Wednesday, 04 April 2012

How I fell for the classic look

As the beautiful star of ITV’s Titanic, actress Ruth Bradley is a vintage style icon. Here, she models a timeless look… and explains why it works for everyone

Are you a big fan of the vintage look?

I am a big fan of vintage. I like to incorporate different decades into the one look. There are so many great places in London, such as Absolute Vintage and Beyond Retro, where you can get all your pieces under the one roof.

Why do you think it is back in vogue?

There has definitely been a resurgence in embracing the femininity of vintage in the last few years – from the hourglass cuts to the flattering fits. I think it celebrates women's beauty and doesn't shy away from glamour.

Were the costumes a highlight of starring in ITV's new Titanic drama?

The costumes weren't really a highlight – although they were beautiful. When I'm preparing for a role I'm more focussed on the internal workings of the character as opposed to what they wear. But it's always a lovely collaboration when it comes to meeting the designer. You both bring your opinions and individual research to the table and find something that works for both your instincts on that particular character. Our costume designer, James Keast, was particularly wonderful to work with.

Did you get to keep any of them?

No, I'm afraid not.

How do you feel about being The Lady's cover star?

I'm extremely flattered. While preparing for Titanic I researched the ladies' magazines that would have been available at the time for my character, had she been that way inclined. Of course, The Lady has been in publication since 1885, so it feels very much like everything has come full circle.

What is your favourite item of clothing?

I am living in a beautiful pair of brown suede wedge ankle boots at the moment. They have laces and buckles so there's a nice nod to the Victorians in there as well.

What are your top fashion tips?

Whatever your age, I think 'be comfortable' is the most important tip. Whether being comfortable means heels and dresses or flats and jeans, it gives a sense of confidence to your style if you're confident in your own skin.

'Don't be afraid to try anything' is another good one. I've thought in the past that certain styles just wouldn't work for me, but when you give it a go you can be surprised. Although that probably goes back to the being comfortable tip. Don't worry about what people may think – just make sure you feel great, whatever your chosen fashion.

How long do you spend getting ready in the morning?

It depends, really. At the moment, I'm working 5.15am starts, so these days I give myself 15 minutes. But if I'm doing my make-up or hair, I don't like to rush. I quite enjoy the ritual of getting ready to go out so I try to give myself about an hour. Having said that, I'm more often running out of the door doing my make-up on the Tube and hoping for the best.

Shot 09 031

Above, Ruth wears:

Eau de nil blouse, £129, by Biba at House of Fraser: 020-7003 4000, www.houseoffraser.co.uk

Black pleated skirt, £375, by Paul & Joe at Harrods: 020-7730 1234, www.harrods.com

Coral necklace with antique carved detail; Deco earrings in carved coral with diamond and onyx surround, £1,900, both by Kim Poor:020-7259 9063, www.kimpoor-jewellery.com

Black feather headpiece, £18, by Accessorize: 0844- 811 0069, www.accessorize.com


Above, Ruth wears:

Black and gold hand-painted chiffon corset dress, price on application, by Zandra Rhodes: 020-7403 5333, www.zandrarhodes.com

Aquamarine, blue topaz and pearl choker, £1,870; aquamarine and emerald earrings in 18ct gold, both by Kim Poor: as before

Black feather hair clip, £18, by Accessorize: as before

Feather sandals, £239, by Chie Mihara for Plumo: 0844-557 3590, www.plumo.com

For vintage looks, go to www.absolutevintage.co.uk and www.beyondretro.com 

Titanic is on ITV1, Sunday at 9pm.

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