The model, actress, designer and entrepreneur stars in the latest instalment of our In My Choos series
Red Carpet Ready with Gemma Chan
Part of the Brit New Establishment, 36-year-old Gemma Chan has been riding a wave of career success which has taken her from Dr Who to Hollywood. From her role in Crazy Rich Asians to last year’s iconoclastic Mary Queen of Scots—the London born, Oxford educated daughter of Chinese émigrés has been upending expectations with every role she takes.
She certainly doesn’t pull any punches with her red carpet style either—just take this year’s Academy Awards outing where she combined a hot pink symphony of haute couture silk with an undone chignon. As she explains, “when it comes to the red carpet I like to just bring up the drama a bit and really go for it. But my personal aesthetic is no fuss—I do also like a snack pocket.”.
To complete her Oscar’s ensemble, Jimmy Choo drew on its long heritage of red carpet expertise to create a custom-dyed pair of satin crystal encrusted Shiloh sandals, now available on-site as a limited edition. Follow Chan’s journey to the Oscar’s red carpet and hear exactly how she channels her style power, no matter what the A-list event.
“IF YOU LOVE WHAT YOU’RE WEARING AND YOU OWN IT, IT WILL MAKE YOU FEEL CONFIDENT AND POWERFUL, NO MATTER WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE.”
WE KNOW FROM YOUR BTS OSCARS FILM YOU LOVE A SNACK POCKET IN YOUR GOWN. WHAT OTHER RED CARPET TIPS DO YOU HAVE?
“I do love a snack pocket. But aside from bringing your own snacks, my other big tip would be to try and take a good friend with you—someone you can enjoy the occasion with. I’d also say remember to keep breathing and try to be present. Of course it is all slightly ridiculous—the pageantry of the red carpet and everything else, but it is also so special. So definitely try and enjoy the moment.”
WHAT ARE THE FIVE WORDS YOU WOULD USE TO SUM UP JIMMY CHOO?
“Glamourous, stylish, iconic, playful and comfortable.”
WHAT MAKES AN INSPIRING WOMAN?
“I think the most inspiring women are those who are assertive, who know themselves and who lift others up.”
"I THINK THE MOST INSPIRING WOMEN ARE THOSE WHO ARE ASSERTIVE, WHO KNOW THEMSELVES AND WHO LIFT OTHERS UP."
HOW DOES YOUR RED CARPET STYLE DIFFER FROM YOUR PERSONAL AESTHETIC?
“My everyday aesthetic is pretty laidback and quite relaxed. I’d describe it as no fuss. But when it comes to the red carpet, I like to just ramp up the drama and really go for it.”
WHAT’S THE MOST EXCITING PART OF A RED CARPET EXPERIENCE FOR YOU?
“If I’m being honest, it’s probably getting to the end of the carpet, having not tripped over or made a mistake. Knowing you’ve made it inside to the bar and that you can have a drink with your mates is definitely the best part—it’s like breathe out and relax.”
WHAT WAS YOUR CHILDHOOD AMBITION?
“I had loads of different childhood ambitions and I wanted to be loads of different things. At one point, I wanted to be a marine biologist, at another it was an astronaut, then a dog walker. Actually, I had the chance to walk some dogs today, so clearly living my dream!”
WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL POWERFUL?
“I feel the most powerful when I trust my own instincts, when I remember where I came from, and when I’m helping others.”
WHAT IS YOUR GOLDEN RULE TO DRESSING UP?
“Ultimately there are no rules, but if I were to have a couple of golden suggestions, it would be to have fun and don’t worry too much. You have to wear what makes you happy and not dress for anyone else.”
HOW DO YOU PUSH THE STYLE AND GLAMOUR BOUNDARIES WHILE STAYING TRUE TO YOURSELF?
“I definitely think it’s possible to push your style boundaries and still feel like yourself. If you love what you’re wearing and you own it, it will make you feel confident and powerful, no matter what it looks like. You may be projecting a different aspect of your personality, and perhaps you’re playing a role for that particular look, but it’s still you, or at least a version of you.”
Shot on location at The London West Hollywood