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EXTENDED RETURNS FOR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING UNTIL THE END OF JANUARY 2023
WINNER OF THE BEST LUXURY WOMENSWEAR BRAND ENTERPRISE AWARDS 2021 & 2022
When I invited the acclaimed actor Gillian Anderson to design collections for Winser London, I had not anticipated how she would throw her heart into the design and development, such an amazing and talented woman, I was super impressed. Here, Gillian Anderson talks about her work with Women for Women International, and how she likes to spend her downtime, who would have guessed....
KIM WINSER, OBE
We chat to acclaimed actor and activist Gillian Anderson on philanthropy, style and her sophomore collection
for Winser London. Here, Gillian Anderson talks about her work with Women for Women International,
how she likes to spend her downtime and collaborating with Winser London.
We chat to acclaimed actor and activist Gillian Anderson on philanthropy, style and her sophomore collection for Winser London. Here, Gillian Anderson talks about her work with Women for Women International, how she likes to spend her downtime and collaborating with Winser London.
What was the inspiration behind your second collection?
The primary inspiration was that I had so much fun with the first collection that I knew I wanted to
do it again. Rather than reinventing the wheel we decided to put out a couple of different colours
in the same cuts of two successful styles and even used the cut of the Boyfriend Jumper for the
lips range. Then the question was, if we only do one dress - what is a style that can cross
seasons and feel dressy and yet equally casual with a pair of boots and a funky coat? If we only
do one blouse, what style is both the antithesis of last season’s Silk Blouse and also matches the
personality of the dress? And if I’m to do a trouser, given last season was a Tuxedo Cigarette
Pant why not try and create what I wear day in and out through the winter, Mini Bootleg Black
Low-Rise Stretch Jeans.
What are your favourite pieces from the collection you designed with Winser London, and why?
Oh that’s hard! I do love the Lips sweaters, not least because a percentage of proceeds is being donated to
one of my favourite charities for women but also because the quality of the image worked and kept its
personality even on a cashmere blend, which is a challenging expectation. The hooded coats are definitely a
favourite because they are so versatile and fun.
How would you describe your personal style?
Eek, I’d say simple. I think? On a day-to-day basis I don’t put a lot of effort into what I wear and dress for
practicality (with heels though) but if I’m dressing up I do like clean, classic lines and am not likely to go for
a pattern - as much as I like patterns they just don’t work on me.
Who inspires you in work, life and style?
Probably my friend Gabriela Hearst. She has an incredible personal style which is reflected in how she
dresses. She works so hard on her clothing line and fabrics and manages to balance it effectively with kids
and husband and friends and meditation. She’s a force to be reckoned with. If she is a racehorse, I am a
What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever received?
Do your very best and let go of the results. That means to show up prepared and committed and positive
and present and leave the results to the powers that be. As long as you know you have done your best,
nothing else matters. Great if whatever it is works out, and if it doesn’t at least you know you did your best
and it simply wasn’t meant for you at this time. Difficult to do in practice at first and easy to get into self-criticism and blame and resentment, but once you get used to truly letting go, it can be one of the biggest
gifts you can give yourself.
Tell us more about your work with Women for Women International and how they’re spotlighted in your collection?
Jennifer Nadel who I co-wrote WE: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere with first brought them to my
attention and we encouraged readers of the book to make donations to this wonderful organisation. Since
then I have tried to help raise awareness and funds. Women for Women International helps women in post
conflict zones get back on their feet. It teaches them about their rights, teaches them a trade so they can
become self-sufficient, teaches them about personal hygiene and how to take care of themselves and
encourages them to be active in their communities. They really honour the women they work with and stay
in contact with them for years afterwards - personally visiting the women on the ground on a regular
basis and making sure the programs are running effectively. It’s just a wonderful organization. One of the
fundraising projects I did was to partner with RedBubble to make a T-shirt with an image of my lips that
had been presented to me by a fan. Other fans started buying the t-shirts knowing all our RedBubble profits
were going to Women for Women. I then decided to take it one step further in this Winser London
collection with a cashmere blend sweater where the image was worked into the weave in great colours.
Finally, what do you like to do to relax?
Watch documentaries. Heaven.
You have attracted some great guests and had some interesting conversations on your podcast, The Mid.Point. How did that come about and what’s the thinking behind it?
It started out because I wanted to have more open conversations about the potential to do positive things in mid-life, whether that’s changing direction or simply remaining relevant and optimistic. It’s evolved to cover a range of diverse issues, and it’s been a great outlet for me as a personal project to contrast with my sports broadcasting. I’m loving that this is resonating with a wider female audience than perhaps other areas of my work, and it means a lot when people come up to me and say how much they enjoy the podcast and how they can relate to issues that come up.
I have found that sometimes, especially during the pandemic, speech radio can leave me anxiety-ridden, and podcasts provide a different audio experience. I listen to Josh Widdicombe and Rob Beckett’s Parenting Hell, Matthew Syed’s Sideways and the Desert Island Discs archive at home, in the car or on my walks.
Finally, you have an incredibly demanding work schedule, do lots of hands-on charity work, keep to a demanding exercise regime and you have teenage children. How do you relax?
I’m genuinely happier when I’m busy. I do enjoy those calming countryside walks, immersed in nature, and Kenny loves that watershed in the day when it hits 9pm and he puts his feet up with a box set. However, I am so middle-aged, I find sorting a cupboard therapeutic. There is something about organising a kitchen draw that gives me great pleasure. Is it weird that I admit that sorting stock cubes is very satisfying?