Style Icon: Tilda Swinton

[Image Above:]

Amsterdam-based duo Viktor & Rolf opened their Fall 2003 RTW show with their androgynous muse, Tilda Swinton. The copper-haired British actress, whom you may know as The White Witch from The Chronicles of Narnia films,   promenaded down the runway while a soundtrack featuring her own voice echoed above, advising surveyors to “follow your own path.” After Tilda’s grand entrance, a series of “Tilda’s” followed her path down the catwalk. Each runway model was transformed into a Swinton clone – their dyed, deep ginger hair was severely pulled back, their complexions were powdered to a pure shade of ivory, their lips were soft pink and insignificant, and their cheekbones possessed just the tiniest tint of rouge. They wore variations on Tilda’s pantsuit ensemble, which represented not only Viktor & Rolf’s design, but also Tilda’s sophisticated, edgy, terrifically tailored style.

Keep reading to learn more about Tilda’s style, and her obvious influence on the world of fashion.

[Images Above:]

In an article from, Viktor Horsting said of their 2003 RTW show, “We wanted to do all our signatures, with the menswear and the couture influences, for an ageless modern woman.”

[Images Above:]

Ageless modern woman is an apt generalization of Tilda Swinton, whose bizarre style, personal life, acting roles, and artistic endeavors render her a true enigma. The 5-foot, 10-inch statuesque actress, born into a patrician military family, graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in Social and Political Sciences. From there, Tilda developed her interest and undeniable talent in acting, in addition to cultivating a distinct, fashion-forward style.

[Images Above (from left):,]

In addition to noteworthy style and Oscar-worthy performances, Tilda’s also known to be a patron of the arts. In 1995, Tilda collaborated with English installation artist and sculptor Cornelia Parker to create a performance piece entitled The Maybe. Shown at the Serpentine Gallery, this exhibit literally showcased Tilda as a work of art. For seven consecutive days, eight hours a day, Tilda was on display in a raised glass casket. Motionless, eyes closed, perhaps asleep at some points, Tilda demonstrated her dedication to art to over 22,000 gallery attendees – and, as a result, she contracted shingles! C’est la vie.

[Images Above (from left):,]

When she’s not on duty as a mother, raising a set of twins (Xavier and Honor) in rural Scotland, Tilda can typically be found on the red carpet. As an international arthouse and mainstream film star, Tilda is expected to attend numerous red carpet events – a fact I’m ridiculously thankful for, considering her impeccable styling choices and willingness to dress differently from the norm. When I see photos of Tilda at film premiers or other public events, I’m continually amazed by her ability to pull off just about anything. Whether she’s sporting an ethereal, floor-length pale pink Thakoon gown (above, far left), a minimal white Jil Sander sheath dress (above, center) , or a haute couture Galliano for Dior visual masterpiece (above, far right), Tilda never ceases to look cool and collected. As a platinum blonde, brunette, or natural redhead, Tilda could very well be the definition of chic.

[Images Above (from left):,]

Tilda’s eclectic, high-end, original style is heightened by a presence that seems to be one part fragility mixed with undeniable strength and confidence. She never seems uncomfortable in an edgy formal gown, or out of place in an ensemble that features a silhouette most actresses wouldn’t dream of donning. Her penchant for quirky, atypical pieces make her all the more charming and inspirational. With each ensemble, she seems to be telling admiring onlookers, “Dress for yourself and no one else. You’re a work of art.”

[Images Above (from left):,,]

In my humble opinion, a true style icon not only looks incredibly immaculate, with a flawless, often innate taste in clothing and accessories, but should also possess a certain power of undeniable influence. I consider Tilda Swinton’s impressive acting CV sub-par to her significance as a style icon. We’re talking about a woman who has not only topped innumerable Best Dressed Lists, but also inspired an entire runway collection of one of today’s most well-regarded, innovative designers. Yes, that was way back when in 2003, but Tilda’s individual sense of style continues to trickle its unique quirks into fashion today. Most recently, Tilda’s signature tee shirt was used in a Paris Haute Couture collection. Oh, and she’s also the new face of Pringle of Scotland. All in a day’s work for one of our generation’s most unique and alluring style celebrities.

[Images Above (from left):,,]

*Note: Some claim that Tilda was the first celebrity to sport YSL’s Spring 2009 RTW cage shoes, as shown in the far left photo above. If this doesn’t instantly ensure your dedication to all things Tilda, I’m not sure what will.

About Annie

Suggested Posts

Galentine’s Day Style + DIY Self-Love Kit
February 05, 2019
This Face Mask Is Like a Bouquet for Your Skin
January 17, 2019
Workplace Besties: A #TeamModCloth Trio Shares the Love
January 10, 2019
How to Style a Party Dress Three Ways
December 20, 2018
The New Black: Styling All-Grey 3 Ways
December 13, 2018
Travel Bug: Saumya Takes Us on a Tour of DC
December 06, 2018
Party Recap: Hello Kitty’s Birthday in LA
November 12, 2018
A Pampering Present: DIY Concentrated Bubble Bath
November 05, 2018
Easy Makeup for Going Out: Featuring Anna Sui Beauty
October 22, 2018
Haunt Now, Haute Later: Three Scary-Stylish Outfits
October 11, 2018


  1. Vasil 01/26/2010 at 12:01 pm #

    She is an outstanding fashion icon!!!

  2. aire 01/26/2010 at 12:03 pm #

    I agree Annie and Vasil! I adore her and her courage to dress as she likes. 🙂

  3. Natalie B. 01/26/2010 at 12:11 pm #

    What a fascinating woman! I’ve always admired her style, but hadn’t looked beyond that, so thank you taking an insightful look into her inspiring, incredible life.

  4. jill 01/26/2010 at 12:19 pm #

    fantastic actress, as well. her fearlessness is inspirational.

  5. Alison B. 01/26/2010 at 12:28 pm #

    The Styles are much too atrocious for my tastes, but she makes a lot of money dressing like she does. I guess I wouldn’t mind wearing clothing like that if I was offered wealth in return! She certainly rocks the garments!

  6. emily 01/26/2010 at 1:08 pm #

    Women like Tilda keep the red carpet from being a total bore.

  7. Richard 01/26/2010 at 1:17 pm #

    Does anyone remember Tilda from when she appeared in a music video for a song by the band Orbital back in the late 90’s? That’s how I first laid eyes upon her.

  8. Richard 01/26/2010 at 1:19 pm #

    The song was called “The Box.” Here’s a link, if you’ve never seen it. Quite an interesting video.

  9. Annie 01/26/2010 at 1:23 pm #

    Yes! That video is crazay. Her interest in music doesn’t stop there – she collaborated with Patrick Wolf on his album “The Bachelor,” in which she performed four spoken word pieces. Weird!

  10. Christina 01/26/2010 at 1:59 pm #

    I consider Tilda Swinton to be in the same category of women like Annie Lennox. Very androgynous but also very feminine and willing to take risks.

  11. Maya 01/26/2010 at 5:41 pm #

    I love how she rocks out the creme. I’d love to be able to wear that colour without looking like i’m 2 minutes away from death.

    Also she’s super talented and lives in Scotland and now I hate her. I want to live in Scotland and dress awesome and have an ability in anything!!!

    Thanks Annie! Awesome post

  12. Kristin 01/26/2010 at 6:09 pm #

    Did you hear Conan O’Brien, on his last show, joked that he wants Tilda to play his role in an HBO movie? LOL! Hey, if Cate Blanchet can play a young Bob Dylan, why not Tilda as Conan? She’s super talented!

  13. Annie 01/26/2010 at 6:13 pm #

    Hahah, that’s amazing. They do somewhat resemble one another…and they are both awesome. Team Coco!

  14. aire 01/26/2010 at 6:25 pm #

    According to she said she would play him!!!

  15. Maya 01/26/2010 at 7:02 pm #

    Actually I think her and Eric Stoltz look remarkably similiar. I was trying to explain that to my man shaped object on the weekend when watching Caprica.

  16. lucy 01/26/2010 at 11:00 pm #

    she looks so gorgeous, she is so talented

  17. Lisa Stone 01/27/2010 at 12:20 am #

    LOL Maya you are right! I fell madly in love with Eric Stolz in The Waterdance. But I doubt he could pull off Orlando like she did. What a talent.

  18. hanako66 01/28/2010 at 3:52 pm #

    she is such a fabulous actress and an absolute fashion icon

  19. samantha 10/20/2010 at 11:24 am #

    she is very beautiful and majestic, I just love her

Leave a Reply