Scarlett Sweeney describes herself as ‘an actress of English, French, Italian, Scottish and Irish heritage – with a passion for antiques, clothing, jewellery, cookery, history, reading classic novels and watching interesting films’. When the Semple team met her during the filming of our promotional film, we realised just how much we had to learn from Scarlet.
Not only is she a talented actress, featuring in productions by ‘The Theatre of the Damned’ she also has spent time co-directing an all French production of Albert Camus’ ‘Les Justes.’ During the 1990’s however, Scarlet’s life could not have been more different. Her job forced her to spend long hours working in a struggling boutique in Weybridge, arranging and re-arranging window displays. Her thoughts always drifted back to her dream about one day becoming an actress but this didn’t start to become reality till much later.
As in every good Hollywood movie where the protagonist receives a life changing sign, Scarlett received her’s whilst driving her then boyfriend to a recording studio in order to record his band’s latest song. ‘We drove past a stunning looking building that caught my eye, and I remember commenting on how beautiful this building looked. While admiring the building I was amazed to see the words ‘Drama Studio’ above the door.’ Allowing no time to be wasted, she signed up on an evening course and was later accepted onto their full time course.
Since then her career has just grown and grown with each day presenting new challenges to conquer. Her motto of ‘don’t let fear hold you back’ just encompasses the can do attitude of Scarlet which has enabled her to follow her dream, however daunting it seemed at the time.
When talking to Scarlet in person however, it is clear that she is just as equally as passionate about fashion as she is about acting. This may stem from a family tradition of trying to find something beautiful to wear on Christmas day. ‘I take my inspiration from different eras, people and movies and use that inspiration to create my own style. This could be anything from Coco Chanel’s ethos to the beautiful feminine shapes of the Art Nouveau period into the lines of the Deco period mixed in with some modernism and a little punk rock thrown in for good measure.’ Her recent interest in Maggie Semple Ltd has deepened her knowledge in the field of fashion and allowed her to explore the hidden stories behind garments. ‘I think (Maggie’s) idea for this project is beautiful, that every women has a story to tell…I love reading about them in Maggie’s book ‘Semple’.” Scarlet’s treasured garment comes in the form of a blue silk dress which she bought from ‘Coast’ a few years ago. It is this dress that she also wore in the recently filmed Maggie Semple Ltd promotional film. It’s simple silhouette and impeccable tailoring makes it a timeless classic and ultimate favourite for Scarlet.
If Scarlet was to share one sartorial tip with the Maggie Semple readers, it would be this: ‘If you’re bored of one of your skirts, ruche the material up on the side of the skirt to wherever you’re comfortable, by the knee or thigh, then hold that material there using a brooch.’ This innovative way of customizing an outfit just epitomizes Scarlet’s creative edge which not only makes her unique but also allows her to create her own style… one that is timeless.
By Grace Molan