Sadie Frost on fashion, feminism, her new film about Mary Quant – and her emotional support dog

Sadie Frost is making her debut as a director with the feature-length documentary Quant (Photo: Blake Ezra) “Whatever you do, it’s all about confidence,” says Sadie Frost. “So when I got this project, I was like, ‘You know what? I can do this.’’’ Frost is telling me about her first venture into film directing – a feature-length documentary about the pioneering 60s fashion designer Mary Quant .

It was an opportunity she didn’t need to be offered twice. “I was like, ‘Oh my God! Are you kidding me?’ she tells me, even though she also says she has had moments of doubt – “like when anyone sets out to do something you’ve never done before.”

At 56, Frost has had a varied career: as a producer, with her company Blonde to Black Pictures , and as an actress, most notably in Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula . As a fashion designer, she co-founded the (now defunct) label Frost French.

Yet throughout it all she has perhaps been best known for her high-profile marriages, first to Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp and then to the actor Jude Law , and her 90s membership of the “Primrose Hill celebrity party set” along with the likes of Kate Moss.

However, as is so often the case, behind the surface glamour and glitz of lavish houses and designer clothes lay a more complex story. She has talked (and written in her autobiography Crazy Days ) about the emotional strain and depression she experienced during those “partying” years. Sadie Frost, right, on the set of Quant (Photo: Soho Studio) And when she walks into the sprawling penthouse suite of the hip London hotel where we meet, business-like with her neat bob, black tailored jacket and trousers, she arrives cuddling Cherry – her mini Dachsund. “I have really bad asthma,” she explains,” so I have an emotional support asthmatic [animal]. You can get, like, a certificate so she can come with me.”

Throughout our conversation, she strokes Cherry intermittently, throwing in the occasional “are you OK, darling?”, presumably just to make sure Cherry is not feeling too bored and neglected. Cherry’s support is clearly important for her.

So how did Frost come to be making her directorial debut with a documentary about Mary Quant? It turns out that rather than choosing the film herself, she was approached by the film producer Kirsty Bell, with whom she had worked previously as an actor and co-producer.

At the time, Frost had recently completed an MA in film at Staffordshire University, and before taking on Quant , she enrolled on a two-month documentary-making course.

As debut documentary subjects go, especially for a directorial debut, you couldn’t hope for better than Mary Quant. She was the woman who quietly but boldly took a giant pair of scissors to what had been, up until then, the rigidly formal, male-dominated, Paris-centred fashion world of the early 60s. A world where “ladies” still wore white gloves to formal occasions and going out without a hat was considered risqué. Fashion designer […]

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