Sienna Miller: ‘I Miss People Being Reckless With Fashion’

She was the ultimate noughties girl, here Sienna Miller talks to Grazia about her most iconic fashion moments...

Sienna Miller Jimmy Choo

by Natalie Hammond |
Updated on

The year is 2004. Tony Blair is Prime Minister, Facebook has just launched, the last ever episode of Friends has aired, and Sienna Miller has single-handedly persuaded a whole generation of teenagers to buy a coin belt. That last entry might not seem as life-altering as poking virtual friends for the first time and saying farewell to Central Perk, but if you’re a) between the ages of 28 and 38 or b) have eyes, then your wardrobe can’t have escaped the ‘Sienna’ effect.

Before our national obsession with Kate and Meghan came Sienna, the ultimate noughties poster-girl for a bohemian kind of cool after starring in Layer Cake and Alfie, and one of the only women on the planet who could make an upper-arm bangle seem like a good idea. Now Jimmy Choo has selected her to be the first star of its ‘In My Choos’ series, celebrating women who dare to stand out, for its pre-fall 2019 collection, released this week. Its inspiration is pared-back ’90s glamour, the ‘chicest’ decade, according to Sienna. ‘Women in oversized blazers and very little make-up,’ she remembers. ‘No one looked like they were trying too hard.’ It was photographs of Winona Ryder, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Moss and Kurt Cobain, their lo-fi style free from Instagram filters, who captivated her as a teenager.

‘I get sad looking back and seeing these pre-social-media days, where people were wild and reckless, and nothing was contrived or over-thought. There were these original moments in fashion – even though they didn’t feel it at the time.’ There’s something poignant perhaps about Sienna’s nostalgia – given how many now iconic moments she herself created. Think the Uggs for Glastonbury, the lipstick-red Balenciaga bag, the neon aviator shades, the battered cowboy boots at film premieres, the gold medallions, the list goes on.

This careful approach to getting dressed is something she cultivates on camera, too. ‘I only feel that a character truly comes to life during the wardrobe process,’ Sienna tells Grazia. For her upcoming film, American Woman, which is set over 11 years and follows a mother whose teenage daughter goes missing, the clothes, she says, were key to unlocking the character of Deb. ‘I was adamant that in the early days she should have low-slung jeans and the “whale-tale” thong poking out. It might not actually be seen, but it was informative in me connecting to her at that time.'

A wardrobe of chandelier earrings might have helped her swing into Edie Sedgwick’s head for Factory Girl, but what about the infamous (and no doubt intimidating) red carpet? After 15 years squaring up to photographers’ pits and signing autographs, what’s her secret coping strategy? ‘The red carpet itself is always a blur. I try to check out mentally and get through it. Often, a glass of wine before helps,’ Sienna quips, before adding, ‘I think you have to have a sense of self. A person who’s wearing something as simple as black jeans and a T-shirt can radiate glamour, and that comes with self-con dence, being calm and centred.’

For anyone who’d sell their own grandmother to go on a shopping trip with the actor, she has several favourite spots. ‘I love Portobello Market and always have. It’s so nostalgic for me and one of the first places I like to potter around when I get home. I seem to shop a lot less in New York, but there is a great place called Personnel in the West Village that is beautifully curated. I always seem to find things there I don’t see anywhere else.’

Speaking of the West Village – living in New York, and no doubt having to chase a er a seven-year-old, has also made Sienna a flat-shoe convert. Sandals with spindly heels or platforms might work for industry parties, but it’s low all the way for real life, she says. ‘Flats for sure. I run around everywhere and New York is a walking town.’ Of course, a woman can always change her mind. She might after seeing herself in these heels.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us