Venice Film Festival Style File: Tilda Swinton Does it Her Way in Haider Ackermann and Prada

Posted on September 03, 2018

Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton, 2/3 of our Holy Trinity of High Style* spent the weekend hitting red carpets in stunning outfits, completely disrespecting the fact that today is an American holiday and these two bitchbloggers just wanted to sleep late.

Despite this lack of consideration for our needs, we will attempt not to let it influence our style assessments.


Tilda Swinton at the “Suspiria” Photocall in Haider Ackermann

LOVE this. The colors are so bold – even clashy – that you don’t even notice how conventional it is.

While Haider Ackermann has long been her go-to for promotional appearances, it’s not always easy to nail down Pope Tilda’s style and aesthetic. People often refer to her as “androgynous,” largely because of the Bowie-like head styling she’s sported for over a decade, but it was never the best way to describe her look. If anything, the Tilda of the last few years has shown a preference for styles with a decent amount of frill and ruffle to them. This dress, for instance, isn’t anything but a collection of highly traditional, even stereotypical conservative feminine attributes, from the shape to the style to the various elements.

If we had to nail down Tilda’s current look, it’s a tendency toward eye-catching boldness, a preference for extreme elements/colors, and a focus on training the eye to look at her face and feet. That last element is part of the reason we think so many find her style a little off-kilter or even unsettling.



Tilda Swinton at the “Suspiria” Premiere in Haider Ackermann

Normally, we wouldn’t considered a foot-focused style to be a good idea, but there’s a difference between leading the eye to where you want it to go and the eye being forced to focus on a distracting element. Tilda has a face and hair that begs to be noticed and routinely picks garments that pull the eye to them. There’s actually a sort of brilliance to her choices of long-toed, brightly colored footwear paired with garments that tend to draw the eye to them. She’s in perfect visual balance. Head, body and feet are all putting on a display, making for a pleasing whole. You’ll never catch her in generic footwear or naked sandals. Tilda clearly sees the shoes as a major component of the look. Not just an accessory but a partner to the garment, the hair, and the makeup (which is there, but extremely subtle).

RARE TILDA CRITICISM: We don’t think the bracelet goes, nor does it strike us as necessary.


Tilda Swinton at Miu Miu’s “Women’s Tales” Dinner in Prada

Even when she gets away from the more intellectual approach of Haider Ackermann and into something slightly more conventional, she’ll pick a very foot-focused shoe in order to give it that particular Tilda visual ratio.

Of the three looks here, we like this least. Not because it’s slightly more conventional or because it’s more form-fitting than she normally chooses. We hate the hem length (although it’s a Tilda fave), and we don’t much like the combination of print and seaming, which manage an effect you almost never see in Tilda ensembles: it’s muddy and distracting. She’s all about bold visual cleanliness usually.




Style Credits:
First Look: Haider Ackermann Yellow Dress from the Fall 2018 Collection
Second Look: Custom Haider Ackermann Red Dress from the Fall 2018 Collection | Delfina Delettrez Bracelet
Third Look: Prada Dress from the Spring 2008 Collection

[Photo Credit: INSTARImages,]

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