GEM TALK WITH FIONA SCARRY, STYLIST & COSTUME DESIGNER FOR FILMS
The series of interviews with women and men who have personalities, story to tell and their own GEM style. They make it happen for themselves all over the world and follow GEMOLOGUE by Liza Urla.
Fiona Scarry is a stylist and costume designer behind the addictive Netflix TV series, Marco Polo, and an assortment of independent films. Swiss-born with an international upbringing, Fiona is captivating with a vision of a true artist.
Name: Fiona Scarry
Alma Mater: University College of London, History of Art
Occupation: Stylist and Costume Designer for films
Hometown: Gstaad / London
LOCATION AT TIME OF INTERVIEW: By the fireplace
IN THE BEGINNING: I have always loved clothes. My mother taught me to look for beauty in everything. I used to love dressing up in my grandmother’s clothes from her attic; I also used to dress up my friends and do photo shoots together. Wearing nice things makes you feel a certain way; for me, dressing up characters of a film helps to tell a story.
FILMS: I have worked on two amazing productions this year; I was part of the team of Oscar-winning costume designers. The first production is Marco Polo, the new TV series for Netflix. We shot at the new Pinewood Studios in Malaysia, and the costume designers for this production were Tim Yip and Jo Korrer. The show is set in 14th century China and Mongolia during the reign of Kublai Khan. This means that Marco Polo has many amazing costumes and armour, jewellery and head dresses! The second production I worked on is a film called Tulip Fever; the costume designer here was Michael O’Connor. We shot this at Pinewood Studios in London. Tulip Fever is set in 17th century Netherlands and has a fun cast of actors, including Christoph Waltz, Zach Galifianakis, and Alicia Vikander.
FASHION EDITORIALS: The best part of fashion editorials is the preparation process: putting together mood boards consisting of beautiful images that come up during research, coming up with a story, finding a location, going through various collections and choosing the clothes. The other great part is receiving the clothes and trying everything on.
STYLING IS: Letting your imagination dress you. I like to style things by trying them on.
LONDON DEBUT: The first film I worked on as a costume designer was Here Lies… I had about 20 characters to dress, which I did with just one assistant… Consequently, I felt very proud that I could pull it off! I also managed to use some designer clothes, just like I would on a photo shoot. Working on Here Lies made me realize working in films was my medium!
ICONS & INFLUENCES: I love old movie stars and directors; that is the world I relate to the most. Nowadays, the world of David Lynch is my favourite.
TOPSHOP OR CHANEL: I tend to mix designer pieces with more simple things. My favourite brands are mainly Fendi, vintage YSL and Alaia. I just got two great suits from Barbara Casasola. And I do like to find things in Topshop.
FIRST JEWELLERY: My first precious piece of jewellery was a gold necklace with three gold birds set across my collarbone. These birds are pre-columbian figurines. I used to wear this necklace all the time; then, one bird flew away…
MY EVERYDAY JEWELLERY: I don’t wear a lot of jewellery. On a day-to-day basis, I wear a three-pearl ring by Delfina Delletrez, a gold bangle bracelet, and a Cartier tank watch with a grey lizard bracelet. These are simple pieces, but they do remind me of nice things at the same time.
ROLEX OR CARTIER: I have been wearing the same watch for years: a Cartier silver tank. This watch is perfect for every day, because it is classic and light, and goes with everything.nIf I want to wear gold then I put on a Hermes watch, which also goes with everything. I think a watch should be small and discreet; in the evening, I like to go without a watch.
FASHION JEWELLERY: I tend to like designer costume jewellery. I have a lot of YSL pieces, big rings and necklaces, as well as Fendi fur jewellery. I like to have fun with special pieces once in a while.
FINE JEWELLERY: I look forward to my husband spoiling me with fine jewellery.
VINTAGE JEWELLERY: I love to wear pieces of jewellery inherited from my family. I like to wear a piece of jewellery that holds a special memory or story close to me. I have a set of gold chains my father gave to me for my birthday; my granny used to would wear them around her neck for years. These gold chains have many pendants that all have a meaning. Wearing them always reminds me of her.
A POSSESSION YOU’D NEVER PART WITH: There is a special locket… My grandfather painted two little pigs, one represents my father and the other my grandfather; they were inside a locket that my grandmother used to wear around her neck. It has been passed down to me, and it is a truly precious piece.
PERFECT GETAWAY: I love Rio. I would like to travel to Brazil and discover more of that colourful country.
MY WEAPON OF CHOICE: A sharp heel.
WILD WISH: To be a movie star!