The bandage of gentle power has arrived in the unlikely form of reformed boho student Sienna Miller, who stars in the Netflix series Scandal Anatomy.
Playing Sophie, the wife of a wealthy British politician accused of rape, Miller’s wardrobe expresses an elegance that is untainted by logos, with a crpe beige dress from The Row, a robe from Stella McCartney and a vintage Celine cut by minimalist designer Phoebe Philo.
If the spacious house, accented glass and in-laws with rustic piles fail to communicate Sophie’s privilege, the sight of her cooking dinner in a white knit cardigan, no apron, pushes the message home.
The closest partner to a British politician is Samantha Cameron, wife of former British Prime Minister David Cameron. As a nod to those in the know, during one of her accused husband’s high drama court appearances, Sophie wore a Lottie printed midi dress from label Samantha Cameron Cefinn, beneath her signature Manuela coat from Max Mara.
This is the female equivalent of success dress, where the billionaire wore a Loro Piana cashmere hat, a Maison Margiela T-shirt and a Barbour jacket, overshadowing the women. Australian actress Sarah Snook as Shiv’s heir starts success very strong in her turtleneck and backless Gabriella Hearts knit dress, but last season’s outfit dived into ill-fitting office attire, letting the men take center stage. Sophie’s soft power dress in neutral knit and body-skimming gown is a worthy successor to affluent women’s clothing.
While the refined and expensive look was worked on by Miller and Scandal AnatomyDesigner Sam Perry’s costume for Sophie bewitched viewers, perhaps not easily translated to some Australian cities.
“I really love hidden riches,” says Joshua Penn, co-owner of fashion boutique Belinda. “I think it’s a strong way of dressing on the Upper East Side, New Yorker. It was the rich woman who didn’t need a logo to show that she was successful. It’s softened. This is customizable. It’s beautiful.”
“Sometimes there are women who dress like that,” Penn said of her Australian clientele. “I feel like Sydney is more like a Los Angeles vibe where everything is a little bit more glitter, booby and more. That understatement is more of a Melbourne customer who would prefer a handbag from The Row over a Birkin or Chanel bag. We sell The Row bags in Melbourne and not in Sydney. People in Sydney want one that says ‘I’m rich.’”