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The London-based model, actress and Greenpeace Ocean Ambassador talks to The Style Report about growing up in Notting Hill and her passion for environmental conservation.

Interview by Shona Wallace. Fashion by Helen Thomson. Photographs by Benjamin Mallek.

A born-and-bred Londoner, Clara Paget has many strings to her bow. She first came to prominence as a model, fronting one of Christopher Bailey’s seminal Burberry campaigns alongside her now-fiancé Oscar Tuttiett, before pursuing her childhood dream of acting. Today, she juggles her various modelling and acting commitments – including her portrayal of Anne Bonny in American TV series Black Sails – with her ongoing work in environmental conservation.

Born into aristocracy – her father a painter and the 8th Marquess of Anglesey and her mother a writer – Paget grew up immersed in the creative buzz of Notting Hill’s iconic Portobello Road. She first caught the eye of a model scout in a London nightclub but ignored them, instead moving to Manchester to study art history. A self-professed music lover, she ran her own club night in the city before being scouted once again, this time signing to an agency.

Today, she mostly uses her profile and social media influence to raise awareness of climate change, particularly ocean pollution. ‘I knew the ocean was in trouble, but it wasn’t until I heard my friend James Jagger speak at an event for Project 0 [an initiative to restore and protect the ocean], I realised how so,’ she says. ‘I wanted to know more, find out how I could help and spread awareness further. Rather than guilting and shaming individuals, I want to make saving our planet fun, appealing and inclusive.’ The Style Report learns more.

On acting…

‘When I was about 10 years old, I entered a fancy dress competition. It was the year Gwyneth Paltrow won her Oscar and did that very over-emotional acceptance speech. So, I got hold of a pink dress, fake Oscar and apple box in tow, stopped halfway down “the runway”, got up on the box and went in for the full-blown speech, tears, thanking dogs, dog walkers, my dog walker’s best friends etc, just like Paltrow. You were only meant to walk in your costume, so it was very OTT. I won. I think that was the moment I knew I loved acting.’

On moving from modelling to acting…

‘My agent knew that I would really love to pursue the acting I’d left behind, so she snuck me into an audition for the St Trinian’s film The Legend of Fritton’s Gold. I got the part, then an acting agent as a result, and have been at it ever since. I understand that a lot of it has to do with incredible luck, so I am extremely grateful every day.’

On her role as Greenpeace Ocean Ambassador…

‘I’ve always loved the natural world and being outdoors. My role as an ambassador is to help raise awareness of our work in protecting the oceans. Social media has become an undeniably valuable tool for us all to do this, alongside things like attending events to talk about our work and encouraging others to get involved. It’s important it helps us to reach new people, inspire fundraising activity, and thank our supporters for the work they are doing.’

On making a change…

‘Of course, what we really need is government and big businesses to take rapid action. But as for individual changes I always say, start with five simple changes. Be it carrying reusable products, meat-free Mondays, turning off all lights aside from the room you’re in, turning the tap off while you brush your teeth – a super simple way to save water. These are beginners’ steps that won’t impact your current lifestyle – the worst thing you can do is think you can’t make a difference and end up doing nothing at all.’

On personal style…

‘It’s completely different from day to day depending on what I’m up to or my mood. I feel equally myself in a tracksuit as I do in a serious ball gown. I have a big collection of high heels and boots, but probably even more trainers. I love vintage pieces and quality staples that stand the test of time. I’m a bit of hoarder with clothes but at least I wear them to death!’

On her style icon…

‘My fiancé is up there. When we went to Burning Man festival, everyone was wearing weird light-up tutus and elaborate costumes, while he rolled up in an old Iggy Pop T-shirt and looked far cooler than anyone else.’

On a typical day…

‘First is always coffee. My brother bought me this amazing coffee machine, which is a bit dangerous as you end up drinking far more coffee than you might without. If I have a day off, I’ll try get to a yoga or workout class first thing, followed by a smoothie or an açaí bowl. At the weekend, I like nothing more than a local pub lunch, then maybe a gig or a show.’

On the future…

‘I’d like to start a family. It would be ideal to land a great series filming in the UK, so I can continue to work close to home for the first couple of years.’

On London haunts…

‘The Roundhouse and The Royal Albert Hall are my favourite venues. I’ve seen so many good shows at both over the years and I love the acoustics of a round venue. For cocktails, I like The Rackateer in King’s Cross and pub-wise I like the The Faltering Fullback or The Prince in Stoke Newington. My favourite restaurant at the moment is Vins in Canonbury.’



The Style Report
The Style Report