The Force Awakens has already got a grasp over geeks worldwide. Selfridges get in on the action with a collaboration with ten of London’s young talents.
In support of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, ten of London’s best young designer’s have come together to create a Star Wars capsule collection to celebrate the latest release in the saga, The Force Awakens. British fashion designers Agi & Sam, Bobby Abley, Christopher Raeburn, J.W. Anderson, Nasir Mazhar, Peter Pilotto, Phoebe English, Preen and Thomas Tait all signed up to the collaboration with Disney.
With each creating two commercial pieces to go on sale in Selfridges (in stores now) and two pieces to be auctioned off, the result is a wardrobe for die-hard fans as well as fashion followers. Get online on the 26th to try your hand at buying what’s sure to become an iconic piece of Star Wars memorabilia via auction.
We met Bobby Abley, who’s already dabbled in the sci-fi-meets-fashion world to talk about his designs, love for R2D2 and living on the moon.
What made you want to be a part of this collaboration?
Well my last collection was all Star Wars so I’m obviously still in that zone I guess because production is still happening. It’s for a really good cause, it’s a charity project which I hate to say, I haven’t really got involved in charity before so it was nice. It feels good to do something and it was quite easy for me to do because I just did that collection with loads of Star Wars references so it felt quite easy to do and quite good knowing it was for charity.
Who would you be if you were in Star Wars?
There’s so many people in this movie! Ok, I would like to be based on a look, going to the first prequel, the villain was called Darth Maul and he had a red and black tattooed face with horns and I just liked his cloak, I liked him visually, I think I was a bit obsessed with him when that movie came out. From the original trilogy I guess I’d be R2D2 because he seems to be able to do a lot for this shit looking robot! I shouldn’t really say that.
Are you a proper die-hard fan?
I guess you could say that yeah.
So, would you find it easy to rate the films?
Yes! Are you going to make me do that?
Yeah of course!
Oh god, ok. Ooh. The first three, the trilogy, they’re all pretty much 9 or 10/10. My favourite is probably The Empire Strikes Back, that’s definitely my favourite. My least favourite is in the prequels, the first and second prequel. That’s going to sound really confusing because I can’t remember the name! The first prequel, even though it had a character that visually I really loved, I thought it could have been much better. The one that followed that was not so great – I think a lot of proper Star Wars fans thought that as well so it’s ok for me to say!
There’s the commercial pieces and pieces to be auctioned off the Selfridges collaboration.
Yes, the designers did two commercial pieces for the store which I think is in store today, it’s a jumper and a t-shirt and there’s two catwalk looks that will be auctioned, I guess next week.
How long did it take you to make the pieces?
The commercial pieces were quite straightforward because I didn’t deal with any of the production, I just submitted the designs so that was quite fast. The catwalk looks obviously I made those so that took a bit longer!
Can you talk us through the creation of the catwalk pieces?
When I met with Disney, they showed us, there was a catalogue of visuals and different graphics all based on the new film. It’s all based on the new movie. Then we saw trailers and things like that and I was quite selfish and I picked out what I personally like the most from that information we were given. I think it was, not so obviously said, to avoid the original characters. I picked Captain Phasma who’s this huge female character, she’s a chrome stormtrooper so I used that visual. Her helmet basically. The second one was quite straightforward, it basically said Star Wars and the title for the new movie but I warped it to suggest a twist in the story that everybody knows. I used little trims of primary colour as a throwback to my childhood when I discovered Star Wars. It wasn’t very in depth! It was quite literal. There’s stars on the garments! It is quite literal but I tend to do that a lot.
Whoever’s going to buy these auction pieces, do you want people to wear them or for them to be kept in a glass box and be iconic pieces?
It would be interested to see somebody wearing it. It’s not crazy, the shapes and proportions aren’t crazy, so you could probably wear it.
Just probably not to Tesco?
Yeah. You’d probably wear it for an occasion but it’d be nice to see someone wear it! I always like to see people wearing my clothes, I guess that’s the point of having a brand. I’d like to see somebody wear it and then maybe put it in a glass box after.
How important was Star Wars to you growing up, were you running around the house with a lightsaber?
Yeah absolutely. I still have one. There’s one kicking around. I think I was about nine or ten when the first prequel came out. That got me. I hadn’t seen the original ones at that point and then I went to see this one and then I discovered that there was this whole other thing. I’ve always been obsessed with space. I convinced myself at a young age that I would be an astronaut, which didn’t happen obviously. I think because I already had that in my head, because I was obsessed with the moon, I believed that people lived on the moon, when you watch Star Wars it’s what you want space to be like! You can go to all these planets and there’s different life forms and people. As a kid you don’t want to imagine space as this vacuum of nothing. Star Wars just opens your brain even more to believing all this stuff exists, especially as a kid. It definitely fuelled my imagination. The astronaut thing didn’t happen!
You never know, one day! You might be able to go on holiday to the moon soon!
Yeah I might change my mind. I would absolutely love that, I’ve got so many pictures around my flat of the moon it’s crazy.
I’m a fraud, as a kid Star Wars freaked me out.
I guess as a kid some of it can be quite scary but mostly it’s, “Oh my god! I want that! I want to be in that.” You could keep making collections based on Star Wars, you’d never run out of references, for me when I did my Spring/Summer, I got stuck because there’s so much stuff. There’s so much Star Wars product that already exists so I was like, “How do I do something that shows how much I like Star Wars but doesn’t look like something that’s already out there?” I was trying to figure out which characters to use, which people to avoid, there was so much stuff but amazing stuff.
All clothing by BOBBY ABLEY
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is in cinemas 18th December
All 10 designer’s commercial pieces are available at Selfridges now. The online auction commences 26th November.
Words: Lily Walker