I had plenty of icons in the 1990’s. There was Carrie Bradshaw, whose wardrobe I would’ve frankly killed for (the shoes alone). There was Jennifer Aniston as Rachel in Friends, who seemed to never have a bad hair day, there was Julia Roberts, Courtney Love and Sandra Bullock, all of whom had their own brand of awesomeness. And then there was Anna in This Life, played by Daniela Nardini, who really was one on her own.
This Life was, for a time, unmissable television, and Anna was, for me, the sarky star of the show. The story of young lawyers sharing a house in London, and their messed up, mixed up relationships with each other was a word of mouth hit that had two successful series in 96/97. The relationship between Millie and Egg was at its heart, but I always preferred the dynamics of the relationship between Anna and Miles, her university fling and a total arsehole who was paid perfectly by Jack Davenport.
Anna was a brilliant bag of insecurities. She was beautiful, feisty, intelligent, ambitious, with a quick wit and certainly didn’t suffer fools gladly, but she was also insecure about her worth and in love to the point of obsession with a man who really didn’t deserve her. She was the very definition of the word prickly, and we totally loved her for it.
She was also stylish too. It is sometimes hard to believe that This Life was over 20 years ago now, but a lot of Anna’s chic and sophisticated look is classic styling and could certainly still be worn today. Shift dresses, sheer black tights, faux fur and animal print coats and always a splash of red lipstick, Anna was a style icon as well as an all round icon, and looking back, she still looks great today. Some have said she may have served as inspiration for Fleabag and I can totally see that.
If you loved This Life the first time around, it is currently showing on BBC Four in its entirety, a real treat for the 90’s generation, the Britpop generation.