Why Kristen Scott Thomas In The English Patient Is Our Unexpected Style Icon

When she got it on with Ralph Fiennes our eyes widened with glee. Now we want to copy Katherine Clifton's wardrobe, too


by Pandora Sykes |
Published on

Ahhhh The English Patient. It's got romantic adultery (not condoning), a beautiful villa and a one woman homage to the flying jacket. And we can't even begin to thank Anthony Minghella for 1996's more beautiful bonk since Romeo and Juliet. Actually, we can. By dedicating this week's Unexpected Style Icon accolade to Kristin Scott Thomas aka Katherine Clifton.

Go on then, why Katherine Clifton?


Because she channels adroygnous game-changing aviator Amelia Earhart, in her pleat fronted 'slacks', brown leather aviator jacket and button down white shirts. And her silky nightdress in the sex scene is sort of fruity and angelic all at the same time. It's all very Katherine Hepburn in Out of Africa, with bold shawls and wide-legged trousers. Basically, KC's a hella sexy androgynous pin-up. Like the Cara Delevingne of the Second World War. Sort of.

Who else is into it?


Think natural fibres suited to the African desert. I know, exotic right? Well yes, actually. Balmain AW14 went super duper 'safari' and there was the full palette of Katherine Clifton-friendly safariwear at the SS13 collections, with Valentino and Marni producing wide-leg trousers in khaki and camel. Jacket wise, look to Acne's sheepskin lined star player and Burberry's sheepskin jacket as worn by Suki Waterhouse for AW14. It's like the colonial version of 'borrowed from the boys.' As for that ribbon in her hair - just ask Martha Ward and Laura Bailey, who often turn up with matching long ribbons around their ponytails.

But how would I do it?


Flying jacket, firstly. Good over knits for winter and tank tops in summer; very rock 'n roll to refuse to take your leather and sheepskin jacket off even in soaring temps. Kind of hard to find at this time of year, granted, so look to second hand sites like Vestiaire Collective for designer ones, or eBay and Etsy for vintage. A white shirt, secondly. Every wardrobe should own one of these. Every! Thirdly, a Victorian nightgown. I'm a huge believer in the nighties. It preserves something faintly traditional about one's person, even when, erm, doing naughty deeds. Fourthly, some khaki trousers. If Man Repeller can do it, so can you!

So, should I do it?

I know the whole 'normcore' thing has really gathered pace, but this isn't about pretending to be normal. This is about good quality clothes with endless effortless appeal. Does Katherine look good? Um, YES. Does Katherine look like she's making an effort? NO. Question answered, then.

  1. Shirt, £49.99 H&M Conscious; 2. Checked Linen Scarf, £195 Burberry at Net-a-Porter; 3. Stretch Chinos, £19.99 H&M; 4. Vintage Sheepskin Leather Jacket, £306.43 Joseph at Vestiaire Collective; 5. Cotton Shirt, £19.99 H&M.

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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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