Tuesday, 11. March 2008 - 3:20 pm
Baillie’s first feature Flashbacks Of A Fool, starring Daniel Craig as a burnt-out actor forced to return to his hometown and revisit his Bowie and Roxy-obsessed youth, opens next month.
Paul Gorman, author of THE LOOK: Adventures In Rock And Pop Fashion – the definitive tome on the crucial role of fashion in popular music – has seen it, and written a glowing assessment, particularly about the outstanding fashion period detail in the film, on his blog which we’re guesting here.
And he also has an astute take on the style sensibility of Baillie’s imperishable videos and ads.
Official trailer: YouTube
FLASHBACKS TO GLAM
Forthcoming Brit-film Flashbacks Of A Fool – with a cast including Daniel Craig, Jodhi May, Eve, Helen McCrory and cameos by Mark Strong and Emilia Fox – is THE LOOK’s kind of flick: substantial and stunningly styled (by the wonderful Stevie Stewart).
Interestingly, Flashbacks also evokes the classier end of the glam look as created at little-documented places like the London store Che Guevara, having benefited from the input of Antony Price, who worked on the costumes with Stewart and supplied designs to Che Guevara back in the early 70s.
The era and subject matter of teen awakening and middle-aged disappointment are lovingly handled by writer/director Baillie Walsh, who has promo form going back to Massive Attack’s landmark Unfinished Sympathy and the controversial clip for Boy George’s post-acid anthem Generations Of Love (which features the incomparable Leigh Bowery and dancer Les Child as big-titted streetwalkers).
All the while making a name for himself as an ad director – in the film Walsh cheekily tips his hat to the campaign he did for YSL’s Touche Eclat – he subsequently worked with bands such as Spiritualised and Oasis, for whom he made tour film Lord Don’t Slow Me Down.
In 2003 Walsh directed the suitably languorous Barcelona rooftop promo for Kylie Minogue single Slow, which benefited immensely from his drawing on the oeuvre of “Them” photographer Peter Schlesinger.
As you’d expect from his CV, Walsh brings a hyper-reality to Flashbacks, in which a burnt-out British actor in LA is forced to revisit his youth as a Bowie and Roxy-obsessed adolescent growing up in an early 70s seaside town.
The clothes, along with the rest of the visual and musical references, are spot-on, with Walsh and Stewart having lots of fun; just-so double-belted Oxford bags, ornately-patterned penny-round collars and platforms abound, as do a number of playful asides.
For example, young male lead Harry Eden is a dead-ringer for beautiful early 70s London scenester/photographer Eric Boman, these days a highly respected New York-based fashion historian and author. Even when disconsolately kicking a football around, Eden wears a red neckerchief (ostensibly to cover love-bites), pastel blue vest and tight shorts, just as Boman did in Schlesinger shots.
//Antony Price cotton blouse and satin short-longs for Che Guevara, £6.50 and £5.95. Shoes Chelsea Cobbler £16//
Antony designed the top for Che Guevara, an extremely opulent outlet at 20 Kensington High Street for which he also created the interior with the owner, one of rock & pop fashion’s great characters, Dave “Che” Shimeld.
“It looked like the Titanic,” Dave says in an exclusive interview in THE LOOK.“At the entrance there were blasts of cool air and lilies everywhere. It was almost hypnotic having that smell wafting through the place.”
With luxurious and relatively expensive clothes by other designers including the store’s backers Ronnie Stirling and Geoff Cooper, Jane Whiteside, Ossie Clark and Wendy Dagworthy, Che Guevara was a magnet for the moneyed and style-conscious. Dave went on to work with Antony at his shop Plaza; these days he has a beautiful beach resort in St Lucia’s Marigot Bay.
//Felicity Jones and Harry Eden in Flashbacks Of A Fool//
For the most significant scene in Flashbacks, Walsh and Stewart pulled out the stops by having Antony – who is producing a new men’s-wear collection for our label The Look Presents at Topman later this year – recreate the one-off tiger-stripe satin bomber jacket sported by Bryan Ferry on the inner sleeve of Roxy Music’s self-titled debut album.
//Ferry from the sleeve of Roxy Music, 1972//
And, as if to square the circle, the song which accompanies this scene and has most resonance to the two central characters is the epic If There Is Something from the same album. On the cover, model Kari-Anne Moeller is wearing a 40s style Price dress from – where else? –Che Guevara.
• Flashbacks Of A Fool premieres in the UK at the Empire Leicester Square on April 13.