On my way back home last night, I picked up a copy of Stylist Magazine, and found this article on costume and cinema: Dressing for the part. The article originates from the new V&A exhibition, Hollywood Costume, which opens on 20 October. Curated by Deborah Landis, president of the Costume Designers Guild, it will showcase some of the most iconic garments in cinematic history, together with the thought behind each design, and an explanation of how each one was designed to convey the psychology of the characters on screen.
Wonderful subject for an exhibition (especially given the V&A ability to curate wonderful costume retrospectives year after year). Which reminded me of another installation I recently saw during LFW, that also exploits the symbolism of film costumes – this time with the intent of leveraging their appeal to promote sustainability in fashion. The Green Cut is a unique initiative whose focus is to illustrate the fruits of a creative fusion of a new triad: fashion, film and the idea of respect for the environment. It is a development of The Green Carpet Challenge, curated once again by Livia Firth and Lucy Siegle (in collaboration with American Express).
In the Stylist article we read: ‘It is easy to recognise the relationship between clothing and personal transition. [..] As Landis explains: “Each person in a film has a character arc – they go on a journey, fall in love, encounter tragedies. And their clothes, as in real life, change along with them”.’ Once again, I see a parallelism here. Livia Firth has often said, talking about TGCC, that there’s been an evolution in her style and in her role since she started accompanying her husband Colin to film premieres and awards. She already was an activist, and her image has developed accordingly, to the point where she is now one of the most recognised personalities promoting ethical fashion. And to the point where she has developed the original Green Carpet Challenge idea to a stage that goes beyond her persona: first, by involving many other celebrities from the world of cinema, and now using the concept of iconic films and costume to amplify the message of the whole sustainable fashion industry.
Bringing together the British Fashion Council and the British Film Institute for the first time, The Green Cut pairs eight seminal fashion designers with eight iconic British films (thanks to the curation of celebrated fashion writer Sarah Mower) to raise awareness of a sustainable approach to fashion design.
The designers involved were Tom Ford, Stella McCartney, Antonio Berardi, Jonathan Saunders, Marios Schwab, Roksanda Ilincic, Alice Temperley and Stephen Jones – who all faithfully adhered to the GCC criteria and recreated each garment using only ecological materials.
The eco-fabrics and yarns were selected from the material library of C.L.A.S.S., an international eco-platform that supports and promotes environmentally sensible products for fashion, home and design through a wide range of eco-textiles, yarns, processes and services, managed by Giusy Bettoni.
• The Red Shoes, Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, (1948) – Re-interpreted by Jonathan Saunders (fabric used: organic silk)
• Its Love Again, Directed by Victor Saville (1936) – Re-interpreted by Roksanda Ilincic (fabric used: organic silk)
• Things to Come, Directed by William Cameron Menzies, (1936) – Re-interpreted by Marios Schwab (fabric used: 100% Newlife)
• My Fair Lady, Directed by George Cukor (1964) – Hat creation re-interpreted by Stephen Jones (fabric used: 100% Newlife)
• Evergreen, Directed by Victor Saville (1934) – Re-interpreted by Antonio Berardi (fabric used: 100% Newlife, the exclusive material derived from 100% post-consumer plastic bottles obtained thanks to a supply chain completely made in Italy)
• Velvet Goldmine, Directed by Todd Haynes, (1998) – Re-interpreted by Alice Temperley (fabrics used: organic silk, organic cotton lace)
• Accident, Directed by Harold Pinter, (1967) – Re-interpreted by Stella McCartney (fabrics used: organic silk, organic cotton embroidery)
• Darling, Directed by John Schlesinger (1965) – Re-interpreted by Tom Ford (fabrics used: Italian made wool silk blend Mikado, Hand embroidered beading done by their GCC verified beading workroom in India using traditional techniques)
It is the first time so many high profile designers have collaborated on a project of this nature, and the result is a totally unique collection. After being unveiled at Somerset House during LFW, the project leads up to a preview of the “Green Cut” video during the British Film Festival, and a celebratory party on October 19th, to then culminate in an exclusive showcase in Harrods 22nd October-5th November.