‘I felt self-conscious and ashamed’: Sienna Miller on tabloid intrusion – and why she can’t bear boho chic

Last Updated: June 8, 2024By
The Boho Life of Sienna Miller

The funny thing is, Sienna Miller can’t stand boho chic. “Don’t you think it sounds annoying?” she asks, laughing. Despite being the poster girl for boho style, Sienna doesn’t really see herself that way. Today, she’s lounging barefoot in jeans and a super soft T-shirt, her Botticelli-blond hair flowing over her shoulders. Even on a Microsoft Teams call, after a rough night with her second daughter, she looks stunning. “That’s very nice of you,” she says brightly, “but you know, there just is a bohemian way of dressing, isn’t there? It’s not like I invented anything.” She shrugs, recalling how the 60s and 70s really spoke to her when she was younger. “I bought vintage things at markets,” she adds.


Life in the Spotlight

Sienna, now 42, knows all too well how fame can twist your public image. She survived the nightmare of phone hacking, with her personal life becoming tabloid fodder for a decade. Winning damages from newspapers and paparazzi in 2008 didn’t make up for the constant intrusion. She later testified at the Leveson inquiry, shedding light on the dark side of fame. In 2021, she won damages from The Sun after they accessed her medical records in 2005, although the newspaper denies this. By 2016, the stress had driven her to New York for seven years before she finally felt ready to return to London.

Back to London

Being back in London feels great, she says. “I had a very intense decade of scrutiny in this country. Everywhere I went, I felt self-conscious and ashamed. So for the first five years in New York, I was so happy. I could breathe there.” But after the pandemic, she started missing home. “New York has changed. It has always been the center of whatever the culture is, and that means a lot of TikTokkers and influencers. By the end, I was sort of hanging out by the baked beans in the English shops, which was quite tragic. But I needed that break from England before I could come back and feel at home again.”


Life at Home

Miller is refreshingly open and warm. She talks about her past without bitterness, and she’s comfortably seated in her home, with people wandering in and out of the background. At one point, her boyfriend, actor Oli Green, passes by with a mug. She suddenly hears her dog Walter crying and leaves briefly to check on him. “One of the dogs. There are four here,” she explains. “I’ve got two dogs. And my sister’s staying with her dog. And my nanny’s got a puppy. We’ve also got a cat. It’s a bit like living in an animal shelter and I love it.”

Fashion Collaboration with M&S

Sienna’s latest project is a fashion collection with Marks & Spencer, which hits stores this Thursday. It features ombre-dyed slips, quilted jackets, paisley trousers, lace blouses, and white denim shorts, among other items. Prices range from £29.50 for a belt to £89 for a ruffled dress perfect for weddings. It’s definitely boho chic, and it’s quite the coup for M&S, just as this style is making a comeback.


Sienna has been a fashion icon for years. Paris Fashion Week’s recent hit show by Chloé’s new creative director, Chemena Kamali, embraced the boho look. Sienna, in the front row wearing an ivory slip dress and a leather jacket, loved every piece. “It was kind of my dream wardrobe,” she says. “It’s just the style that suits me best.”

The Creative Side

Sienna has always been on the creative side of fashion. She co-helmed the womenswear label Twenty8Twelve with her sister Savannah for five years. While she loved it initially, the business side got too corporate. Now, with M&S, she’s back to doing the fun stuff—fabrics and fittings without the spreadsheets. “I wanted this collection to be everything you would need for a holiday, or a festival,” she explains. Jane Birkin was a key inspiration. “When I think of summer days and the perfect shirt, I think of her immediately.”


Future Projects

Miller’s career has often been overshadowed by her celebrity status, but she’s proven her talent on stage and screen. From starring in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” in the West End to “After Miss Julie” on Broadway, and more recently, in “American Sniper” and “Foxcatcher.” This summer, she’ll be seen in Kevin Costner’s epic western, “Horizon: An American Saga.”

“So, I got this call from Kevin Costner. He said he was making westerns, and would I go west with him.” She laughs. “Yes, Kevin. I will go west with you. You don’t say no to Costner, in my book.” Next year, she’s eager to return to theater. “I’ve got two plays I’m deliberating over, both in London. I can’t wait to do theatre again.”


Balancing Life and Career

Life is busy but good. “But at the same time, there’s always a mountain to climb that I feel as if I’m not even on. I mean, I go to Cannes and it’s great but I’m like, why aren’t I working with Yorgos Lanthimos?” she says, laughing. “But hopefully I got into my 40s at the right time. It feels like the world may be realizing that we’re not withered old hags at this age, but actually have more to contribute.”

Family Life

The ten-year age gap between her daughters is “actually quite useful,” she says. “Because one is tiny and portable, and the other is becoming increasingly independent.” She co-parents 11-year-old Marlowe with Tom Sturridge, from whom she split in 2015. Relations between the Miller-Green household and Sturridge, now dating Alexa Chung, are harmonious. At Wimbledon last year, they all sat together and took selfies. “Alexa always looks incredible,” Sienna notes. Marlowe, with access to two stylish wardrobes, is “a little fashion monster,” she says delightedly. “She’s so stylish. And very critical. She’s like a young Anna Wintour.”


Style Tips

Sienna doesn’t splurge on designer clothes. “I don’t honestly buy a lot of designer stuff, because I’m really fickle and I get bored quickly.” Her wardrobe is a mix: 40% high street, 40% vintage, 20% designer. For skincare, she swears by a retinol called A313 from France and also sees facialist Sarah Chapman. “The goal is to not do too much of the invasive stuff, but to try to kind of pad that out with great machines and facials.”

In a few more decades, she imagines herself going “full Iris Apfel.” But for now, “I have other priorities, to be honest. When I was in my 20s and didn’t have kids, I might wake up and go to a market and rifle around, but who’s got the time to do that now? So usually it’s just jeans and a T-shirt, honestly.”

It turns out, looking “quite boring” has its perks. In London, where she once felt relentlessly hunted by paparazzi, she now rarely gets recognized. “I’m much shorter than people think, and as you can see, I don’t own a hairbrush,” she laughs. “I get people saying, ‘Has anyone ever told you that you look like Sienna Miller?’ And I say, ‘Yeah, I get that all the time.’”

M&S X Sienna Miller launches Thursday 6 June. Available on M&S.com and in selected stores.

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