The Observer Magazine
You know how you never get over your first celebrity crush? The one whose Smash Hits poster you pinned to your wall? Whose every film you watched, whose every girlfriend you detested (Jake, I'm thinking about you). Well, I think there's something in the idea that you never fully get over your first style icon. Everyone has one. Think back to your style awakening. Maybe it was when you first picked up a magazine, Kate Moss staring languidly out from the cover, pages filled with homages to her rock-deshabille threads. Maybe it was on TV, maybe it was Mischa Barton, in flippy mini skirts and a mother-of-pearl Chanel bag in the O.C. Or maybe it was Sienna Miller.
I love Sienna Miller. I love her. I've always loved her. I've defended her through thick and thin - I even defended her for Factory Girl, to this day I am one of the eight people in the world who own that movie on DVD. I loved her in cowboy boots and a Balenciaga bag. I loved her in green with gold bangles up her arm, draped all over Jude Law at the Oscars. I remembered cutting out this picture from a magazine, sticking it in my locker at school, and wearing a variation of it every weekend: Chunky fur gilet, multi-layered cotton skirt, knee high boots and sparkly sweater. She was the first, the only. For years I scoured vintage stores and saturday markets (chai latte in hand), hair all messed up, chipped black nails, aviator frames on, listening to Razorlight and the Kinks, smiling a lot and feeling thankful that I had freckles and long hair and boxes and boxes full of chandelier earrings. I was obsessed with London, I was obsessed with fashion and I was obsessed with Sienna Miller. That first style icon informs your relationship with clothes forever. It makes you want to buy certain things, like certain brands (I lusted over so much Twenty8Twelve, for reasons you can imagine), try certain combinations... in perpetuity. To this day, if Sienna is on a magazine cover, I want it. When she carries a bag, I want to know what it is. When, in a Vogue UK profile (where she was described as "phemonally pretty... beatnik Tinkerbell", does it get better than that?) she wore an Isabel Marant navajo sweater, I wanted that sweater. Sound ridiculous, sound high school, sound Mean Girls-y? Yeah, I know. But thinking about first loves always makes me regress.
My longterm love affair with Sienna is a running joke amongst my friends. Most of them have known me since I had a moodboard full of pictures of her wearing green dresses walking her dogs in Primrose Hill. They know how it is. They've had to put up with me banging on to whoever would listen for the past few months about the impending 'Siennaissance' - a phrase I'm pretty sure I have coined - referring to the fact that after a year or so of self-imposed baby-making hiatus, everyone's favourite champagne bubble blonde, all honeyed limbs and perfect hair, the girl who never says no to a dirty martini and a handful of fags, is BACK. And how, with a bunch of good, seriously good movies (Foxcatcher, American Sniper, Unfinished Business), an even bigger bunch of good, seriously good magazine covers, cute kid and nice man in tow. But you know, for me, she's never really been gone.