, fact fans, she once spent an entire weekend lying in a glass box in the Serpentine Gallery as a performance piece.

Here are her top style tips, courtesy of W magazine,

1 When briefing an A List, high fashion designer; always be SPECIFIC; For the Oscars, she had advised Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz that she wanted ‘to attract as little attention as possible and to feel as comfortable as if I were wearing pyjamas,’ Consider it done!

2 Never use a stylist that doesn’t know you personally; Tilda describes her close friend Jerry Stafford, the creative director of a French production company, who became her fashion consigliere, as ‘my playmate,’ she says. . . It’s a game, and we have great fun with it. . . For someone to know what you need to make you comfortable, they need to know who you are. Having them make clothes for me is like being cooked for by someone who knows what you like to eat.’

3 When considering role models, use your imagination. Tilda considers her own style icons to be David Bowie—whom she says she’s been orbiting ever since she saw The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)—and her father, Maj. Gen. Sir John Swinton. ‘My aesthetic North Stars,’ she calls them. ‘The individuals with whom I share the same planetary DNA.’

Tell us more, Tilda . . . ‘From childhood, I remember more about [my father’s] black patent, gold livery, scarlet-striped legs, and medal ribbons than I do of my mother’s evening dresses,’ she says. ‘I would rather be handsome, as he is, for an hour than pretty for a week.’

Surely, the doubters must be converted by that?

-Naomi Attwood


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