At times it has felt like a particularly grey January - but not in Elizabeth Hurley’s house. The 55-year-old British actress has been brightening up her lockdown at home in Herefordshire, by wearing the most sparkly, feathered party dresses she can find. Even if it’s only a Wednesday.
“It’s hard to keep your spirits up during these gloomy days of lockdown,” she told her 1.8 million Instagram followers yesterday. “I had a trip booked and should have been shooting my new beachwear campaign but I postponed it as it didn’t seem right to be drinking banana daquiries [sic] on the beach whilst everyone else was cooped up. So I’m at home, gardening and tidying my sock drawer. However, a couple of times a week we dress up, light the candles and dance it out.”
Hurley’s personal stylist Mike Adler has been gamely supplying the sequins, and tells The Telegraph that an ideal Hurley outfit always starts first with a body-confident silhouette.
“I always look for shape first when pulling the perfect look for Elizabeth,” he explains. “I always ensure that her looks enhance her incredible figure and do not box her in or [be unflattering for] her silhouette. Length, neckline, shoulder line, fabric and colour are all important considerations in my selections.”
“Overall Elizabeth and [showing some] skin is always a good combination,” Adler continues. “It’s just ensuring the balance of elegance, style, design and, of course, body. I avoid A-line or anything head-to-toe covered. Fitted, body conscious, ruched designs are always my priority for Elizabeth.”
The labels which Adler has introduced into Hurley’s wardrobe this winter all specialise in fun fashion. Italian brand Taller Marmo makes its fringed and feathered dresses in jewel colours, as well as classic black, while Retrofete’s dress shapes hark back to 1980s trends.
Hurley also wears a lot of vintage - not by virtue of shopping for vintage pieces, but by proudly declaring when the clothes she’s wearing are ones that she’s had in her own wardrobe for more than 20 years.
“Elizabeth is very confident with her style and has a great archive of very well looked after pieces,” Adler explains. “On so many occasions, Elizabeth already owns the perfect piece. The sequin pantsuit Elizabeth wore to Elton John’s Rocketman premiere in 2019 had been made for her by Versace 19 years ago, but had never been worn. All these years later, it still fit like a glove. The Gucci blouse [worn at home on Christmas Day 2020] was bought by Elizabeth in the mid-Nineties, a Tom Ford for Gucci piece.”
Adler and Hurley began working together in 2018, and Adler says he has enjoyed every moment of the experience. Since the pandemic began, his work has changed slightly with all celebrity clients, who now require fewer red carpet outfits, and more clothes suitable for photo shoots and television appearances recorded at home.
“I have ensured clients have suitable loungewear looks for the current climate - often that means pieces for country living rather than inner city wares,” he explains. “Clients are still looking to grow their wardrobes, as each designer collection only comes around once, so the hope is they will wear a favourite piece in the future.”
In recent weeks Hurley made a cameo video appearance on Strictly Come Dancing, and she also stars as a guest in the new UK series of Ru Paul’s Drag Race, available to watch on BBC iPlayer from today. Adler describes her outfit for that as “an absolute show stopper” Philipp Plein backless gown.
Between these work engagements, and her routine Instagram posts, there are still plenty of reasons to dress up.
“Elizabeth has a definite focus on bringing joy through her wardrobe, along with the important and positive messages she shares on social media,” notes Adler.
Why not do a Hurley this January? At least someone is making the best of it.