My Style with Emma Eliza Regan
Emma Eliza Regan is an Irish actress and dancer known for her work with The Abbey Theatre Dublin and many feature films.
We caught up with the glamorous brunette to find out about her love of fashion and her exciting career…
Georgina Heffernan: What do you wear when you are on stage and how does it differ to your everyday attire?
Emma Eliza Regan: What I wear on stage or in a film completely depends on the character I play and the era it is set in. I have been fortunate to work with fantastic costume designers and on some occasions they are really open to my suggestions, opinions and personal additions, as I will sometimes bring in my own inspirations to a costume that help me build a character.
For the film The Fading Light, I had a very distinctive look that I wanted for the role, I was inspired by certain Camden street style, so I went around Portobello to find her unique kookiness and vintage vibe, whereas in Love Eternal and Death of A Superhero I was in a school uniform. For certain period plays and films I had to stick to what was authentic for the time, for instance as a tenement child in The Abbey production of The Plough & The Stars and for Nora Connolly in the 1916 story of James Joyce.
What's the strangest costume you've ever had to wear for a role?
I’ve had many strange ones! I guess as a ballet dancer in my late teens, I got to wear all sorts of daring outfits for shows and music videos, and had some stunning extravagant tutus that would take ages to even put on.
I used work for a company called Arcana and they dressed me up as a fairy with a bright pink wig one time for a photo campaign for the Oyster Festival that was on a massive billboard for months! I think Daphne Guinness is really daring in her fashion choices, to almost a theatrical level, and to express yourself in that way for a role would be something I would be interested in exploring.
Who are your favourite fashion designers and why?
I’m not that interested in the huge labels, but there's so many cool up-and-coming Irish designers and they would be my favourite. Obviously Simone Rocha is the well known now since LFW 2012 and JW Anderson since he designed the TopShop collection and Danielle Romeril because she has a feminine and original style.
Riona Tracey is another incredible talent who's creating her unique stunning pieces - she actually worked for Alexandra McQueen and her designs were used for his final collection. Sorcha O Raghalliagh has so much talent and I admire how daring she can push her designs, I wasn't surprised she was commissioned by Lady Gaga.
And then others like Merle O Grady who is known for her statement jewellery and new milliners like Niamh Ni Rourke, Martha Lynn, Aoife Kirwan...I mean there is a list I could go on. I think the Irish fashion industry is really exciting, creative and original at the moment and deserves recognition. It's come a long way from the Philip Tracey hats and Lainey Keogh knitwear.
Have your shopping habits changed since the credit crunch started to bite?
Well my granny used say "you cant buy class" so for me it's not how money much you spend, but how you wear something and carry yourself. There isn’t much of a difference for me to be really honest because I never had the money to before the credit crunch so my shopping is about the same. I borrow/swap/steal as much of my sisters clothes, I shop in vintage shops, and I try not to buy anything I don't really need.
As a general rule, there is some basic clothes like a t-shirt I can just buy in Penny's for the gym or whatever and I wouldn't see the point in buying an expensive one just to wear casually working out. Whereas if I am buying a coat , I will get something classic, elegant and well made, and that will last me a years without going in or out of fashion.
What's the worst fashion mistake you've ever had?
Well as a teenager - when everyone else looked all like Britney or Cheryl Cole I was there like a pretty princess trying to be Audrey Hepburn...so I was totally uncool and the odd one. But from ages of 19-21 I loved heels, some were fairly ridiculously high and I think back at I'm like ‘Oh god...did I really wear them around all the time?’ Really?
What one fashion item can’t you live without?
Well, It's Ireland, its cold, and I love wearing dresses and skirts so it has to be my black tights or stockings. Not very glamorous answer.. but I'd die with the cold without them.
What's your favourite city to shop in and why?
I try to absorb the culture of different cities - I came back from Cape Town with all this African wooden jewellery and colourful tops - but London has to be my favourite; I love rummaging. I'm going to Paris next month though so my mind could easily be changed on that one!
How has your personal style changed as you've grown older?Well, I don't think young girls should dress older than they are, I dress just simply and wear the same girly casual things day to day and flat shoes and I look young, but then when I get dressed up for an event or an evening out, I now go more glamorous and grown up femme fatale.
I’ve started to wear red lipstick, do my hair up, wear heels, and for instance I always loved the vintage look of fitted pencil skirts with back seamed hosiery, and before now it would look too grown up for me to pull off but I have started wearing more sophisticated clothes for evening. I’m inspired by vintage Hollywood era, classy, chic and feminine.
What's your favourite high street store?
A Wear & Zara.
What's next for you?
I start shooting A Shadow Disturbed in two weeks, then I begin preparation for the lead role on The Darkness At The Edge of Town and I'm also co-writing a dark fantasy film called The Tower. I'm considering moving to London after that but Ill see where the work takes me.