Wednesday, May 29, 2024

How Sophie Turner Reclaimed Herself Through Fashion

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Sophie Turner was just 13 when she was plucked from a line-up of anonymous secondary schoolers and cast in one of the most successful television franchises of all time. The psychic cost of sudden fame drove the Game of Thrones star into spells of depression throughout her adolescence. Then came a swift engagement to Joe Jonas at 21, after around a year of dating; and a Vegas wedding at 23, which was livestreamed on Instagram by Diplo. Soon enough, Turner was living in domestic, but sequestered, bliss as a 24-year-old mother in Miami. (The traditional mantles of success accelerate beyond reason when you are a teenage millionaire.)

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Now back living in the UK, Turner is the star of British Vogue’s June 2024 cover, and recalls feeling like “a little bird trapped in a gilded cage” in Miami in her candid conversation with head of editorial content Chioma Nnadi in the issue. “We were in this community full of 50-year-old men, so imagine trying to make friends on the dog walk… It was amazing, yes, but I didn’t have any friends there.”

This from someone who considers her girlfriends – among them Taylor Swift and life-long pal Eleanor Johnson – to be the loves of her life. Far removed from her inner circle (and perhaps even her own sense of youth), it tracks that Turner spent so much time mooring herself on a recognisable “girl’s girl” wardrobe during those years. It was all there in the dungarees, the pigtails and the sleepover separates; the vintage band tees, the hen-do costumes and the ’90s sweaters; the cowgirl boots, pop-star parties and good-time Hawaiian shirts. But the most explicit example of all this was when Turner attended her then husband’s concert in August 2023, dressed in a Retrofête minidress and ballet flats.

Things changed when Jonas filed for divorce the following month and images of Turner celebrating wrapping on Joan in Birmingham – a six-part ITV drama based on the life of Joan Harrington, in which she stars – inspired a wave of misogynistic headlines. “There were some days that I didn’t know if I was going to make it,” she says of falling victim to the malign rule of the British tabloids. “I would call my lawyer saying, ‘I can’t do this. I just can’t.’ I was just never strong enough to stand up for myself. And then, finally, after two weeks of me being in a rut, she reminded me that it was my children I was fighting for.”

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