Fashion Plate: Sophie Roberts

By Zoe Walker

Actress turned director Sophie Roberts lets Viva in on her style secrets.

Sophie Roberts. Photo / Babiche Martens
Sophie Roberts. Photo / Babiche Martens

Actress Sophie Roberts has pulled on her director's hat to bring Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead to life. The play looks to the cast of Peanuts, with Charlie Brown and friends growing up and becoming angsty teenage burnouts. The dark costumes are at odds with Roberts' own style, although similar in theatricality.

"I think most days I kind of look like I rolled around in a dress-up box," explains Roberts, who has previously appeared in plays including Broken China and Wolf's Lair.

"I'm a fan of old-world glamour, when ladies were classy and fabulous. Films like Breakfast at Tiffany's, Rear Window, Rosemary's Baby, La Dolce Vita, and all of Jean-Luc Godard's French bombshells. I'm also inspired by women who had a theatrical, original approach to dressing like Edie Bouvier, Coco Chanel, Isabella Blow, Diana Vreeland, Vivienne Westwood and Frida Kahlo." The young star tells us more about her style - a penchant for things from the past.

* Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, until October 9 at The Basement. Tickets $20 from iticket.co.nz or (09) 361 1000.

Who are your favourite designers?
Luella Bartley, Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs and Karen Walker: elegant, pretty and playful.

What was the last item of clothing you bought?
I found a great 1940s black and silver turban in an op shop recently.

What item of clothing do you want to buy next?
I'm going on holiday to see friends in Melbourne soon so I'm hoping to find some little gems there.

What's the one thing everyone should have in their wardrobe?
Something that makes them feel really special.

Your favourite shop?
I love vintage stores - the promise of finding that special treasure that no one else has. My favourites are Victorian Gilt and Tango in Auckland, Ziggurat in Wellington and Rellik in London.

Your fashion obsession?
Shoes: the higher the better. I feel small and strange in flats.

How do you define the word "fashionable", what does it mean to you?
"Fashionable" isn't a word I love. I do love beautiful clothes and appreciate people who have a unique sense of style. I always think the most stylish people are the ones who do their own thing and aren't concerned with looking like everyone else. In the words of Coco Chanel, "In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different".

What do you wear to rehearsal?
Generally things that are inappropriate or difficult to rehearse in which I realise once I get to work and vow to be more sensible tomorrow.

Whose wardrobe would you most like to raid?
The costume department of Mad Men would be pretty sweet.

What has been the best costume you've ever worn?
It's a toss-up between the fabulous late-50s outfit I wore in Broken China complete with corset and beehive, or the oversized, hideous, grey tracksuit, slippers and no makeup I wore when I played Harper in Angels in America. Looking that awful in front of hundreds of people every night was kind of liberating.

Most cherished item?
A beautiful black and white 1950s dress that belonged to my lovely and graceful grandmother who died this year.

What's in your handbag?
My handbag is a disaster. It is usually full of scripts, food, books, and notes I have written to myself that are indecipherable. It never seems to have the things I actually need like keys and money.

What is your favourite decade, style-wise?
Late 1950s to early 1960s.

Who is your ultimate fashion plate?
Audrey Hepburn. Surely the most chic woman who ever lived.

- NZ Herald

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