Gentleman spy film Kingsman offers costume-to-collection line with menswear e-tailer Mr Porter

Gentleman spy film Kingsman offers costume-to-collection line with menswear e-tailer Mr Porter
The 60-piece Mr Porter Kingsman collection is based on the hit movie starring British actor Colin Firth.

At the centre of the new Matthew Vaughn film, Kingsman, is the transformation of its hero Eggsy from brash-talking street kid to consummate gentleman spy.

His journey is underscored by his sartorial evolution, as he ditches his trucker hats and winged sneakers for sharp, double-breasted, bespoke suit perfection.

Fans of the film, which came out in Singapore last month, can dress the part as well.

The tailored looks from the film are now available to the public, thanks to a costume-to-collection tie-up with menswear e-tailer Mr Porter.

The 60-piece Kingsman collection includes clothing, shoes and accessories that appear in the film, the majority of which retail for three to four figures.

Renowned costume designer Arianne Phillips was given the directive to update the look made famous by Savile Row, the London street home to some of the most famous bespoke tailoring brands.

The Los Angeles-based Phillips, in a telephone interview with Urban last week, says she was drawn to the "grand tradition of British spy movies" as well as their gadget-enabled accessories.

"Plus, the Kingsman base of operations, their batcave essentially, was a Savile Row tailor shop!" she adds enthusiastically.

"I thought that it was really interesting that tailoring was at the centre of the narrative."

Mr Porter buying director Toby Bateman agrees that the costume-to-collection project was an appealing one.

"Matthew noticed how often strong costuming played a part in the iconic status of certain films and yet was never available for sale," he says.

"We saw this as the oppotunity to build a new brand in the most unique possible way."

Kingsman also reunites the costume designer with British actor Colin Firth, who plays Eggsy's spy mentor.

Phillips, 51, worked with Firth on designer Tom Ford's critically acclaimed 2009 film A Single Man and has also received industry recognition for her work on various projects, including Walk The Line, 3:10 To Yuma and W.E.

The Mr Porter Kingsman collection, similarly named after the film, also appealed to her interest in diverse endeavours.

Phillips has worked as singer Madonna's stylist for almost two decades and spends time styling fashion shoots for publications such as Italian Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.

"I was told, first and foremost, you have to do what you always do and design fantastic costumes. And the collection will follow," says Phillips of her approach.

"That was a relief, because I am not interested in creating just another suit collection."

The detailed costume-to-collection aspect makes itself apparent in pieces such as a blue velvet smoking jacket, worn memorably by Firth during his meeting with the film's outlandish villain, played by Samuel L. Jackson.

That being said, the costume designer admits to making some design choices with the Mr Porter collection in mind.

"When I was prepping and working on the film, I chose fabrics that I knew had the potential to be milled in large quantities for the collection."

The line also includes pieces by other classic British labels worn by the actors in the film, such as Turnbull & Asser shirts, Cutler and Gross glasses and Deakin & Francis cufflinks.

"I thought because we're creating this fictitious heritage brand, we should embrace it with real heritage brands," she explains.

"This is about British elite spies, so every single aspect of the costumes needed to be quintessentially English."

The costume designer adds that luckily, Mr Porter already had relationships with these brands, which also include shoe label George Cleverley and watchmaker Bremont, among others.

There was little convincing needed for the brands to come aboard the stylish film, she notes.

The modern gentleman will be able to shop for items in the Kingsman collection in the future as well.

The line has taken on a life of its own and its second season is already in the works.

It launched on Mr Porter six weeks ago and already ranks within the top five brands for the season, says Bateman, validating his belief that "the idea of reinterpreting the Savile Row wardrobe for the modern man is relevant today."

A sequel to the popular film is also something they are hoping for, says Phillips.

"The great thing about film is that it crosses cultures - translated into every language and distributed around the world. Now, with this Mr Porter Kingsman collection, we have a reach for the costumes as far as the film's."

llim@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on March 06, 2015.
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