It would be more than understandable, at this point in the year, if you had muted almost everyone on Instagram who has managed to decamp to sunnier climes. Firstly, how did they? Secondly, how dare they! You ponder slash rage internally, whilst staring blankly at your phone, wholly subsumed in other people’s filtered worlds where everyone seems to be having a lot more fun and wearing a lot nicer clothes than you. FOMO, old friend, welcome back. Get comfortable.
Alas, there is one woman who, despite ticking these boxes, has given us a heady dose of joy this week. That woman is Tilda Swinton. The actress is currently in the South of France at Cannes Film Festival, to promote Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch (inspired by New Yorker magazine, it’s pegged as a love letter to print journalism). And truly, even if you’re not an avid red-carpet follower, her fruity looks of late are their own intimate fables, including a statement blue suit and a hot pink blazer combined with a floor length orange skirt.
Designed by frequent creative collaborator, Haider Ackermann, their personal and professional relationship dates back to the early noughties. “I remember the first piece that you sent me was a pair of trousers – which you still have by the way, my sweetheart,” Swinton shared in a conversation with AnOther magazine earlier this year. “I gave them back to you to be altered and you never returned them ... ahem ... But before then, when I had seen images of your work – I hadn’t been to a show but I had seen images – they just looked like clothes for me. They had dignity and at the same time a fluidity, like the most princely pirate you could imagine. And that’s how I felt. I feel more or less princely – less, quite often – but definitely when the pirate in me is called up, it’s pretty much always hand in hand with Haider Ackermann.”
There’s something fabulously irreverent, and rebellious, about Swinton’s wardrobe. On screen, off screen, on the red carpet, on holiday, off duty: it is fun and celebratory, boyish and extremely glamourous. An anti-modus operandi. In a culture continually obsessed with the cult of youth, Swinton, 60, is a signpost for women – or really, any person - who refuses to bow down to expectation; to subscribe to dumb rules over how one should dress a certain a way ode to their personal number plate. No, she is far more interested in the spirit and character, one inhibits whilst wearing garments (possibly why she lent her daughter her 1980s wardrobe for their new film, The Souvenir Part II). Trends are factious. It is about the company and feeling clothes provide for us that, ultimately, stand the test of time, she says: “I don’t follow fashion. I still have – and am happy to retain – a beginner’s mind.”