WORDS BY STEPHANIE MALIK
Recently I assisted with this film for William Richard Green’s A/W 2012 menswear collection, which was not only part of the collection’s presentation on Menswear Day at London Fashion Week, but also premiered earlier this week as an exclusive on Dazed Digital, the website for London-based fashion magazine Dazed & Confused.
Given that Will’s inspiration for the collection was the football hooligan scene in the late 80′s and early 90′s, the initial reference points for the film were British drama Elephant (the original one from the 80′s directed by Alan Clarke, not the 2003 version) and this unexpectedly controversial music video by French electronic duo Justice, in which a group of menacing young men walk around terrorizing everything and everyone in their path.
As the aesthetic for the film required a particular kind of football punk look– very much esoteric to Britain–we cast models that we felt could convincingly portray these sort of tough “lad” characters (to use a British term, almost “chavy”). (Interestingly, one of the models had recently actually come out of prison!)
Film still from Elephant (1989)
What I think sets this “fashion film” apart from others is that it manages to be more than merely a moving lookbook. As is probably obvious given the lighting, which is often very dark, conveying the mood of the collection actually took precedence at times over simply showing the clothes. The film’s director, Morgan O’Donovan, also did a brilliant job executing the Clarke-style observational documentary techniques using his steadicam.
The music was actually composed by the designer himself, credited under the alias Joe and Will Ask, the name of Will’s successful dance music project (I know, as if he wasn’t already talented enough!). The spoken word overlaying the music is writer and art critic, Richard Dyer, epically reading, of all things, a geography book.
DIRECTOR//Morgan O’ Donovan
FILM CREW//Alistair Allan, Stephanie Malik, Vasilisa Forbes