Jane Horrocks: 'Wearing a tight latex dress felt brave and liberating'

The actor on how Absolutely Fabulous led her to modelling for sustainable label Vin + Omi, and how her children helped her to reinvent her style

This was the second time I’d modelled for Vin + Omi, who designed quite a lot of the costumes I had worn as Bubble in the Absolutely Fabulous film. The costume designer Rebecca Hale, who worked on the film, liked to give new and young designers opportunities – one of the outfits I wore towards the end of the film was a [fashion] student’s graduation dress. As Bubble, my outfits over the years were [inspired by] everything from Teletubbies to the French resistance. Madonna copied the latter recently – people on Twitter were asking who wore it better!

I still have the long sequin dress I wore in the Little Voice film – but I never put it on. The other character I’ve played whose clothes people remember is Nicola in [the 1990 Mike Leigh film] Life Is Sweet. She wore slogan T-shirts and dungarees – and they were very much part of her character. She was very nervous and twitchy, and so she would put her hands in the dungarees and flap them.

When Vin + Omi first asked me to model, it was at a time when I was trying to do things that I had not done before and not be so much on repeat. Their whole thing is about sustainable fashion – “Stop fucking the planet” is one of their slogans. This look was from their autumn/winter 2018 show and the sash on my waist says: “We are not sheep”. They use a lot of recycled latex. On a personal level, I would never, ever usually wear a tight latex dress! So to wear it in front of a fashion audience felt quite brave and liberating.

I am coping very nicely with lockdown. I wear boyfriend jeans and a bright coloured tracksuit top every day, but I am still showering. I lost touch with my sense of style when I became a mum because my priorities changed and my children took my focus. I just didn’t have the same interest in what I looked like. When my children became teenagers and they started to be interested in fashion, I saw it as an opportunity to reinvent my own style. I have always gravitated towards quite boyish looks: slim jeans, interesting shoes and button-up shirts. I find that the mod look suits me.


As told to Leah Harper

The GuardianTramp

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