Ella Richards might hail from fashion and music royalty, but that hasn’t stopped her from making a name for herself in the fashion world. Over the last few years, Richards, whose grandfather is Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones and grandmother is model Anita Pallenberg, has posed for mega brands like Michael Kors and Burberry, walked the runway for Giamba and Pringle of Scotland, and also become a street style star in her own right.
Growing up in the industry, Richards had fashion inspiration at every turn, and today she runs with a stylish crew of pals, from Georgia May Jaggerthis link opens in a new tab to Stella McCartneythis link opens in a new tab. So we wondered, whose style is she currently crushing on?
“Oh, I love Sienna Miller’s style so much,” Richards tells InStyle. “We’ve known each other for years and she knew my parents [Lucie de la Falaise and Marlon Richards] before that. She’s always dressed very feminine and effortless, in beautiful dresses and the coolest vintage pieces.”
So for our April issue, we connected Richards with Miller to talk shop. On the agenda? Red carpet dressing, New York vs. London style, and the one thing in their closet that they’ll never get rid of.
Keep scrolling to read the full conversation:
Ella Richards: Sienna, you have the best style ever. We’ve seen each other more often since I’ve moved to New York, and you always look effortless, like you threw something on and it just so happens to look incredible.
Sienna Miller: Aw, I could say the same thing about you! I think it’s quite specific to being English somehow, but there’s not too much thought or conscience that goes into getting dressed. At the moment since it’s still cold, I’m into stuff that’s very ’50s factory worker woman — oversize trousers with little cropped jumpers and boots. I don’t know why [laughs].
ER: Agreed, I get a bit claustrophobic in the winter. All I’ve been wearing are corduroys and cashmere and dungarees. Just lots of layers.
SM: Oh, I have the best corduroy dungarees. They’re my favorite.
ER: My all-time favorite designer is Ossie Clark, and I know we both love vintage, but what designers are you really into these days?
SM: I still love Phoebe Philo’s Celine pieces, so beautiful. And everything Nicolas Ghesquière is doing at Louis Vuitton is just kind of ahead of the game. Gucci is everywhere right now so it’s kind of intense, but the styling of those shows is so amazing. That kind of geeky socks and sneakers things is great.
ER: So good. What are some of your favorite things you’ve ever worn? I recently wore this bronze Cavalli dress that I was really into [above], but I didn’t get to keep it, sadly.
SM: I got to be on the jury of the Cannes Film Festival a couple of years ago, which was a total dream because I got to be with the Coen brothers and watch movies every day, but then I also had to go to more red carpets in a short span of time than anyone can imagine, so for that, Gucci made me some incredible custom dresses. There was this amazing blue one with a leather bodice and a lace skirt that really stood out [above]. And then also, my gold Burberry dress [from the 2006 Met Gala, below]. I have it in silver too, and it’s so festive, I bring it out every Christmas.
ER: Oh, I love that!
SM: There’s going to come a point where I’m just too old to be wearing something that short, but I’ll probably be a granny still squeezing into that thing [laughs].
ER: One thing I do find quite hard about going to events is that when a designer dresses me in a full look, it can be challenging to find a way to put your personal spin on it.
SM: I feel the same way. I think people look more beautiful if they look like themselves and so don’t feel pressured into a certain thing. It’s the same with hair and makeup, sometimes they try to make you look vastly different from yourself. I remember when I was really young, I was getting ready for the Oscars one year with my boyfriend at the time [Jude Law], who was nominated that year, and I was quite hungover and not really paying attention when they did my hair and makeup. All of a sudden I had this insane Medusa hairdo. I ended up tying it back and looked like Princess Margaret. I used to feel the pressure to let them do what they wanted, and now I’d say, “Hey, not too much hair and makeup.”
ER: Totally. If you could live in any fashion era, what would it be?
SM: Anytime that women were really liberated. I’d go with either the ’20s, when suddenly everyone cut their hair off, chopped their skirts, and ran around getting pissed all night, or the ’70s. There’s something about the freedom of it — the music, the style, the first feminist revolution.
ER: Yes! How does your style change depending on the city? I’m a bit more scruffy in London and much more polished in New York.
SM: In New York, I don’t know why but I kind of dress like Justin Bieber in those geeky beanies and such. And then in Italy in the summer, I get like really ‘50s. I just romanticize places, I guess [laughs].
ER: Yeah, in London I always look like I just walked out of bed.
SM: Or like a country bumpkin. My nature is to trend more bohemian, but I actually don’t feel like I dress that bohemian now, except in the summer. I guess I could put on a very tailored piece and probably still look a little free-spirited, though. It’s a very London thing — you either have that kind of energy or you don’t.
ER: What’s something in your closet you’ll never get rid of? I’ve had a pair of beige Vivienne Westwood pirate boots since my 14th birthday. I don’t know how they still fit me, but they’re my favorite thing.
SM: Probably the gold Burberry dress because the truth is annoyingly, I’ve barely gotten to keep anything I’ve worn! I know your friend Kate Moss has been able to keep all of her dresses, and I so wish I had an archive of all of the amazing things I’ve worn, but I don’t have much. I know I’ll have my Burberry dresses forever though. My daughter will probably wear them one day. You must have some incredible Yves Saint Laurent pieces from your mom [model Lucie de la Falaise], right?
ER: Oh yes, my mom has lots of great pieces, lots of jackets and pants, but my grandmother [model Anita Pallenberg; Richards’s grandfather is Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones] also had an incredible archive of clothes which, lucky me, I have.
SM: Nice! It’s in my contract now that I get to keep some of the wardrobe from my films too. I played Edie Sedgwick [in Factory Girl] and if I had it my way I’d only dress in her black tights and leotards. It would look ridiculous at my age now, but I love ballet wear. I do ballet when I’m in New York and I have the full outfit. You should come with me sometime.