How It's Done
Kingsman: From Costume To Collection
How the enviable wardrobe from a Hollywood blockbuster became a fully-fledged brand – available only on MR PORTER
It was while daydreaming over lunch one day in the summer of 2012 that Mr Matthew Vaughn, the director and co-screenwriter of Kingsman: The Secret Service, struck upon the idea of gentleman spies. “I was sitting in the boardroom of Bourdon House, Dunhill’s private members’ club in London, and my mind wandered and I thought: ‘Imagine if we were all spies around this table’,” he says. “And then I went around the corner to my tailor on Savile Row to get measured up for a smoking jacket and I thought: ‘Imagine if I pushed this mirror and the room opened up into a secret lair of spy stuff.’ And so it began.”
Once Mr Vaughn envisioned the Kingsmen as immaculately dressed, he thought: why not turn the movie’s costume into a real collection? So he asked award-winning Hollywood costume designer Ms Arianne Phillips (who worked with Mr Tom Ford on A Single Man and was Oscar-nominated for her work on both W.E. and Walk the Line) to work with MR PORTER’s Buying Director, Mr Toby Bateman. As a trio they designed the costume as a collection to be sold exclusively on MR PORTER. “What really piqued my interest was that tailoring was at the centre of the narrative,” says Ms Phillips. “Then Matthew mentioned the idea of creating the Kingsman brand. It was an incredible opportunity because no-one has successfully managed to merchandise fashion from a film before.”
First, a decision had to be made on the look and feel of the Kingsman aesthetic. “We created moodboards of old-school iconic elegant British gents such as the Duke of Windsor, David Niven, Noël Coward, Michael Caine, Sean Connery,” says Mr Bateman. “I wanted suits for the modern gentleman,” says Mr Vaughn. “Not too tight and trendy and not too old and fuddy-duddy. I looked at some of my grandfather’s old suits for inspiration and he had some great checks and stripes and patterns.”
At the centre of the collection was a modern refresh of the double-breasted suit. “All the suiting has been made in [the town of] Crewe by an excellent old tailoring company called Cheshire Bespoke which is as good as it gets,” says Mr Bateman. “All the fabrics are from British mills.”
The furnishings and accessories have been co-branded with British brands. “We have such fabulous brands in the UK and I wanted to celebrate that and collaborate with the best in class for each category: the watches, the shoes, the umbrellas, the pens, the ties, everything,” says Mr Vaughn.
Taken as a whole, the Kingsman collection represents the complete wardrobe of a well-dressed modern gentleman: suits, evening wear, off-duty clothes, pyjamas as well as all the necessary accessories – each and every piece featured in the movie.
MR PORTER will officially launch the full Kingsman range during London Collections: Men this week with a pop-up store at 11 Savile Row, taking over the Hunstman tailoring shop where Mr Vaughn first envisioned the Kingsman HQ. The movie itself goes on general release from 13 February.
“For the very first time, if you like what you see on screen, you can go straight to mrporter.com/kingsmanwardrobe and order it from your cinema seat and it will be on its way to you by the time the closing credits roll,” says Mr Bateman. “That was always the original vision and now it has come to fruition.” And as another spy franchise might say, “Kingsman: the collection will return.” Spring/ summer 2015 is all ready to go.