Kate Winslet and Mia Threapleton are the ultimate mother-and-daughter duo, whose powerful performances opposite each other in Bafta-winning drama I Am Ruth last year proved that Mia has inherited her mum's acting prowess.
And if there's anyone who has seen first-hand how the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree, it's costume designer Kate Carin.
In 1998, she dressed a 22-year-old Kate Winslet in one of the actress's first roles – in the film Hideous Kinky, where Kate met Mia's father, director Jim Threapleton, to whom she was married from 1998 to 2001.
Two and a half decades later, the Emmy Award-winning designer is thrilled to have worked with Mia, 23, too, creating a sumptuous period wardrobe for the young actress's role as Honoria Marable in new Apple TV+ show The Buccaneers.
"She's definitely one to watch," says Kate of Mia as she joins HELLO! for an exclusive interview to share all the stylish secrets from behind the scenes of the eight-part period drama, which begins streaming this week.
“I think it’s a blessing and a curse to be the daughter of somebody as well-known as Kate, but Mia is magical. I feel as though she’s got the whole world ahead of her.
“I would imagine Kate is a great mum,” adds designer Kate. “She gets it. Mia is going through what Kate went through at that age and I guess she’d be a great source of support.
“I don’t know if it’s nature or nurture, but that girl is professional through and through, and Kate is professional through and through. Kate likes to have great fun but knows when she’s got to be taken seriously, and Mia was the same: excellent fun.”
Based on Edith Wharton’s unfinished final novel of the same name, The Buccaneers tells the story of a culture clash when a group of raucous fun-loving young American girls explodes into the stuffy high society of London in the 1870s. Mia’s role as Honoria – the strait-laced sister of an English lord – follows a string of previous acting projects including US series Dangerous Liaisons and Italian thriller Shadows.
Creating her costumes for The Buccaneers was “phenomenal”, says Kate, whose career has seen her dress everyone from the Spice Girls (for their 1997 film Spice World), Kate Beckinsale and Keira Knightley to Samuel L Jackson, Ewan McGregor and David Tennant.
“Mia is very measured as an actress, and she owns those corsets,” says Cape Town-based Kate. “She was constantly saying: ‘I think I could go tighter.’ I’m thinking: ‘No, you’ve got a 23-inch waist, you’re going to disappear – or we’ll cut you in two!’”
Mia herself has spoken about how Kate’s costumes helped her embrace her character. “As soon as I put everything on, I didn’t need to think about it too much. Honoria was there. I’m a sucker for a period costume and I love a corset,” she said.
The designer’s research took her everywhere from reference books to Instagram to high fashion catwalks. “We wanted something that was period but would have a contemporary, relatable feel to it,” she says.
One of Kate’s challenges was persuading the cast, which also includes Imogen Waterhouse (sister of model and actress Suki), Christina Hendricks and Kristine Froseth, to wear their often uncomfortably tight corsets. “It’s hard for those girls because these days, everybody’s used to wearing Lycra or an elastic waist. I would be like: ‘I’m sorry, the corset must go on,’” Kate recalls.
Although Mia’s mum was away filming, so wasn’t able to visit the set, her presence was certainly felt. “A couple of the fittings I did with Mia, Kate was on the phone with us,” the designer says. “I know she’s very involved in Mia’s life. There’s this constant banter between the two of them.
Remembering a funny story from set, Kate says: “I had lots of pictures on the walls of the workshop for inspiration. I’d just fitted Mia and I came out to chat to her and I said to her: ‘I really hate to tell you this, but you’ve got a naked Kate Winslet on your left shoulder.’ She turned around, and there was a photograph of her mum as Rose in Titanic on the wall next to her. We laughed and laughed.”
The first three episodes of The Buccaneers will stream on Apple TV+ on 8 November, followed by one new episode weekly.