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You - 2021-06-06

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‘MY LIFE WAS A DISASTER MOVIE’

YOU INTERVIEW

Savannah Miller throws back her head and lets out a throaty cackle. I’ve got myself in a tangle over the current state of play in her love life and it’s tickled her no end. ‘My friend Ruth is the sister-in-law of my new partner James, and she’s dating my ex-husband Nik,’ she explains. Ah, right. Not so much a partner swap, then, as a… no, still too confusing. ‘I’m slightly embarrassed by my weird, incestuous situation,’ she giggles, clearly not actually embarrassed at all. ‘But what are you going to do? There aren’t many single people around. Slim pickings in Gloucestershire.’ This isn’t at all what I was expecting from the fashion designer and elder sister of actress Sienna. After all, Sienna has vividly described being ‘hunted’ by the tabloids, likening it to an assault. I was expecting Savannah, in turn, to be tight-lipped about her family. Not so. Savannah may look demure, reserved even, but she is, in fact, quite the reverse. Disarmingly frank and extremely funny, she is the kind of woman you wish you’d met ages ago. She would be great fun down the pub. ‘Pubs,’ she whispers as though she has only recently learnt the word. ‘I’ve just discovered them! I know that sounds ridiculous, but I was still in my early 20s when I became a mum, so I never developed those grown-up habits. We [she and James] spent the afternoon in a pub with some friends of his when we first got together. I’ve never done that before.’ You don’t have to spend long in Savannah’s company to see that her children – Moses, 16, Lyra, 13, and Bali, nine, plus her stepson Java, 26 – are always front and centre. ‘The way things have worked out [with their father’s new relationship] is wonderful for the children,’ she explains, ‘because they have essentially only got one other family to deal with. We [the four adults and the children] were a bubble during lockdown, and we were all together for Christmas and Easter. When a marriage comes to an end you can throw a bomb under the bus, or you can hold up your hands and say, “We’ve done everything we can and now we want to retain a healthy relationship for our children.”’ Herself the product of an unconventional childhood (‘We were raised by bohemians – my mum in particular – she travelled a great deal and all her friends were very colourful’), Savannah was no stranger to marital upheaval. After her father left her mother, he remarried three times, once to the interior designer Kelly Hoppen, with whom the sisters are still close. By the time she graduated from London’s Central Saint Martins art college in 2004 with first-class honours, Savannah was pregnant with Moses and already stepmother to Nik’s son Java, then eight. Somehow finding time to work for Alexander Mcqueen, Anya Hindmarch and Matthew Williamson along the way, she confesses that before meeting Nik (a bushcraft teacher from Devon) she hadn’t had much time

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