Sunday evening on the third day of London Collections: Men. From Christopher Shannon to Alexander McQueen, most of the four-day event has been geared towards wit, innovation and bold new directions in menswear, but this evening saw a return to trad tailoring as Mr Porter, the menswear arm of online retailer Net-a-porter, unveiled an entire collection inspired by a film.
Kingsman: The Secret Service, starring Colin Firth as a sort of Bond-esque spy trying to recruit a new team, opens in a few weeks. Based on a cult comic book and directed by Matthew Vaughn of Kick-Ass fame, the film’s premise is a group of spies masquerading as Savile Row tailors; the whole thing is set largely in the back room of a tailor’s shop. As Vaughn told The Hollywood Reporter: “It’s not like the clothes are an added benefit or not utterly functional to the story. They are a big part of the story.” So Mr Porter’s decision to launch a line of Savile Row-style suits makes more than just commercial sense.
The collection includes double-breasted, pinstripe 1980s-style suits, designed by Arianne Phillips, Madonna’s stylist who also worked with Firth on A Single Man, along with sunglasses from Cutler and Gross, cotton poplin shirts by Turnbull Asser, a rose-gold watch by Bremont and George Cleverley brogues. The entire 60-piece Kingsman collection is British-made.
While product placement in films has been Hollywood’s bread and butter for the past few years – the first Sex And The City movie referenced more than 60 different brands – this is the first time customers have been able to buy all the costumes from a film. It is thought that Phillips designed the costumes with commerciality in mind. Vaughn said: “To be blunt, there aren’t many clothing options for men like me, in their 40s. Suits are cut super-skinny and tight, or they’re very traditional. I realised there’s no men’s line smack dab in the middle.” The collection is relatively limited-edition, but the Kingsman label is already expected to come back for a second season in spring 2015.