Gillian Anderson On Fashion Mistakes And The Dress She’ll Never Forget – elle.com


I didn’t think about style when I was young

My mother’s style was jeans and sweatshirts, so fashion wasn’t really on my radar – never, never, never. I didn’t think about it at all after we moved to the States when I was around 11 years old and I saw the styles on Camden Road when we came back to London in the summer.

The first time I felt ‘fashionable’ was at 13

I bought myself a purple skirt from Camden. It sat above the knee, which was a big deal for me, and I wore it with red, pointy slip-on shoes and a pink sweatshirt. It was the first time I’d bought anything other than jeans. I wore the outfit when I went back to school in Michigan, and everyone looked at me as if I was from another universe. I suddenly understood that style could have an impact. That was the beginning of me paying attention to clothes.

I’ve spent an awful lot of money on clothes

It’s one of my big regrets. I cannot believe that I was so reckless to spend $1,4OO on a dress that I never wore in my twenties. I was making a lot of money and had a boyfriend who was a model. He introduced me to stores I’d never heard of in Los Angeles. So, I got used to trying stuff on and not really looking at the price tag. I cannot believe I did that; I’m filled with shame.

I have looked in the papers the next day and thought, Well, that was a mistake

But the regret doesn’t last. Many years ago, for my first Golden Globes outing, I made a fashion choice that I cannot quite understand now… It was a gold dress, slightly like a geisha style, with a band around the middle. I was on the worst-dressed lists all over the world. I don’t think I’ve worn anything quite as offensive since then.

I’ve jumped into pools wearing beautiful dresses

That’s probably the naughtiest thing I’ve ever done fully dressed. But I also remember, years ago, I borrowed a beautiful Prada dress – it was off-white lace with a pink slip. Over the course of the evening, I’d got a piece of glass in my hand and ended up going to hospital – the dress was completely covered in blood. But I got it cleaned and came out spanking white. Whatever dancing I was doing, in whatever club I was in, it was probably pretty naughty.

courtesy of dune

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The best fashion advice? Keep it simple

Moderation is key. That’s what fashion has taught me about life. Moderation in terms of price of purchase, accessorising, the style of pieces you’re wearing, whether it’s a dress or separates. Nothing over the top – it’s too much information. Classic, usually single colours; not frilly or patterned.

I’m a shoe hoarder

I try to send things to Fashion for Change, a secondhand luxury charity shop. But I have this view that in my late sixties I’m going to be much more eccentric and bolder with my choices, so I’m saving things that I wouldn’t really wear now.

There’s a BAFTA dress I’ll never forget

It was a knife-pleated style by Halston that I’d borrowed from William Vintage. It was the most beautiful piece of architecture I’ve ever had the pleasure of wearing.

Gillian Anderson is the face of Dune’s latest campaign.

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