Modern muse Hannah Dodd channels the late, great Princess Diana for The Marie Claire Edit
Channelling core 90’s fashion royalty (and literal royalty) Princess Diana, rising star Hannah Dodd, brings to life our vision of what the late Princess might wear today. Including some of our favourite Marie Claire Edit brands Red Valentino, JW Anderson and Stella McCartney. Expect rich velvet, checks and decadent jewellery.
Shot by luxury fashion photographer Kyle Galvin, and styled by Contributing Fashion Editor Sarah-Rose Harrison, Hannah shows us exactly why she is one of the UK’s rising stars through her amazing determination, infectious energy and Princess perfect poses.
We caught up with Hannah whilst she was on a short break from filming a top secret new project to speak discuss all things Diana, dancing and dressing up…
Hannah, we are so excited to shoot with you today! How are you doing and how has lockdown been for you?
I’ve been good! It’s really nice to get out of the house for this shoot. It’s just so nice to be working again and seeing the team! I love shooting with Kyle, Sarah and Louise – a bit of a dream team there. But I’m good! My cousin works for the NHS, she’s been on the front line, so no complaints here. I’m very grateful and so glad there’s a sort of light at the end of the tunnel coming now. I know it’s far away but we’re there, we’re getting there!
Over the past couple of years, you have graced our screens numerous times, Find Me In Paris, Fighting With My Family and Harlots – to name just a few…can you tell us what it was like playing these very different characters?
So fun! It’s funny, at the beginning, when I first started acting, I really preferred playing characters that were sort of closer to myself. I thought that was the key to doing well, being able to understand them fully and them being quite like you. But, as I’ve gone on, I now love differences! I love that those characters are so different and having to work out the gaps and why they are the way that they are. And you know, with Find Me In Paris and Harlots particularly – obviously, Find Me In Paris was a tween show, so what was expected, the pace of filming, the dance element of filming and just the energy of a child’s show – compare that with a period drama was so different. I am so grateful that I’ve got to experience both so early on!
You’re definitely a bit of a chameleon on screen, but what has been your favourite role you have played so far?
It’s really difficult! I think I would have to say Thea from Find Me In Paris. Just because, you know, we shot for six months over multiple seasons, so I spent a lot of time with that character, and I saw her in lots of different scenarios and got to really get to know her as a character. She was the first job I got out of college, being the mean girl – which was so much fun to play, saying and doing things that you would never get to do in real life – but also as an acting exercise, I really wanted to be able to justify everything she was saying. Yes, it was a kid’s show but I didn’t want her to be a one dimensional character. I wanted to understand why she was reacting the way she was, why she was doing the things so was doing. I don’t think many people are just mean for the sake of being mean, normally it’s because something’s happened to them and they’re hurt. For me to sort of get to terms with that, and that understanding of her early on in my acting career, really helped how I approach other characters. So yeah, I think I would have to say her! I have played – it was just a pilot, a project to try to show what a TV show could be, a short episode version of it – written by Lucy Barrett, her name was Anna and she was such a flawed, real human. I hope I get to play more characters like her at some point because there as a lot to her. You could tell that she was written by a female, a female character written by a female writer. I do hope that I get to play more characters like that. But, for the time being I have to say Thea.
We have to ask, how are you so talented at ballet? Did you learn for the part or are you a natural pirouetter?
I’m not good at ballet! I’ve danced since I was two years old and I trained professionally for four years at professional dance school, I always wanted to be a professional dancer before going into acting. So, I do dance. I love dancing!
But any dancer reading this will understand that there is a difference between being a Jazz dancer and an elite Paris Opera ballet dancer, so I had to work extremely hard! We had amazing teachers to help us get ready and teach us the choreography, but you’ve got to mention the Paris Opera dancers, the real Paris Opera ballet dancers, that helped us out.
Anything that you see that is incredible, beautiful, fabulous is probably them! My dancer, Charlotte, was incredible, I’m really grateful to her because there wouldn’t have been a Thea without her – dancer’s always deserve the recognition for that.
Of course, you had a little taste into the royal lifestyle playing heiress Sophia Fitzwilliam in Harlots, do you think that helped you channel Princess Diana for today’s shoot?
Maybe! You know, maybe! I think it’s not strange to me to be wearing elaborate outfits, albeit we were in very tight corsets for Harlots. But I would say most of the inspiration today – Diana is such an iconic woman and there’s so much imagery out there that inspired us – but, Sarah, the Stylist, inspired all of the other elements with the clothes that she put together. That dictated the hair and the makeup and how I posed on set was all down to the clothes, 100%.
Have you been watching the Crown? Here at Marie Claire, we are hooked!
We are obsessed in this house as well! 100%! I love it. I’ve been obsessed with Vanessa Kirby ever since season one and two. But I’m also obsessed with Erin, who plays Princess Anne, I just think she’s fabulous! I’m obsessed with her! And Emma Corrin, I think she smashed playing Diana – it must have been a really daunting part to take on, but I think she did a beautiful job. Yep, massive fan of The Crown…as you can tell!
Obviously, this whole shoot pays homage to the late princess’s iconic style. Which of Diana’s legendary looks is your favourite? It has to be the revenge dress for us.
I have to agree with you! I just think that the whole moment and what it represented as well, not just the dress, but just the whole thing is just a yes from me. I love that she did that! I think she looked absolutely beautiful, and just everything it represented…yep! Yep, from me!
Are there any aspects of Diana’s style that you think impact your own personal style in any way?
I love her confidence! But I mean the closest I probably have, you know the iconic photo of her in her cycling shorts, the Harvard sweatshirt, she’s got her car keys in her mouth and holding onto her handbag…that’s a bit of me! I am definitely a casual kind of person, so that’s probably the closest thing I have to her styling.
What’s your favourite look from this shoot? Is there anything you’d love to wear when the first post lockdown party happens?
I am obsessed with the Red Valentino check suit with the statement bow. I absolutely adored that! I love tailoring. I love suits. I always get drawn to trousers and that kind of thing, rather than a dress and a skirt, I always feel way more comfortable in a suit for some reason. I love the bold print, it’s a classic shape but then a bit modern with the print and the massive bow. I love that image that we created, it’s a really bold outfit with a shyer mood to it, which I just…yeah! I love that outfit so much.
Acting isn’t your only profession, you’re also a very successful model! What has been the highlight of your modelling career so far?
I always find it funny when people say ‘modelling career’ because I started modelling just as a way to fund my dance training, but it’s been ten years now, so I guess I have had a bit of a career! It’s weird! I actually adored this shoot, I loved it! I love collaborating with Kyle, I think he’s a genius, and Sarah and Louise and Ross. Genuinely, this will be a standout shoot for me, I think forever! Getting to recreate Diana is just amazing. But I have to say Burberry. Being in that festive film in 2014 was just an absolute, I can’t even say dream come true because it wasn’t even a dream of mine. I didn’t do high fashion, I wasn’t ever aiming for anything like that, so to get to dance as well, as a dancer, was just amazing. It’s shot so beautifully. I look back at that now and think, I can’t believe I ever did that, that’s crazy! So yeah, it’s got to be Burberry!
Are you working on anything exciting at the moment, or any secret projects you can share with us?
I am! But I can’t tell you, I’m really sorry! I hate being that person, it’s so annoying! I have been really lucky to be filming during covid, but I’m not allowed to say anything. I will let you know as soon it’s allowed to be mentioned. But I’m really excited. I’m really proud to be part of the project. I can’t wait for people to see it!
What trend can you not wait to try this summer?
Just the trend of going out! Anything that doesn’t revolve around wearing the same tracksuit for five days, I’ll give it a go! I don’t care, as long as we can go out!
Vintage Pearl Rope Earrings, £175, Jennifer Gibson / Rollneck, £475, Stella McCartney / Therese Tweed Jacket, £325, LK Bennett / Therese Tweed Skirt, £150, LK Bennett / Mini Falabella, £360, Stella McCartney
Interview: Lauren Cunningham @le_cunningham
Styled by Contributing Fashion Editor: Sarah-Rose Harrison @SarahRoseHarrison
Photography: Kyle Galvin @KyleGalvin_
Make up and Nails: Louise Hall using Dermalogica / SUQQU / Dior Manicure Collection and Miss Dior Hand Cream @LouiseHallMakeUP
Hair: Ross Kwan using Bumble & Bumble and Colour WOW @RossKwan
Colour WOW Dream Coat Supernatural Spray, £25
“Perfect for achieving that high shine look, lightly spritz hair with Colour WOW’s Supernatural Spray. Be light handed as a little goes a long way.”