How Succession's Shiv Roy made Sarah Snook a fashion star in real life

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Sarah Snook, who plays stylish and luxe billionaire media heiress Siobhan ‘Shiv’ Roy in HBO’s Succession - Getty
Sarah Snook, who plays stylish and luxe billionaire media heiress Siobhan ‘Shiv’ Roy in HBO’s Succession - Getty

It isn’t always the case that playing a high-flying, high fashion-loving character on screen begins to influence an actress’s look off screen.

But for Sarah Snook, 33, taking on the part of the ambitious, billionaire media heiress Siobhan ‘Shiv’ Roy in HBO’s Succession has clearly had some impact on her own wardrobe at home.

Promoting the third series of the television hit this month, Snook has worn a series of polished outfits; a floral maxi dress by Saloni, a Galvan bodycon dress, and a Giorgio Armani black evening gown on the red carpet. For the latter occasion she collaborated with the Australian stylist Laura Jones.

Sarah Snook wearing Saloni on 25 October 2021 - Shutterstock
Sarah Snook wearing Saloni on 25 October 2021 - Shutterstock

Her look is nowhere near as sharp (nor unapproachable-looking) as her character’s famous power suiting, though by her own admission, Snook’s personal style has evolved in the three years since she has taken on the role. Perhaps by pure association with the Loro Piana, Max Mara and Gabriela Hearst-wearing fictional style icon, Snook herself now finds brands falling over themselves to dress her.

“[Being a fashion muse is] much to my surprise,” Snook said in an interview with This Morning, of how she became the face of ‘Succession chic’. “I’m not a person of particularly good fashion, I would say, I’m more of a practical dresser - certainly not as chic and professional as Shiv gets to look. It’s a lot of fun.”

Snook also confessed to taking a few “choice items I’ve been kindly given” home with her from the set, peppering them into her everyday wardrobe.

Sarah Snook on 8 October 2021 - J Mayer/Shutterstock
Sarah Snook on 8 October 2021 - J Mayer/Shutterstock

Herein lies part of the appeal – fashion designers so often love nothing more than to dress a woman who isn’t a typical, slavish follower of fashion.

Snook lives with her husband, comedian Dave Lawson, on a farm outside of Melbourne, home to resident koalas, wombats and kangaroos. The couple married there in early 2020, with the bride wearing a vintage velvet Chloé coat with her favourite Blundstone lug-sole boots.

The actress previously confessed that she almost didn’t take the role of Shiv, explaining that she feels more at home going camping in the Bush than imitating a billionaire lifestyle that she had no personal experience of.

“I’ve been chainsawing and chopping wood to keep in shape,” Snook tells Vogue Australia in her new cover interview for the magazine this month. She then apologises profusely for not knowing the answers to questions about which designers she loves, or what her personal style is like, before further discussing her figure and why she doesn’t care about looking like every other actress in Hollywood.

Sarah Snook wearing Armani on 15 October 2021
Sarah Snook wearing Armani on 15 October 2021

“I mean, every time you get a role, you’re like… I’m going to really work out and get fit and look like the movie star I would hope to become,” she explains. “And every time, I’m like: ‘Can I really be f**ked subscribing to an unrealistic beauty standard that then perpetuates and makes more women unhappy because they feel like they can’t attain something that’s not actually realistic anyway?’”

Snook cites her co-star in The Dressmaker and Steve Jobs, Kate Winslet, as one celebrity who has had a profound influence on her outlook. Winslet’s enduring appeal comes from a similar place; she is inherently stylish yet completely relatable. Winslet has, over the course of her career, gained lucrative beauty and fashion sponsorships from Lancome and Armani.

Sarah Snook as Shiv Roy in Succession series three
Sarah Snook as Shiv Roy in Succession series three

Snook could easily go down a similar path, flitting between sharing glimpses of her at-home style, and polishing up to play Shiv on screen. It helps that the Succession look is far cooler and more wearable than any other power dressing depiction we’ve seen in recent years - the sexy pencil skirts and sky-high heels worn by Meghan Markle in Suits, for example, were not something that just any woman in business could copy.

There’s even expected to be a surge of Shiv Roy copycats at Halloween parties this year. When your character’s signature dress sense is immortalised as a costume? That’s when you know you’ve really made it as a fashion icon.

What do you like about Shiv's style in Succession? Tell us in the comments section below

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