Model reading big with books galore in the fashion shoot Bletchley Park Story. Photograph by Photocillin. Daniella Christina Designs.
“Daniella Christina is a British based design label with Italian roots, founded by the designer Daniella Christina Timms. Inspired by vintage tailoring and heritage, the label combines the former and future.”
If you’ve been to Mr. Porter in the last few weeks, you’ve probably seen the new Kingsman collection – the special collaboration line between Mr. Porter, the Kingsman producers, and a roster of impressive British clothing labels. The 60-piece collection contains everything you can imagine in a British gentleman’s wardrobe. There are basics, such as suits, shoes, and dress shirts, as well as more unusual items, such as dressing gowns, smoking jackets, and leather-trimmed, cashmere slippers. There’s even a siren suit, which was originally designed in the mid-20th century for wear in air raid shelters. The Kingsman version is priced at $1,600, which we’ll assume is Cheetos money if you actually own an air raid shelter.
This line is the first of its kind, making Kingsman the first film where you can buy every outfit you see in the movie. In fact, this project has been in works since day one of the film’s production. In a recent promo video, the film’s costume designer talks about how they designed the actors’ clothes with the intention of being able to market them later (the film’s original title, The Secret Service, was even changed to Kingsman: The Secret Service after the second was deemed more marketable as a clothing label).
We’ve seen similar collaborations in the past. In recent years, Mad Men did something with Banana Republic, while Gatsby had something with Brooks Brothers. At the same time, nothing has been to this scale. Large-scale merchandising campaigns have traditionally been aimed at younger audiences, but this one uniquely targets an older and wealthier crowd. Greg Lellouche, founder of No Man Walks Alone, said “it’s like they took lessons from Star Wars and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and applied them to grown men.”
Changes in Hollywood
This sort of merchandising is pretty remarkable when you compare it to Old Hollywood. In the ‘30s and ‘40s, leading men typically wore their own clothes in films unless they needed something other than contemporary dress. Think: Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, Fred Astaire, Rex Harrison, and Bing Crosby. The things you saw them wear in films were likely things they just had at home. Our friend Bruce Boyer tells us that Hollywood stars had an effect on fashion, but only in a vague and general way (since nobody knew what labels were stitched inside those clothes).
“Most audiences wouldn’t know where the stars got their clothes,” Bruce says, “because most people didn’t travel in those lofty circles. Some actors would participate in advertising promotion, but that was no indication of anything in the actor’s own closet. At most, the audience would recognize the genre: they would know that Sean Connery was Savile Row tailored, that Sinatra in the ‘60s was wearing Ivy clothes, and that Mastroianni was Italian all the way. But the firms themselves never traded on the publicity and they never spoke about their customers.” So, when Mastroianni championed Italian style, he popularized a certain Italian look, rather than a specific Italian label.
That started to change, Bruce says, in the ‘70s, when consumers and Hollywood actors started to lean more and more on big fashion names, such as Armani and Ralph Lauren. Soon, it became very clear who was dressing who, both on and off screen (think of Richard Gere famously wearing Armani in American Gigolo, or the common question of “who are you wearing” at big events). Now, we have Kingsman, where you can buy exactly what the actors are wearing, and the film’s producers get a cut.
Keith Phipps, founder of The Dissolve, says this is part of a bigger trend. “Films are expensive now,” Keith notes. “So directors try to create revenue streams where they can. It was in the ‘80s when you start to see product placements become more conspicuous, but in recent years, it’s gotten pretty over-the-top. In the last Terminator, they put a 7-11 in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. You know things are serious when you see products in a universe where there shouldn’t be any products at all.”
Who knows how long it’ll be before someone makes a film about a shoemaker, where you can not only buy all the shoes you see in the movie, but also watch what’s essentially just a 90-minute-long heritage-marketing video.
Study of the Day: Garments expose their signature labels
Harris Tweed weaves its way through our Autumn-Winter 2014 ‘Défilé’ Collection, reinventing the traditional construction of British bespoke. The original label remains intact, affixed to the outside of the garments.
Now available in Maison Martin Margiela boutiques worldwide.
The British label delivers an outstanding assortment of ties, scarves and pocket squares, inspired by a 14th century book of Persian illustrations. A playful take on geometric patterns, fabrics and unusual shades, now available at Marwood’s website.
Former One Direction star Zayn Malik is still with Syco, according to the British music label founded by Simon Cowell.
Reports surfaced earlier Thursday that Malik was set to be ousted from the Sony label shared with his former band and to another label in the Sony family. For now, the 22-year-old and Syco are still associated.
When reached for comment, a Syco spokesperson told EW, "Zayn is still with Syco.“
With a lack of fundamental understanding of the culture being pumped for design inspiration, there’s always the danger that a designer will shift from appreciating to appropriating without even noticing. Then, the whole damn enterprise gets flipped on its head. Instead of venerating a culture, we denigrate it.
Not exactly fair recompense for all that “inspiration.”
Somebody warn Pat Robertson: The gay agenda has struck again.
According to a recent survey from YouGov, 50 percent of British millennials don’t label themselves as completely heterosexual. Forty-three percent of 18-to-24-year-olds identify somewhere in the middle of the Kinsey scale—which lists sexual orientation on a spectrum of one to six. “With each generation, people see their sexuality as less fixed in stone,” YouGov reports.
The easy explanation for this phenomenon is that such open-minded thinking about sexuality reflects the “no labels” ethos proffered by actress Kristen Stewart and singer Miley Cyrus, who famously told Paper magazine: “I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn’t involve an animal and everyone is of age. … Yo, I’m down with any adult—anyone over the age of 18 who is down to love me.”
You have probably already heard about Cara Delevingne’s exclusive Mulberry handbag collaboration, and now the British label has released a shoot she did back in February at the Royal Suite in the Claridge’s hotel. The British model poses with a barn owl and whippet puppy called Wiley. The new Cara Delevingne for Mulberry collection will hit stores in September.
KURT AND KARLIE: Kurt Geiger has tapped model Karlie Kloss for the footwear brand’s spring campaign.
It was photographed by Erik Torstensson, cofounder of the Saturday Group and Frame Denim, and shot in a London-based studio. Torstensson had previously worked with Kloss on creating “Forever Karlie,” a range of denim for taller women.
Embracing the collection’s sportswear focus, the campaign features images of Kloss in a sports bra and soccer socks, cycling in heels and posing with boxing gloves and dumbbells.
“This season, the boundaries between sport and fashion have broken down even further,” said Kurt Geiger creative director Rebecca Farrar-Hockley. “The campaign channels a strong, energetic and alive mood.”
Kloss will be modeling the British label’s spring styles including sporty high heels with mesh panels and Velcro straps, platform sandals and slip-on sneakers with logos such as “Run Wild” emblazoned on them.
“I’ve always worn Kurt Geiger shoes to run from the gym to work and everything in between,” said Karlie Kloss. “This collection works for women who do it all.”
The campaign will run in the spring issue of Love magazine, the March issues of British Elle and British Vogue, which hit newsstands in February and the model’s social media accounts. (x)