We sat down to talk to Liv Tyler about her second Belstaff capsule collection [Photo: Dave Benett/Yahoo Style UK]
It’s easy to see why Liv Tyler’s such a successful woman. Her legendary classical looks are just as striking in real life (despite the early hour when we met today, she was fresh faced and more put together than most of us could ever hope to be), she exudes warmth and is a self-confessed hard worker.
The 39-year-old actress is currently promoting her new Belstaff range; it’s her second capsule collection for the long-standing British label and is a string to her bow that Liv’s obviously proud of. The collaboration began a couple of years ago when Liv produced a Belstaff film starring David Beckham, and the relationship has taken off from there.
“Delphine (Ninous, the brand’s creative director) thought I was a good Belstaff girl,” Liv says, tucked up on a chair in a suite at the Rosewood London wearing a loose blouse, jeans and no shoes. Her trademark locks were left loose around her shoulders.
Liv presented her second fashion collection as part of London Fashion Week [Photo: Belstaff]
It was the “weight” and “history” of Belstaff that appealed to Liv initially. The British label’s certainly got plenty of both - it’s celebrating its 92nd birthday this year.
“It’s always interesting when something has been around for so long and is constantly reinventing itself, taking on multiple forms and shapes,” Liv says. “When I was at Givenchy, it was the same. I was always trying to find a new hat to try on and then Riccardo (Tisci, the brand’s current creative director) came along. It’s magical watching brands evolve over time.”
“You constantly have to find the modern twist. Ask yourself, ‘Who is the modern Belstaff woman?’”. When asked who she thinks that is, Liv admits she considers it to be herself.
“I love being a woman, I completely celebrate everything that’s feminine about myself. But I don’t want to be fussy and I don’t want to be trapped in any way by what I’m wearing. I love that with Belstaff, there’s the perfect combination of the masculine and the feminine, which is so important in the modern world.”
Liv gets very involved in her Belstaff collections – she’s not one for taking a backseat. Right from the word go, she’s taken the lead.
“Delphine and I knew we wanted a floral print,” she says, when describing the SS17 collection. “We wanted a sexy, feminine feel mixed with toughness.” The duo turned to an old Rolling Stones cover, set in the grounds of a castle, for inspiration and also to the fashion spotted at music festivals such as Burning Man. “You want something really gorgeous to wear at a festival, but you also want a great coat to throw on. So, for situations like that, there’s a little cropped, military jacket that almost looks like it could be a bell boy’s outfit and there’s a great, cotton cape that was inspired by one of the archives.” It has an amazing neck you can button up, she adds. Functional, but chic are clearly the fundamentals to the range.
A suede co-ord is a key look from Liv’s range [Photo: Belstaff]
A floral, cropped jumpsuit is another focal point of the collection [Photo: Belstaff]
Despite her lengthy acting career in both film and TV, the mum-of-three isn’t a stranger to the world of fashion. Liv is famously friends with an array of designers and models, relationships that she treasures and loves talking about.
She’s known Stella McCartney for more than 20 years, Kate Moss is another famous face she’s close to and Helena Christenson, too. Sending pieces from the Belstaff collection to her A-list acquaintances is one element of her work as a fashion designer she revels in.
These relationships have enabled Liv to learn plenty about style and design, she says. “I’ve picked up so many things over the years, just by watching my friends in the industry. I’ve always been so observant – everyone in my family calls me the hawk because I notice every little detail.
“I remember when Stella started at Chloé and I would go and watch her designing, that’s when she and Phoebe Philo were working together, and I would just look at how she works - it was the same when I was around Ricardo at Givenchy. Lee McQueen was a great friend of mine and watching how he worked was so inspiring. It’s was so fun to be a fly on the wall and take it all in.”
Liv’s been close friends with Stella McCartney [Photo: Getty]
With a new baby at home - the actress welcomed her second child with partner Dave Gardner in July this year - in addition to her commitments to the film and television industries, Liv would be forgiven for being a little burnt out. But that’s the last thing you could accuse her of. Instead, she appears to be thriving.
“I feel really lucky that I’m getting to do so many exciting things,” she says. “The other day I thought, ‘In the last year I’ve had two babies, designed a collection, I’ve had a TV show, moved to London.’ I’m so happy that I’ve had all of these opportunities – I don’t take any of it for granted.”
Liv gave birth to her first daughter, Lulu, in July [Photo: Instagram/Liv Tyler]
So, what’s next when you’ve already conquered the fashion, TV and film worlds? Liv’s unwilling to say, as she’s wary of making promises and then disappointing fans. Once she mentioned in an interview that she would love to sing with her dad, Aerosmith’s Steve Tyler, and that was the headline.
We’ll just have to wait and see.