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Actress Gillian Anderson is dipping a toe into the world of fashion with her first ever capsule collection with British label, Winser London. The Chicago-born actress, best known for her roles in The X-Files, The Fall and The Last King of Scotland, has teamed up with the brand to create a collection of simple, well-made staple pieces-including blazers, sweaters, blouses, and trousers.
Ahead of the launch, Anderson spoke to BAZAAR.com about her first experience with designing a collection, the inspiration behind the pieces, and how her bustling career has shaped her personal style.
HarpersBAZAAR.com: What influences and has shaped your personal style?
Gillian Anderson: I guess sometimes some of the characters I play have an influence. I know that in the last 2 years, a character called Stella Gibson that I played on The Fall influenced me a lot. It wasn't so much that I ended up wearing silk shirts or pencil skirts or some of the things that were quintessentially her style, but I definitely feel like she influenced my sense of femininity, helped me to embrace feminine aspects of myself, so I guess that's an influence. I don't often then wear the clothes that a character has worn. So, I often find myself during the fitting saying 'this is amazing! If I were more creative or more brave, I would wear this in my personal life.' I don't often take home the clothes of a character.
HB: When did you realize you wanted to make this transition and step into the fashion world?
GA: I guess it was when Winser asked me! It wasn't something that I really had an interest in getting involved in before. I have a couple of friends who are fashion designers and it just never even occured to me that I might step in that direction. So it was really just them asking and me asking myself if I were to do this, what would I want to say through the clothes that I'd be creatively contributing? What are pieces that I might wear? What are things I don't feel like I have found myself and therefore is this an opportunity to create things that don't necessarily exist out there, or at least that I haven't been to find. That's kind of how it began.
HB: Do you think being styled on set for so many years influenced your sense of style?
GA: Possibly. For many, many years, I didn't pay any attention to it at all. I never used a stylist for events or award shows, never really paid that much attention to fashion or designers. Then in the last decade, I started with working with a man who could be considered one of the kings of vintage clothing who sources some of the most extraordinary clothing and vintage dresses. So conversations with him about the history of fashion and starting to wear some of those clothes to events and realizing the difference between wearing something that is tailored incredibly, wearing a piece of art in essence, and not. And, the difference in how that makes you feel when you're getting a tailored suit or a suit that is cut incredibly well and how now nice it feels.
That was one of the things that was important to me in this collection-properly paying attention to those kinds of details that I appreciate. Whether it's hidden colors, quality of the lining, double-faced material, double-faced wools, making sure the material is good and we have a clear understanding of the supply chain. And, that the majority of the materials are as local as they can be, and the quality is really good and yet still affordable.
HB: What else was important to you when designing this collection?
GA: One of the most important things for me in this was that the pieces felt multi-purpose. That pieces could be very easily dressed up or dressed down. We have a silk cotton blouse, for instance, where both the collar and the cuff could be fitted in four different ways and can look styled to be more relaxed and casual, or dressy. Both of the coats, and the tuxedo jacket, have the same feel of being relaxed and yet stylish and luxurious in a light wool fabric. The sense that the blouse or even the crewneck jumper, it's cashmere, it's fitted, could be easily worn with jeans or with dress pants.
HB: What kind of woman do you see wearing this collection?
GA: Obviously, we hope that the reach is as far as possible, but I could easily see teenagers and women in their 70s wearing some of these pieces. The swing coat is ageless, the silk blouse is ageless, the trousers are ageless-I'm hoping everybody!
HB: Do you see yourself working more in fashion in the future?
GA: Initially, I felt like this was very much a one time only capsule collection. But, the process felt quite effortless and enjoyable. And I think also my struggle this summer to find a lot of casual dresses might lead me to maybe do a little dress collection. It's certainly opened my mind a bit more to different areas that we could take this. It all depends on how this first collection goes down, and kind of take it from there!
You can shop Gillian's entire collection at www.winserlondon.com
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