Fashion & Beauty / AnOther Flashback

AnOther Magazine 16 | Tilda Swinton

We create a unique portrait of the indefinable Tilda Swinton through her own words and those of her friends and admirers

Tilda Swinton in Craig Lawrence
Tilda Swinton in Craig Lawrence Photography by Craig McDean, Styling by Panos Yiapanis

Go wide, says Tilda Swinton, it's the thing to do. And that's exactly what we did for AnOther Magazine's S/S09 issue's cover shoot, where Craig McDean shot Tilda in the collections of the season's most exciting new designers, ranging from Mary Katrantzou and Mark Fast to Louise Goldin and Peter Pilotto.

Tilda’s career path has blurred the traditional lines between the worlds of art, film and fashion, and has been shaped by encounters with a myriad of characters along the way. For this most diverse and collaborative of performers, a straightforward magazine interview was always out of the question. So we gathered together over 35 of the directors and artists, actors and editors, old friends and fashion designers with whom Tilda has conspired over two decades. No one else could bring together a posse so wonderfully eclectic, from the Rodarte sisters to Jim Jarmusch, Juergen Teller to Spike Jonze.

She is both princess and prince, Patti Smith tells us. She doesn’t act, Béla Tarr explains mysteriously, she just is. A woman of style is Franca Sozzani’s verdict. Someone we would like to work with, Viktor and Rolf announce. Intrepid, says Tony Gilroy. An angel, thinks Gregory Crewdson. An alchemist and a magician, Cerith Wyn Evans confirms. Woven among their anecdotes and observations, Tilda tells us in her own words why, despite winning her first Oscar, she will always be a tourist in Hollywood.

Jerry StaffordTilda's friend, confidante and stylist

Tilda is at her most stylish when she is going down to the bakery on Nairn High Street wearing a mixture of Lanvin and wellington boots and a floppy hat from a charity store. That's when she's at her most inventive.

Tilda Swinton
In boarding school we were kept away from popular culture. It was a real abuse. And when I came out and I realized what I had missed, I remember the shock. I think I was first able to grasp that when I went to Africa as a volunteer after school, my first real existence as an individual. That’s when I started looking back and sorting out what I had missed out.

Frances McDormand: Film, stage and television actor
I want to be Tilda Swinton when I grow up.

Tilda Swinton
My mother was always well-dressed, very elegant and needing to match my father’s elegance because it was a tough act to follow if you went out with a military man. And the combination was shambolic, because on the other hand I’ve never seen my father in a cardigan that wasn’t (a) cashmere or (b) made in the 30s and inherited from his father.

Edward Enninful: Stylist
When David Bowie saw my book, he could not believe it when he saw the [Bowie-inspired 2003 Vogue Italia] pictures of Tilda. He thought it was him. He was like, “When did I do this shoot?” He was floored. Even he couldn’t believe how much she looked like him.

Tilda Swinton
My absolute wildest dream is that every small town across the globe would have a cinema one day.

For the full article, and for all 25 issues in the AnOther Magazine archive, visit Exact Editions.