Mr Porter Partners With Producer Matthew Vaughn on 'Rocketman' Collection
The online menswear retailer has unveiled 16 pieces inspired by the “fantastic” tailored style of Elton John's manager John Reid as the latest iteration of Vaughn’s collaborative Kingsman label.
For the next iteration of its swanky in-house Kingsman label, online menswear purveyor Mr Porter looks to the upcoming Elton John biopic Rocketman — no surprise since the retailer’s partner in the venture is Matthew Vaughn, a producer on the Dexter Fletcher-directed film, along with David Furnish, John's husband. Vaughn, of course, is also the producer and director of the Kingsman film franchise that originally inspired Mr Porter's upscale, in-house tailored clothing line that launched five years ago and has become a top brand on the site.
Appropriately, rather than focusing on the flamboyant dress of the movie’s subject, played by Taron Egerton, the costume-to-collection collaboration hews to the exquisitely buttoned-up wardrobe of John’s manager John Reid (Richard Madden).
With the release of the capsule collection set for May 29, two days before Rocketman opens at the end of the month, Vaughn took time out for an email conversation with The Hollywood Reporter on the Rocketman-inspired range as well as his philosophy behind the Kingsman brand in general.
“The reason I've created a collection for Rocketman was that I thought if the character wore fantastic suits, he’d go to the best tailor in the world, and in my opinion the best tailor in the world is Kingsman,” Vaughn says. “Kingsman isn’t going to make the feather suits for Elton John, because that’s not Kingsman, but it would make suits for a very successful manager of the most successful pop star in the world.”
From the 16-piece collection, which spans everything from a bottle-green velvet dinner jacket to florid paisley neckties, Vaughn says he has a couple of personal favorites. “I love the high-cut double-breasted suit — it makes it cooler and less establishment,” he says, adding, “and the Chelsea boots are never out of fashion; they’re a Kingsman version of the humble trainer.”
Vaughn says for him that the appeal of men’s tailoring is that, while it has changed throughout past decades to reflect the style of the time, it never follows fashion too much. “Rocketman got us to explore the '70s double-breasted look, which (still) looks fantastic,” he says.
Those years are second only to his favorite decade for men’s fashion, the '60s, with its revolutionary skinny suits. “The '60s is where all the skills of a tailor became perfected. When you look at Steve McQueen, Michael Caine, Sean Connery — all these guys in the '60s — they looked immaculate, but they didn’t look stuffy,” Vaughn notes. “That’s not just the suits; from the bomber jackets to the trainers, everything in the '60s was just perfection.”
Vaughn says his venture into fashion is partly driven by movies he saw from his youth. “I was heavily influenced by what I saw. When I saw Risky Business, I remember loving the Wayfarers that Tom Cruise wore and I got a pair of them immediately. Another moment that stood out for me was American Gigolo — I'd never heard of Giorgio Armani before that film.”
For Vaughn, the bottom line is that cinema fashion is a story within a film’s story, where “the two worlds collide beautifully. I’ve been watching how Disney has done it with princess outfits for kids,” he says, “and I thought why not do a high-end, quality, luxury brand? Yes, it’s commercial but it has integrity.”
And with Vaughn currently at work filming the third movie in the Kingsman series, an origin story starring Ralph Fiennes, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Stanley Tucci, there’s no doubt he’ll also have plenty of sartorial fodder for many suited and booted collections to come.