>> Tilda Swinton has played muse for Viktor & Rolf and Haider Ackermann — she met both, as well as Alber Elbaz, Stefano Pilati, Phoebe Philo, and Raf Simons (who designed her wardrobe for the 2010 film I Am Love) — through her close friend Jerry Stafford, the creative director of a French production company, who she works with in place of a stylist. “He’s my playmate,” she says. “It’s a game, and we have great fun with it.”
Swinton cites David Bowie and her father, Major General Sir John Swinton, as her style icons, and says of working with friends on what she wears for the red carpet: “For someone to know what you need to make you comfortable, they need to know who you are. Having them make clothes for me is like being cooked for by someone who knows what you like to eat.”
For the one-sleeve black Lanvin sheath she wore to the 2008 Oscars, for instance, she told Elbaz she wanted “to attract as little attention as possible and to feel as comfortable as if I were wearing pajamas. Little did I know that the really simple, chic dress one might have worn in Paris or Berlin would stick out like a sore thumb in Los Angeles.”
Stafford also creative directed Swinton's cover story for the August 2011 issue of W (left) — together they created a mood board for the shoot.