The Downton Abbey: A New Era movie is about to hit the big screen, and last night saw the cast come out in force in London for the premiere. This included newcomer Laura Haddock, who is joining the story for the first time, and who made a very glamorous entrance in a beautiful feathered Miu Miu dress for the starry occasion.
The flowing grey gown was partly sheer, featured a dropped waist, a dramatic cape and feathered detail around the middle, and was paired with Jimmy Choo heels, striking Tasaki pearl jewellery, a unique hair bangle by Tilly Sveaas and Armani Beauty make-up. All in all, the look – which was styled by Aimee Croysdil – was one of our favourites of the night, and was a perfect choice for the red-carpet moment.
We caught up with Haddock ahead of her Downton premiere appearance, discovering what went into the look, how her personal style and her body image have changed over the years, and what she loves most about these glamorous red carpets.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR YOUR OUTFIT THIS EVENING?
“Our conversations started with Myrna, the character I play in Downton, the world of Downton Abbey and the 1920s generally. We wanted to lean into the era. A subtle nod to the character while keeping it authentic. The Miu Miu dress had a dropped waist which is in keeping with the 1920s style. Aimee and I described it as ‘the ghost dress’. The modern version of a 1920s dress.”
HOW INVOLVED ARE YOU IN THE STYLING PROCESS?
“I’m very involved in the process. Aimee is one of my best friends, so we are at complete ease in each other’s company and we both get equally as excited when approaching fittings. She is so creative and it’s a joy to share a space with one of your best mates and watch their ‘work’ brain get busy. We bounce off each other. I’m lucky as Aimee knows me so well. She knows what I feel confident and comfortable in but always encourages me to brave. I trust her taste, her judgement and her knowledge.”
HOW HAS YOUR STYLE EVOLVED OVER THE YEARS?
“If 10 years ago I was happy wearing a tight pair of jeans and a vest, now I’m much happier and more confident in something loose with a Scandinavian or Japanese feel. Deiji Studios is a go-to brand for me if I’m home – loose but feminine. I’m always drawn to pieces that I can move in, eat in. That’s why the Miu Miu dress was so perfect. I didn’t feel claustrophobic. It felt like silky water.”
HOW HAS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR STYLE, BODY, APPEARANCE CHANGED OVER THE YEARS?
“After I had children, my shape changed a lot. It’s a gentle process learning to get on board with your new shape. I have found confidence and courage in the women around me going through those same changes and celebrating them for each other. There is a lot at play for women. Pregnancy, changing hormones all play a part in our bodies changing. It’s just so important to have a helpful dialogue with yourself. Accepting change and trying – although not always succeeding might I add – not to compare. I’m me, my body is mine, I carried two kids and that is inevitably going to change me.”
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE RED CARPET MOMENT OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS?
“I always love dressing a baby bump. But I think potentially this dress, the Miu Miu, has been one of my favourite looks I’ve ever worn. I feel so comfortable, I love how romantic the dress is with the billowing cape, the feathers. Heavenly.”
WHOSE STYLE HAVE YOU ALWAYS ADMIRED AND WHY?
“I have always admired Diane Keaton’s style. My love affair started with Annie Hall and I’ve been obsessed with her ever since. I have always loved Kate Bosworth’s style too – and I admire Cate Blanchett for how cool and confident she is. There is a consistency with her that feels powerful and individual.”
HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHICH BRANDS TO WORK WITH?
“I work a lot with Armani and Miu Miu and I’ve been lucky enough to wear some bespoke pieces made by Emilia Wickstead. She made me a dress when I was pregnant for the Transformers premiere that I loved. We designed and built that dress around a growing bump. There were lots of tweaks and changes made to that dress all the way up to the day before the big night. That was a pretty special experience. I hope Margot [my daughter] wears that dress one day. That would be like life turning full circle.”
WHAT IS YOUR PERFECT ‘GETTING READY’ SET-UP?
“I’m really lucky with my tribe of people I have to help me get ready for press or events. They are my pals and know me really well so there is an ease and confidence there that’s been built over a long time. I like us all to be together with food and drinks and music on friends and family popping in and out. A relaxed environment is always the one.”
FASHION HAS A REPUTATION FOR BEING FRIVOLOUS, BUT WHY DOES WHAT WE WEAR MATTER?
“What we wear matters as it can be an outward expression of ourselves.
“And, I do always have one eye, especially with kids, on buying secondhand and using hand-me-downs. I reuse and keep everything and try and give my clothes a long life. Fashion comes back around and I’m excited for my daughter to look through my wardrobe when she’s older and wear clothes I was wearing when I was younger.”
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