Last night, British actress Jessica Raine took to the red carpet in London to celebrate the release of her new Amazon Prime show The Devil’s Hour, where she pulled out all the stops.
Working with her stylist Holly White on the elegant look, Raine embraced sequins and bold colour in a beautiful gown designed by Huishan Zhang. The dress was a perfect choice for the evening, and one which had immediately captured the attention of both the actress and the stylist as soon as they saw it.
“It is so striking in an understated and elegant way and the low draping back brings sexiness and drama in a cool, feminine way,” White told us of the design.”We were obsessed with the structure in the shoulders and the back detail, I could picture Jessica in it as soon as I saw it.”
We caught up with Raine as she got ready for the big night. She opened up about her ensemble, her red-carpet history and how her relationship with fashion has changed over the years.
What is your inspiration behind your outfit for tonight’s premiere – and can you talk us through the look?
My stylist Holly White and I wanted this look to have impact and be totally different to how I have looked at past events. She came up with this stunning Huishan Zhang dress with Aquazzura shoes. Everything about it felt right from the moment I slipped it on. The character I play in The Devil’s Hour is a busy, haunted single mother with a lot on her plate, so we wanted this look to be in direct contrast to that.
Holly was keen for there to be no jewellery, clean hair and make-up, and let the dress do the work. I agreed, the simplicity is what makes it and felt right for me.
What drew you to wearing this brand, and this particular outfit?
There is just a moment when you put something on, and it feels right. To be honest I wasn’t aware of this designer before Holly introduced me to him. I am now a huge fan, the strong graphic simplicity coupled with the striking femininity hugely appeals.
How involved are you with the styling process?
I really appreciate how collaborative Holly is. I must admit that after having a baby swiftly followed by a pandemic, my knowledge of fashion had taken a dive. So, Holly is definitely in charge, but her main criteria is that you feel amazing. She will also push you out of your comfort zone in a very healthy way. She’s just ace.
How has your style evolved over the years?
I was very alternative in my youth, so it was pretty grunge for a while. Then I was in love with looking a bit like a skater, so big baggy trousers and hoodies. I was a tomboy for sure. I have never been particularly into looking like I’ve made an effort, and that has carried through to now. I would always much prefer to look cool and understated than ‘look at me’ outfits. Of course, the premiere for The Devils Hour’s did require one of these, which I actually really enjoyed because the team around me were so accomplished.
How has your confidence developed on the red carpet?
Genuinely, this was the first red-carpet moment where I didn’t feel like a rabbit in the headlights. That comes from a little experience – knowing that a lot of photographers will be screaming your name and it feeling a bit chaotic. It was so so good to feel confident and have a calm centre amidst all of that. In no small part due to being very well taken care of by my make-up artist and hair stylist, who know that the getting ready part should be as fun and relaxed as possible.
How has your relationship with your style, body and appearance changed over the years?
I’ve always had a good relationship with my body. I love that it’s carried me through some very stressful difficult moments in my life. There are always parts that you feel could be better, but honestly since going through labour I more often want to thank it for being so strong. Strength and healthy is more important to me than anything. I think Emma Thompson recently said that our body is our home, which I couldn’t agree more with. Be kind to it.
What has been your most memorable fashion moment over the past few years?
The last few years are not great to pick from for me. We all went through a pandemic, where clothes just weren’t the priority. But there are photographs of moments with my son, just in my everyday clothes, which often consists of hardy jeans, Blundstone boots and a good Ganni beanie hat, where I just look so happy to be outside with him that will always stand the test of time and fashion and trends. I love the simplicity of those clothes and moments.
How much does the project you are working on impact what you choose to wear?
The Devil’s Hour is a project in which I am front and centre, so we were determined to make a moment of it. When I was doing press for Becoming Elizabeth, the looks were more understated as that, although integral, it just wasn’t ‘my’ show. So I wore an incredibly cool jumpsuit from The Frankie Shop and a Dries Van Noten cropped jacket. For the premiere, I wore a stunning Stella McCartney pleather one shoulder dress that fit like a glove. I loved every single look. The project, and your role in it, absolutely dictates the route you go down.
What is your ideal getting-ready set up?
The team, the team, the team. Talia Sparrow is a make-up genius artist. And a right good laugh. Brady Lea is often wrestling my hair in to place. I will put my music on, get some coffees for everyone and just enjoy the process.
Food is often not factored into the schedule, and I have learnt from the past that teetering on to the red carpet in unfamiliar shoes whilst very hungry just does not work for me. So about half way through I will usually get some fries or eat a sandwich. I’ve been known to gobble up a plate of macaroni cheese just before an event. I honestly think people assume actresses don’t eat, so the shock on faces when I do this makes me giggle.
Whose style have you always admired and why?
I love Maggie Gyllenhaal’s style, she always looks so comfortable in her body and therefore super sexy. Kirsten Dunst for the same reasons, as well as Sofia Coppola. That French girl understated look always inspires me, but I think it’s actually pretty hard to pull off.
Fashion has a reputation for being frivolous, but why does what we wear matter?
It is a major industry that provides so many jobs. That’s the practical answer. But my real answer is this: clothes have the ability to dictate how you feel. That is very powerful, and in my industry incredibly important. I know my job is to act, and I am comfortable with that. The fashion side can be intimidating, and I have been in situations where I’ve not been comfortable at an event because of how I look. I found that it instantly effects how I interact with people, whether I’m relaxed, whether I can have fun, which is ultimately what these events should be. A chance to express yourself through fashion and just have a good time.