Sunday, February 5, 2017

John Malkovich: Fashion Designer

I'm not the least bit surprised that John Malkovich is a fashion designer. Although his commercial on Super Bowl LI tonight may look like a spoof, Malkovich actually does have a menswear line sold on, and it's not his first one.

You can dress like John Malkovich too

John Malkovich is an actor who is much a character himself. I don't mean that in a negative way. He's made over 70 films, including one called "Being John Malkovich". His quirky personality comes through in his best roles. I really enjoyed a recent turn in the tv series about Blackbeard the pirate, "Crossbones". He barely had a beard; it certainly wasn't black, but he fully embodied the malevolent, tyrannical Blackbeard. Shiver me timbers still when I think of it.

Blackbeard even without the black beard

We had the great pleasure to have John Malkovich as our dinner "companion" one Saturday evening in New Orleans. We had snagged a reservation at one of the most popular new restaurants. Although he was seated next to us, the tables were so close we might have been in his party. Also, John Malkovich was not whispering, nor did he ever stop talking. It was quite a performance, and we loved every eavesdropping minute of it.

I noticed not only did he look exactly like John Malkovich, he was dressed with great style in a pale blue collar-less shirt and pleated ivory linen trousers that seemed vintage 1930s. They were the kind of pants with buttons at the waist for the suspenders (not worn). His was the picture of casual chic marching entirely to the beat of his own drum.

Fashion design would not seem a profession entered into blindly. From the website's "about " page:
Since childhood, John has had an interest in clothes and fashion photography. He even studied costuming at university and, to this day, does costume design for theater. He walked the Comme des Garçons runway when no actor would and was featured in campaigns for Prada, Antonio Miro, and Armani, among others.
    John wrote and directed fashion films for English designer Bella Freud and wrote the “Christian Louboutin” book foreword. He created fabric for Liberty of London, did a design collaboration with Bailey Hats, designed clothes for Pirelli, and partnered with French watchmaker Richard Mille.
   Now, with his own label, John takes inspiration from his travels and experiences, fine art, and storytelling elements, such as setting and characterization. He sketches designs and patterns, refining every detail, while traveling and during downtime on set. For over 30 years, John has been a passionate fabric collector. With a meditative approach, he often spends several days focusing purely on fabric selection.
   John believes that fashion should be sincere because it’s rooted in self-expression. Fashion is about putting something together, and defining and transporting yourself. It’s about being bold and discreet at the same time. Above all, it’s about focusing on what you want and not worrying about what others expect you to be.
From the Spring-Summer 2017 lookbook
At present his clothes are carried at The Webster in Miami Beach and a boutique in Amsterdam. The showroom is in Paris; the full line can be purchased on I'm no menswear expert, but they appear standard-issue for a particular fashion aesthetic. The novelty would be in owning something designed by this charismatic actor and most interesting man.


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