Monday 28 March 2022

VIDEO: Watch the uncensored moment Will Smith smacks Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars, drops F-bomb /Oscars condemns Will Smith slap and launches review / Will Smith: can his career survive – or is the Fresh Prince finished?/ Could Will Smith be stripped of his Oscar? Academy faces pressure to respond after disgraced star broke Code of Conduct drawn up in wake of MeToo Movement

Should the Academy accept this kind of Violence on stage !?

There are calls for the Academy to strip Will Smith of his Best Actor Oscar after he walked on stage and slapped comedian Chris Rock who was presenting an award on stage, after making a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith's hair.

The Academy, in its code of conduct, is known to take a very a dim view of violence of any kind.

Could Will Smith be stripped of his Oscar? Academy faces pressure to respond after disgraced star broke Code of Conduct drawn up in wake of MeToo Movement


Actor Will Smith stormed the Oscars stage and struck comedian Chris Rock across the face for joking about his wife

The moment left attendees and viewers stunned with calls for the Academy to strip Smith of his accolade

Assault violates Academy Code of Conduct set up in wake of Me Too Movement

LAPD said no reports of assault had been filed but was 'aware of an incident'

Rock cracked a joke comparing Jada Pinkett Smith's tightly cropped hair to Demi Moore's appearance in the film 'G.I. Jane' and suggested she appear in a sequel



PUBLISHED: 06:59, 28 March 2022 | UPDATED: 08:23, 28 March 2022


There are calls for the Academy to strip Will Smith of his Best Actor Oscar after he walked on stage and slapped comedian Chris Rock who was presenting an award on stage, after making a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith's hair.


The Academy, in its code of conduct, is known to take a very a dim view of violence of any kind.


After the award ceremony was over it tweeted: 'The Academy does not condone violence of any form. Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.'


 The Academy reestablished its Code of Conduct in 2017 during the Me Too Movement.


'Academy membership is a privilege offered to only a select few within the global community of filmmakers,' AMPAS CEO Dawn Hudson wrote to members following various scandals in the industry.


On Sunday night, in the Dolby Theatre, there was complete bewilderment in the moments after the assault with took place with those present initially wondering if the punch was part of a stunt. 


It took a few moments for the normally unflappable Rock to process but the colorful language from Smith quickly confirmed it wasn't any kind of joke at all.


The punch threw the entire Oscars broadcast into chaos as producers were frantically forced into deciding how to deal with the on-air assault, with Smith still yet to receive his Best Actor statuette.


Could Will Smith be stripped of his Oscar? The Academy faces pressure to respond after the King Richard star broke the Academy's Code of Conduct drawn up during Me Too Movement


Under normal circumstances, Smith would have almost certainly have been removed by security guards and escorted out of the auditorium for the attack, but the slap came moments before the award for Best Actor was to be announced.


Only three people in the building knew that Smith was to receive the coveted prize including the show's producer Will Packer and two accountants from Price Waterhouse Coopers who oversee the tabulating of the Oscars results before the winning envelopes are handed out and opened onstage.


Producers were therefore placed in an impossible situation as to how to deal with the assault. 


Smith's rep could be seen rushing to be by his side as the actor sat back down next to his wife, while the producer of the entire Oscars show, Packer, was also seen racing to Smith's table and said something to him.


The LAPD were also informed of what had occurred on stage but revealed later that no complaint had been filed.


During the commercial break which followed, Will Smith was pulled aside and comforted by Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry appeared to motion for him to brush it off.


Smith's publicist continued speaking with him during the final commercial breaks of the Oscars broadcast which were quickly inserted into the broadcast while producers dealt with the panic behind the scenes.


Backstage the academy told gathered journalists not to ask any of the actors present about the slap seen around the world, but it was all that anyone was talking about at the Oscar parties that take place after the show was done. 


Fifteen minutes after the assault, Smith who appeared shaken picked up the biggest accolade of his life as he collected the Best Actor award making a tearful speech in which he attempted to link his outburst to his character in King Richard as someone who 'defended his family.'


He also took a moment to issue an apology to the Academy and to his fellow nominees, but that may not be enough with calls for him now to be stripped of the award.


'It's basically assault. Everyone was just so shocked in the room, it was so uncomfortable' one executive told the New York Post.


'I think Will would not want to give his Oscar back, but who knows what will happen now.'


Director Judd Apatow was appalled by the behavior he witnessed onstage.


'He could have killed him. That's pure out of control rage and violence. They've heard a million jokes about them in the last three decades. They are not freshman in the world of Hollywood and comedy. He lost his mind.'


Director Apatow was appalled by the behavior he witnessed onstage


Smith could be seen appearing to wipe tears from his eyes as Denzel Washington later walked him back to his front row seat.


Smith revealed during his acceptance speech Washington had told him 'that at his "highest moment, that's when the devil comes for you".


'In this business, you got to be able to have people disrespecting you. You've got to smile and pretend like that's okay,' Smith said.


'I want to be a vessel for love. I want to say thank you to Venus and Serena. Thank you for entrusting me with your story. That's what I want to do. I want to be an ambassador of that kind of love, and care and concern.'


The Academy's CEO Dawn Hudson highlighted values the Academy valued at the height of the Me Too Movement including 'fostering supportive environments, and respect for human dignity.'


'In addition to achieving excellence in the field of motion picture arts and sciences, members must also behave ethically by upholding the Academy's values of respect for human dignity, inclusion, and a supportive environment that fosters creativity.


'There is no place in the Academy for people who abuse their status, power or influence in a manner that violates recognized standards of decency. The Academy is categorically opposed to any form of abuse, harassment or discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disability, age, religion, or nationality. The Board of Governors believes that these standards are essential to the Academy's mission and reflective of our values,' Hudson detailed in a statement as reported by Variety.


Legally, Smith may have got away with it. Late on Sunday night, the LAPD released a statement saying that no police report had yet been filed.


'LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program. The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report.


'If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.'


Many users on Twitter stated that they wanted to see Smith stripped of his Best Actor gong


The Academy has taken action against members in the past.


Disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein was stripped of his membership in the organization after he was was found guilty of decades of sexual misbehavior, including allegations of rape.


In 2017, Greg P. Russell, a sound mixer on 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, was been stripped of his Oscar nomination after he was caught phoning his fellow members from the Academy's Sound Branch 'to make them aware of his work on the film.


The calls were a 'direct violation of a campaign regulation that prohibits telephone lobbying,' a statement from the Academy said.


In 2014, the song Alone Yet Not Alone from the little-known film of the same name had its nomination for Best Original Song rescinded after composer Bruce Broughton, an Academy member and former governor, contacted fellow branch members by email, breaking Academy rules.



( ...) “Following the ceremony, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed in a statement that it was “aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program. The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report.”


“If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report,” the statement concluded.


Shortly thereafter, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences issued their own statement: “The Academy does not condone violence of any form. Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.”

Will Smith: can his career survive – or is the Fresh Prince finished?

For three bravado-filled decades, he was box office dynamite, pulling in $9 billion. How will the star now win back the public’s esteem – and keep Hollywood onside?


Steve Rose


Mon 28 Mar 2022 17.10 BST


It is not often an actor experiences both the high point and the low point of their careers on the same night, but you can always trust Will Smith to push the boundaries of movie stardom. His win as best actor ought to have been the cherry on top of one of the most successful film careers in history – except Smith himself had already sabotaged the moment, the night, and possibly his future when he got up on stage 40 minutes earlier and slapped Chris Rock for an inappropriate joke about his wife. Smith could spend the rest of his life looking back on Sunday night as the best of times and the worst, but which one will prevail? Is Smith big enough to survive such a jarring incident – or is the Fresh Prince past his sell-by date?


The unique nature of both the incident and the actor have us grasping for precedent. In 2017, Casey Affleck went through the similarly awkward motions of accepting best actor Oscar, for Manchester By the Sea, even as allegations of earlier sexual harassment resurfaced, turning what should have been a huge career bounce into a damaging trial by public opinion. Affleck denied the accusation but his reputation has never really recovered. He’s a rising character actor, though. Will Smith is in a different league, arguably one of his own.


Richard Williams, the character Smith played in King Richard, drew up an 85-page plan for how to turn his daughters Venus and Serena into tennis champs. It worked. Similarly, in the early 1990s, Smith drew up a plan to become the biggest movie star in the world, analysing box-office numbers and movie formulas. That worked too. He has ruled Hollywood for over 30 years, his films grossing over $9 billion at the box office, and he has an estimated net worth of at least $350 million. He is one of the few actors whose name can open a movie and usually guarantee a $100m box office (King Richard has performed far below that, but then it was released simultaneously on HBO Max). Smith’s projects in the pipeline include slavery thriller Emancipation, for which Apple paid $120m for the rights, a sequel to the Netflix sci-fi Bright, a travel series with National Geographic and Bad Boys 4. Is Smith simply too big to fail?

“I don’t think anybody’s too big to fail,” says film publicist Charles McDonald. “Not in this day and age.” In recent years, entertainment figures once considered unassailable have been swiftly dethroned, McDonald points out, not least by the #MeToo movement. Harvey Weinstein was, after all, considered a fixture of the movie industry. “I don’t think it’s a question of size,” says McDonald. “I think it’s just a question of who you are, what your position is, and how you’re thought of. I think probably Will Smith can surface – if he does the right thing, in the right time.”


You have to show proper contrition … then behave in such a way that people don’t believe it’s going to happen again


There is a crisis-management protocol to situations like this, says Bumble Ward, another seasoned film publicist. “The steps are always the same. You have to show proper contrition. You have to apologise to those you’ve hurt. And then you have to behave in such a way that people don’t believe it’s going to happen again. But it has to be a proper apology. I think he did a lot of that work in his speech.”


During the commercial break between the actor slapping Rock and his acceptance speech, Smith’s publicist Meredith O Sullivan was spotted in discussion with Smith at his table, as was Denzel Washington. When he went up to collect his award, Smith clearly did not give the speech he’d originally planned. He cited Richard Williams as “a fierce defender of his family”. He relayed Washington’s advice to him moments earlier: “At your highest moment, be careful – that’s when the devil comes for you.” And he professed that “love will make you do crazy things”. He also apologised to the Academy and to his fellow nominees but, pointedly, not to Rock himself.


Another industry insider, who did not wish to be named, predicted that Smith would be making a public apology to Rock pretty soon. Rock would likely reciprocate and apologise to Jada Pinkett Smith. The event would then be swept under the red carpet as quickly as possible. That process was already under way on Sunday night. Host Amy Schumer made light of the event, saying: “Did I miss anything? There’s, like, a different vibe in here.” Presenting best actress, Anthony Hopkins also seemed ready to move on. “Will Smith said it all,” he said, to nervous laughter from the audience. “What more can be said? Let’s have peace and love and quiet.”


But there is quite a lot more to be said. This crisis is by no means over. The Smith brand has not looked entirely rock-solid in recent years. In fact, it has been in recovery mode. His 2016 movie Collateral Beauty, an excruciating self-help tearjerker, was the biggest flop of his career. More damaging still was 2013’s After Earth, a self-funded sci-fi movie designed to showcase the talents of the entire Smith clan: Will and Jada co-produced, Will co-wrote, and reportedly co-directed, with M Night Shyamalan. He also co-starred alongside his son, Jaden, who was parachuted into the lead role.


Sometimes it felt less like a film and more like an exposure of the Smith family’s weaknesses and weirdnesses, compounded by a series of bizarre interviews (the Smith children’s contemptuous comments about traditional schools made them seem out of touch) along with revelations about the Smith parents’ not-so-private life. In 2020, Will and Jada opted to air their relationship issues in public on Jada’s talk show Red Table Talk, where she spoke of their separation and her “entanglement” with another man – rapper August Alsina – as Smith nodded along.


At the same time, there has always been a messianic aspect to Smith’s public persona. He has self-belief and bravado in droves, from his rap career to his portrayal of Muhammad Ali in 2002, which earned him his first Oscar nomination. As last year’s memoir Will laid out, Smith has been on something of a journey lately, re-examining his childhood and his father’s abuse of his mother, but also going on ayahuasca trips in the Amazon. Smith evidently believes in his own sense of purpose, as he made clear in his Oscars speech. “In this time in my life, in this moment,” he said, “I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world. I’m being called on in my life to love people, and to protect people, and to be a river to my people.”


Who is actually calling upon Smith to fill this role, and is he living up to it? That is open to question. The public might easily find such pronouncements off-putting. Showbiz careers live and die by public opinion. Some are wondering if Smith’s career might now be at a tipping point. Others expect this to blow over. “I think he can survive,” says McDonald. “I think people have a great affection for him. You can’t resort to violence like that, obviously, and the language he used afterwards, despite the provocation. But I think there will be sympathy for him.”


Other Oscar-winners on the night might not be feeling much sympathy for Smith right now, given that his actions effectively drowned out their moments of glory. As for Smith’s own achievements, he might well have cancelled out what should have been the greatest night of his life.

Oscars condemns Will Smith slap and launches review

Published11 hours ago


The Oscars film academy has condemned Will Smith for slapping Chris Rock at Sunday's ceremony, and has launched a formal review of the incident.


A statement said it would "explore further action and consequences" in accordance with California law, and the body's standards of conduct.


Smith slapped Rock in the face on stage after the comic made a joke about the actor's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.


Moments later Smith won his first ever Oscar - for best actor in King Richard.


Rock took aim at Pinkett Smith's shaved head, a result of the hair-loss condition alopecia.


The incident cast a pall on what should have been Hollywood's biggest celebration and overshadowed others' achievements, one member of the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences - which organises the Oscars ceremony - told the BBC.


"I woke up so bummed out about what Will Smith did," said the member. "To me, he stole the limelight. I don't think that was the place to be so violent. Most people were shocked. There were children there. It was a place to celebrate." She asked not to be named.


Monday's statement from the organisation behind the Oscars said: "The Academy condemns the actions of Mr Smith at last night's show. We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law."


Shortly after Sunday night's incident, Smith was seen apparently being comforted by actors Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry.


Actor and comedian Tiffany Haddish, who co-starred with Jada Pinkett Smith in the 2017 comedy Girls Trip, described the exchange to People magazine as "the most beautiful thing I've ever seen". She said Smith had stood up for his wife.


However, many said Smith was wrong to use violence.


Marshall Herskovitz, a film producer, tweeted early on Monday morning: "I call upon the Academy, of which I am a member, to take disciplinary action against Will Smith. He disgraced our entire community tonight."


Roger Ross Williams, a black member of the Academy's board of governors, told the Hollywood Reporter that the confrontation drove him to tears because "it reinforces stereotypes about black people and it just hurts me to my core".


Actor Wendell Pierce, whose credits include HBO's The Wire and Treme, said he was hoping for "a public act of contrition" from Smith.


But he pointed out that Rock once produced a documentary on how black hairstyles are tied to identity.


"That film showed an appreciation for Jada's, and Black women's, struggle with the disease of alopecia. The joke did not. It insulted and provoked," he wrote on Twitter.


On social media, some users suggested Smith's actions could have violated the Academy's code of conduct and wondered whether Smith would be asked to return his award for Best Actor, which he collected onstage shortly after slapping Rock.


The code states the Academy is "categorically opposed to any form of abuse, harassment or discrimination", including members acting "in a manner that violates standards of decency".


It also reserves the right for the Academy board to suspend or expel those in violation of the code.


However, Hollywood insiders like actor Whoopi Goldberg have said it is unlikely Smith will lose his award.


"We're not going to take that Oscar from him," she predicted. "There will be consequences I'm sure, but I don't think that's what they're going to do."


Smith earned the award - his first - for his portrayal of Richard Williams, the father of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams, in the film King Richard.


In a tearful acceptance speech, he apologised to his fellow nominees - but not to Rock - and said "love will make you do crazy things".


His wife has previously described hair loss due to her autoimmune disease as "terrifying".


She looked unamused when Rock quipped to her: "Jada, can't wait for GI Jane 2," in an apparent reference to her shaved head and a 1997 film in which the titular character sports a buzz cut.


Moments later, Smith walked on stage and struck Rock before returning to his seat and shouting: "Keep my wife's name out of your [expletive] mouth."


Comic Kathy Griffin said the slap sets a dangerous precedent.


"Now we all have to worry about who wants to be the next Will Smith in comedy clubs and theatres," she wrote.


Rock declined to press charges and has not commented publicly about the slap.


In the moments after the altercation, he quipped that it was probably "the greatest night in the history of television", before presenting the award for best documentary.


With reporting from Regan Morris in Los Angeles

Friday 25 March 2022

Smoke Over London and Gray Flannels / Fumo di Londra

Fumo di Londra (internationally released as Smoke Over London and Gray Flannels) is a 1966 Italian comedy film written, directed and starred by Alberto Sordi.
Dante Fontana is an antique dealer of Perugia, and is infatuated with British culture. But he is always thwarted by his wife and relatives, who see him as a silly dreamer who gets lost in stories rather than doing serious work. But Dante does not lose hope, and plans a vacation to London to learn more about the habits of the British so much that make him mad. However, Dante is hard to settle in, and often makes typical Italian blunders, gaining the scorn of the highly educated and refined British public. After taking part in a fox hunt, Dante is invited by a rich English nobleman who shows him an ancient Etruscan statuette. Dante says that the object is a fake and shatters it. Then chased away by gunfire, Dante takes refuge with a group of young flower children and with them, takes part in a riot. Arrested, Dante is sent back to Italy where he resumes his monotonous work.

Dante Fontana is an antique dealer from Perugia infatuated with the culture of the British upper classes. His wife and relatives mock him and snub him, seeing him as a silly daydreamer doing no serious work. Unfussed, Dante plans a vacation to London to learn more about the culture he so admires. However, once in London, he struggles to fit in, is awkward, often makes mistakes betraying his Italian origins, attracting the scorn of the British upper classes he would like to impress. After taking part in fox hunting, Dante is invited to the house of an English aristocrat and showed a supposedly ancient Etruscan statuette. Dante says the object is fake and breaks it, provoking the angry reaction of the English who open fire on him. Terrified, Dante hides with a group of hippies and joining them in a demonstration. Arrested, Dante is sent back to Italy where he resumes his monotonous routine.

Tuesday 22 March 2022

Mr Rosenblum's List by Natasha Solomons / VIDEO: Books in focus: Natasha Solomons discusses her book Mr Rosenblum's List

Mr Rosenblum’s List




All Jack Rosenblum wants is to be English. He and his wife Sadie, and one-year-old daughter, disembarked at Harwich from Nazi Germany in 1937. In London’s East End he becomes wealthy through the manufacture of carpets, and lives according to rules set out in a pamphlet given to all refugees – 1. Learn English and its correct pronunciation – annotating and expanding the list with his own observations, buying marmalade from Fortnum and Mason, and a bespoke suit from Savile Row. Sadie is at a loss to understand Jack’s obsession, his reverence for Winston Churchill – in spite of being interned during the war – John Betjeman, and the BBC weather forecast. She tries to keep alive Jewish customs and rituals from ‘before’, cherishing her mother’s recipe book, cooking soups, casseroles and cakes that taste of home.


The last item on Jack’s list of Englishness is membership of a golf club. When every club around London turns him down, he relocates to rural Dorset in 1952 to build his own golf course, determined the first game shall be played on the morning of the Queen’s coronation the following year. It is this comic adventure which informs the narrative of the author’s debut novel, inspired by the experience of her grandparents, who settled in Dorset. The recipes are authentic and she has a feel for the rhythms and legends of rural life, threatened by so-called progress, evoking seasons and times of day in luminous prose. Other passages, however, become weighed down with adjectives and adverbs. I did not find the characters engaging, many of them thinly drawn, with the exception of Curtis, the centenarian villager, for some while Jack’s only friend. The pathos and the immigrant experience, the very real desire to belong, often get lost amid comedy and bumpkin stereotypes.


Mr Rosenblum's List by Natasha Solomons

This debut novel offers a subtle portrait of the dilemma of identity faced by immigrants to Britain

Edmund Gordon

Sun 18 Apr 2010 00.06 BST


The publicity people at Sceptre have decided to present this first novel as a whimsical paean to Englishness: it is subtitled "Friendly Guidance for the Aspiring Englishman" and the cover of the hardback edition is dominated by a watercolourish picture of wildflowers, butterflies and a tweedy figure in plus-fours, and a description of the book as "utterly charming". All this creates a somewhat misleading impression. Although the narrative is not altogether free from whimsical elements, they are of marginal importance to what is, at heart, a subtle and moving examination of the dilemma faced by immigrants to modern Britain.


The story follows Jakob Rosenblum, a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany, who arrives in London determined to fit in. Presented with a leaflet entitled "While You Are in England: Helpful Information", he resolves to follow its guidance unswervingly: he gives up speaking German, even to his wife, Sadie, except "at moments of extreme stress"; he refrains from criticising the peculiarities of his adopted country and from expressing any political opinions. But when he is arrested as a "class B enemy alien (possible security risk)", he decides that he must still be doing something wrong.


As soon as he is released, he makes his own list of English characteristics to emulate. The list contains observations such as: "The British housewife makes a purchase of haddock on Friday mornings" and rules such as: "Don't gesture with your hands when talking." With its help, Jack, as Jacob has by now restyled himself, begins to feel that he has lost the imprint of his foreignness.


But when he reaches the final item on his list – "An Englishman must be a member of a golf club" – he finds that despite his careful mimicry of native mannerisms and mores, no club will accept him. The casual antisemitism that prevents Jack from ever feeling at home in Britain is convincingly drawn. As one golf club president says in response to his offer of complimentary carpeting: "They think they can buy their way in anywhere, don't they?"


Sadie, meanwhile, is less keen to relinquish her Jewish identity, and resents her husband's eagerness to do so. She begins keeping a list of her own – "Remember to keep the sabbath, remember to keep the dietary laws" – and cooks exclusively from her mother's recipe book. But these observances only heighten her sense of estrangement and she begins to feel increasingly isolated.


Jack finally decides to build his own golf course in the Dorset countryside and the second half of the novel is dominated by his attempts to do this. It is a curious project and its ultimate value, the narrative suggests, is more in its conception than its execution. In The Knox Brothers, her group biography of her eccentric father and uncles, Penelope Fitzgerald describes "the patient, self-contained, self-imposed pursuit of an entirely personal solution" as the "characteristically English" way to approach a problem. Even if he never quite passes himself off as an English gentleman, Jack's devotion to his "unique and solitary calling" implies a level of assimilation he never knows he has achieved. In its attention to the ways immigrants can become alienated from both their native and their adopted countries, Mr Rosenblum's List has much more to it than the nostalgic vision of Englishness suggested by its cover.

Thursday 17 March 2022

Michele Clapton, the award-winning "The King's Man" costume designer, whose style credits include “The Crown” and “Game Of Thrones” / VIDEO: The King’s Man: Dressing Cinema’s Most Debonair Secret Agents | MR PORTER


“It’s not costumes we’re creating, it’s the authentic outfits. Such is the transformative power of bespoke tailoring; it is undoubtedly what aids the characterization of an actor… but the quality and craftsmanship of these garments are such that it could be worn every day.”

– Campbell Carey Head Cutter & Creative Director, Huntsman


  Huntsman creations for

The King’s Man


Huntsman Creative Director Campbell Carey worked closely with the costume designers to make authentic period outfits for the stars of the latest Kingsman movie. Set in the 1900s, Huntsman’s role in developing the period clothing for the production was pivotal in delivering a film with sartorially integrity and flair! Of all the clothing created, none captures the imagination of the audience more than that of  Conrad, played by Harris Dickinson, and The Duke Of Oxford, played by Ralf Finnes.


 Though these men and their style are polar opposites, a common thread runs through their wardrobe; Huntsman bespoke excellence. Together with Michelle Clapton, Costume designer for the movie, Campbell delved back through the Huntsman archives and discovered cloth, patterns, and styles that were painstakingly replicated for the movie.


Discover mood boards for The Duke of Oxford & Conrad here and see Campbell’s exclusive insight as the tailor to The King’s Man.


The Duke Of Oxford

Ralph Fiennes


Fox flannels and heavy-weight wools and tweed in regimental cut suiting for a wardrobe of tradition and principle.



Harris Dickinson


The latest bespoke styles from Europe and America and innovative Lounge Suits for the young gentleman with sartorial flair!



Michele Clapton, the award-winning "The King's Man" costume designer, whose style credits include “The Crown” and “Game Of Thrones”


By Jessica Bailey



How do you design a retrospective wardrobe, without it feeling old hat? GRAZIA speaks to BAFTA award-winning "The King's Man" costume designer Michele Clapton, whose style credits include “The Crown” and “Game Of Thrones”


The King's Man

Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

The King’s Man – a prequel to 2014’s Kingsman: The Secret Service and 2017’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle – is set during the turbulent years surrounding WWI. Directed by Matthew Vaughn (and with a budget of $100 million), the story centres on an elite British spy, the Duke Of Oxford (played by Ralph Fiennes), who must stop criminal masterminds from carrying out a plot which would destroy humanity.


Costumer Michele Clapton, who won a BAFTA for her designs on the first series of The Crown, had her work cut out for her in The King’s Man: design an Edwardian era wardrobe which reflects the stiff upper lip of London’s Savile Row, and ensures this impeccable tailoring – starchy and heavy by nature – is flexible enough for an action-based picture.


“The weight of the fabrics in that period were really heavy and they really defined the cut of a suit, unlike today where fabrics are so much lighter and you can move around,” says Clapton in a British accent not dissimilar from Emma Thompson’s. In fact, I’m certain she would have been likened to the actress on more than one occasion.


“We also found a lovely Scottish weavist who would weave back catalogue pieces for small amounts, she would sometimes weave us 12 metres, which was great,” Clapton continues. “The fabrics to us were really key to finding our way into the film. There was such wonderful colours and weaves used at that time and to bring that back to a modern audience, I thought, was really exciting.”


GRAZIA: The Crown was based in the years surrounding WW2. Can you speak about the different types of weaves and fabrics that were available, compared with The King’s Man’s WWI setting?


MICHELE CLAPTON: “WWI was a time when women’s clothing really revolutionised, because obviously they had to be much more active, and had to do men’s roles sometimes – and even more so in WW2. But each time, I think the wars moved women’s clothing forward. The skirts shortened, there were less petticoats. The King’s Man was so menswear heavy – we of course have scenes at the Russian ball, and we also designed servants-wear – but on the whole, it was just the weight of the fabrics. We found some old pattern books and they were incredible, there was so much colour! We’re so used to seeing black and white pictures of that time and so we tend to think that it was dull. And it wasn’t at all! A woman’s silhouette during this time was so immense, they had huge shoulders and these really tight collars, it was a very peculiar time… and disproportionate.”


GRAZIA: Films are renowned for giving the costume department tiny budgets. Was there anything in the movie where you thought, ‘I would have done that differently if I had more money’?


CLAPTON: “As [director] Matthew Vaughn is so passionate about clothing, usually you can go to him and plead your case! [Laughs] You always want more money, but he allowed me a lot longer time leading up to filming to research what I might do. People were also really enthusiastic to work on The King’s Man, because I think they know the quality of it, so we got to work with some amazing people who were generous with their time.”


GRAZIA: How long was the lead-up time to filming?


CLAPTON: “I had about four months. I hadn’t worked with Matthew before and that [costumer-director] relationship is so important, especially to someone like him who is so passionate about clothing. It’s really important to try and understand what they want and to bring ideas to them.”


“It’s a period film, and sometimes those shapes are quite hard to accept initially: the very high collars, the very long jackets. Your eye has become accustomed to it and see how that will work to a modern audience.”


GRAZIA: How involved was director Matthew Vaughn in the costume design process?


CLAPTON: “He has to see pretty much everything you do. He allows you the time to do it, but then he really wants to see it. If he doesn’t lie it, he will tell you he doesn’t like it. But he will also change his mind – if he sees something again, he might be like, ‘I actually do like it’. That’s what I liked about him. He doesn’t just say something and then not change his mind to save face. He will actually go, ‘Actually that is good, I’ve got used to it.’ A costume designer is always difficult because you’re sort of always in the middle: You’re dealing with the actors, and then with the director. That’s’ sometimes the hardest part of the job, the dynamic between the actor, director and you. It’s tricky sometimes.”


GRAZIA: What was Ralph Fiennes like to work with?


CLAPTON: “He loves clothing and loves the way it looks. It’s so important for him to find the character. Most actors are involved with Ralph wants to understand why he’s wearing something. It was a really lovely way of working – it’s a lot. I would fit each outfit, then I would plot it, then I would send him pictures of each fitting and plot notes of where I think it should appear in the story so we had this ebb and flow of emotion. Whenever I design, I don’t say, ‘A suit for that, a suit for this’. It’s a wardrobe of clothes. One day on set, we might go, ‘We know we’re going to do the pinstripe suit, but which tie? What mood do we want to say the character is in? How do we weave in the emotion?’ I love it, I’m a storyteller.”


GRAZIA: How does working on a film like The King’s Man compare to working on a television series like The Crown or Game Of Thrones?


CLAPTON: On The Crown, you have more time to tell the story. It was over 10 episodes – so 10 hours – to tell the story. In a funny way, you had time to develop the character, and you can do it more subtlety. On film, you have such a short time to tell the arc of a story and sometimes you do hundreds of costumes, they are just in shot. On a TV show, you spend more time in one room and [the camera, and thus the audience] walk through all the work. A film is an abbreviated story. It’s a small moment in time, told in detail. This film is epic, I love the scale of it. I think you need to be stronger with your costume choices because you won’t see them for so long and they need to tell the story so much more quickly and succinctly.”


GRAZIA: What was Gemma Arterton like to work with?


CLAPTON: “She was divine. When we first met, we sat down to discuss the character and I showed her moodboards about where we might go with it. We just bonded straight away. The ideas we had just fitted so well with how she saw the character; the structure of these costumes, the silhouettes. She also has this wonderful way of standing which, as a costume designer, is a dream frankly. She just engages and inhabits the costumes she’s given.”


GRAZIA: On any project, things don’t always turn out the way we initially anticipated. Was there a scene or a piece that worked out even better on screen than you imagined?


CLAPTON: A piece I love was a piece we made. An oiled little biker’s jacket that Conrad arrives at Sandhurst in. I loved the fact that it was blood red and pre-empted the story that was about to happen – the desolation, the damage – and I thought it was just the perfect tone. The props department put two little cases on that back of his back and I thought that was perfect. It sort of underscored that he was leaving.”


GRAZIA: Do you have a favourite scene that GRAZIA readers/viewers can look out for?


CLAPTON: “I loved the Russian ball. I love when Rasputan [played by Rhys Ifans] and his two female cohorts walk in and scan around the room. That was a really fun to design for. There was a lot of balls in Russia where they dressed up in traditional Russian headpieces. It was slightly fantastical, which was exactly what happened back then. We made these metal headpieces, and pretty much all of the costumes in the room. It was so satisfying.”


GRAZIA: You should release that entire ballgown line on the runway…


CLAPTON: “We could all wonder around in fantasy Russian costumes. It would be rather fantastic, wouldn’t it? [Laughs]”

Sunday 13 March 2022

REMEMBERING : Glasgow School of Art devastated by huge fire in famed Mackintosh Building / Rebuilding the Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh building as a “faithful reinstatement” of the one destroyed by fire three years ago is the preferred option for its future, art school chiefs have said.

Glasgow School of Art's Mackintosh rebuild chosen as preferred option, but work may take six years to start

Rebuilding the Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh building as a “faithful reinstatement” of the one destroyed by fire three years ago is the preferred option for its future, art school chiefs have said.


By Lucinda Cameron

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 2:27 pm


The world-renowned building, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, was extensively damaged when a fire broke out late on June 15, 2018 as it neared the end of a £35 million restoration project following a previous fire in May 2014.


A strategic outline business case (SOBC) for the Mackintosh Project, which involved a rigorous analysis of the options for the building, was carried out and narrowed down to create a short list of deliverable ones – faithful reinstatement, hybrid and new build – which were further tested against a “do minimum” option.


2018 fire

A large fire broke out in the Mackintosh Building on 15 June 2018, causing extensive damage. The fire also caused severe damage to the nearby O2 ABC music venue.[25] Emergency services received the first call at 11:19 pm BST, and 120 firefighters and 20 fire engines were dispatched to the fire. No casualties were reported. As of January 2022 the cause of the fire was not known.


Alan Dunlop, visiting professor of architecture at Robert Gordon University who studied at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, was contacted by the press immediately after the fire and stated: "I can’t see any restoration possible for the building itself. It looks totally destroyed." This point of view was not supported by the early external building surveys, which appeared to indicate that much of the exterior had survived, though extensively damaged. Drone footage enabled a clearer assessment of the extent of the interior damage, and a programme of partial dismantling was established to stabilise the portions of the facade at risk of collapse, notably the south elevation.

A Glasgow City Council spokesperson said: "There is a consensus emerging that the intention of the building control people, HES (Historic Environment Scotland) people and the art school is to save the building... Right now, people are operating on the understanding it will be saveable." It was also noted by Roger Billcliffe that "It has been voted Britain’s most important building several times over, and we have all of the information needed to recreate every detail, following extensive laser surveys after the first fire."


The first opportunity for the school administration to visit the site happened on 19 June 2018. Muriel Gray, chair of the Board of Governors, stated: "This was the first opportunity for the expert team to see the building and begin what will be a long and complex process of determining the future of the Mack, but we remain optimistic. There is a huge desire to see Mackintosh’s masterpiece rise again, one which we all share. We have incredibly detailed information on the building collated over the last 4 years, and have worked with teams of talented craftspeople who were doing a tremendous job on the restoration." In a subsequent statement to the BBC, Professor Tom Inns, director of the school, affirmed that "This building is not beyond saving. It will be saved in some form." He continued to support his firm belief that the building should continue in its function as a working art school, rather than a museum.


On 28 June 2018 it was announced that work was being planned to take down parts of the building that were in danger of collapse. Compensation for local residents and businesses was to be made available by the Scottish Government.


The same day, Glasgow School of Art terminated its £25 million restoration contract with Kier Group following the fire.


In November 2018, the then Director, Tom Inns wrote to the Scottish Parliament Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee suggesting that if the Mackintosh Building was to be rebuilt then an independent Mackintosh Building Trust should be established to oversee what will be one of Scotland's biggest heritage projects over the next 5–7 years, costing in excess of £100 million. Tom Inns suggested this would allow the GSA Board of Governors and Executive team to focus on the task of running one of the world's top art schools.


At the time of the fire, sprinklers had yet to be installed in the building. Components for the fire suppression system had been delivered the day before, but were weeks away from assembly and testing.


In August 2020, Glasgow School of Art took legal action against Page\Park Architects, the Glasgow-based architectural practice responsible for the Mackintosh Building restoration work.


Between August 2018 and July 2020 over £12 million had been spent on Mackintosh Building debris clearance and stabilisation work.


In November 2020, Glasgow School of Art announced that work to clear debris from the Mackintosh Building would not be completed until 2021 and that work to repair fire damaged glazing and cladding on the Reid Building would not be completed until 2022.


In March 2021, the Board of Glasgow School of Art announced that a Project Development Board had been established for the restoration of the Mackintosh Building. This is chaired by the Director of the Art School who has assumed the role of project sponsor, is leading the works and is directly responsible for delivery. A Strategic Outline Business Case for the restoration was due to be drafted by late spring 2021 and completed by summer 2021. This would determine the programme to complete the works.


On the 25th of January 2022, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service published the results of their three and a half year investigation in to the cause of the fire. No cause could be determined.



This article was published in September 2017 referring to the restoration after the fire of 2014 and before the total destruction with the fire of 2018


How do you recreate a masterpiece like the Mackintosh Library?

By Steven Brocklehurst

BBC Scotland news website

Published 8 September 2017


The Mackintosh library at Glasgow School of Art, one of the world's finest examples of art nouveau design, was almost entirely destroyed by fire in May 2014 but efforts began almost immediately to bring it back to life.


The Category A-listed Glasgow School of Art (GSA), considered to be Charles Rennie Mackintosh's masterpiece building, was devastated when a fire engulfed its west wing three years ago.


Undated handout photo of a full-size model of a section of the fire-gutted Mackintosh Library, which has been unveiled as work continues to restore the building to its original 1910 design.


The library, which housed original furniture and fittings designed by Mackintosh as well as valuable archives, was reduced to blackened rubble.


But those running the famous art school pledged the library would be recreated exactly as the genius architect and designer had handed it over in 1910.


Professor Tom Inns, director of The GSA, said: "From the outset we said that we would restore the building and restore it well."


In order to do that they have gone to great lengths to recreate every detail of the original library.


They have now produced a full-size prototype of a section of the library.


It is just one section and is about one-twelfth of the actual size of the library but its makers says it is correct in every detail.


Natalia Burakowska, of Page Park architects, is an expert in the restoration of cultural heritage.


She has carried two years of painstaking research to prepare the ground for the prototype.


"We spent endless amounts of hours in the building measuring the burnt bits," she says.


"This has been really important to us because even if you have amazing technology in place it is still the personal contact with the remains of the library that has been an amazing, valuable and important experience for us."


Ms Burakowska also studied the original Mackintosh plans and the enormous GSA archive, as well as photos from students and graduates.


She says the details are faithful to Mackintosh's original library right down to using the same nails as him.


They were originally made in Glasgow but that firm closed down and sold the machinery to the United States.


So the nails have been brought from the US.


"A lot of people ask us why would you not just screw all of the timbers together?" Ms Burakowska says.


"What is important is for this room to age in exactly the same manner as it would age from 1910 onwards. That is really important."

Specialist woodworkers Laurence McIntosh were responsible for building the prototype.


Managing director David Macdonald said using the same nails as the original added to the "authenticity" of the recreation.


He said: "Every section has been detailed to show precisely the angle of the nails, how far the nail head is punched in, how it is filled, the exact length of the nail, so it is really important how the structure is held together.


"There is no glue. There are very few screws used in the construction. It is all nails that are holding it together and traditional hand-made dowels. It's all completely authentic."


Mr Macdonald said it was very unusual to make a full size prototype but it had helped identify the pitfalls before the library is recreated for real on-site at the famous Glasgow School of Art building next year.


He said: "The critical brief was to reconstruct the library as it was handed over in 1910.


"So everything has to match precisely what was done by the Mackintosh tradesmen, in every aspect from the timber used, the fixings, the nails, the finish, the carvings and the paint effects on the spindles. It has all had to be precisely replicated."


Although the library prototype has been created with great care and accuracy, comparison between it and pictures of the Mackintosh before it burnt down reveal they are completely different colours.


Ms Burakowska says this is because the wood in the library aged and became darker as it was used over 100 years.


"It is much lighter than everyone remembers but this is how Mackintosh would see it in 1910," she says.


"It is a reconstruction of the original Mackintosh library so it feels new and there is no way we can change that."


There was some debate about the kind of wood that was used by Mackintosh in the library.


Ms Burakowska says: "Our first thought was that it would probably be built using Kauri Pine then we found some documents in our archives saying the library could be built in Cypress.


"But then scientific analysis of the timber proved that it is actually Tulip wood.


"It is one of the softest hard woods and had been imported from the United States."


She says she hopes it gains a new layer of patina through use, making it darker in the same way as the old library.


The Board Room of the GSA was also built in American Tulip Wood and it has provided a "great example of the kind of finish used in the library".


Prof Tom Inns says the creation of the prototype is an "incredibly important day for Glasgow School of Art".


He said it was a "moving" reminder of what the library was like before the devastating fire.


The GSA hope to begin installing the library on-site next spring.


As for the prototype - they hope it can go on public display - to show the craft and effort required to bring a masterwork back to life.

This article is more than 6 years old. It was published in 2015 referring to the restoration after the fire of 2014 and before the total destruction with the fire of 2018

Architecture and design blog


 This article is more than 6 years old

Things we found in the fire: Glasgow School of Art’s restoration brings surprises

Glasgow School of Art restoration works

From weird relics to oak columns made of cheap pine, the rebuilding of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s library has unearthed some secrets. But will the replica leave it looking like a cheap kitchen?


Oliver Wainwright


Mon 20 Apr 2015 14.02 BST


A Roman sentry stands watch with a look of panic, as fireballs crash down around him and bodies lie strewn among the rubble in the last moments of Pompeii. The scene, depicted in Edward Poynter’s painting, Faithful unto Death, is still legible on a scorched postcard pulled from behind the charred remains of wooden panelling in the Glasgow School of Art last week. It was found clinging for safety with a newspaper cutting from 1909, the year the building opened – and it couldn’t be more apt. Standing in the burned-out wreck of the renowned Mackintosh library, where the symphony of cabinetry has been reduced to blackened brick walls and a few charcoal stumps, it looks as if Vesuvius could easily have erupted.


Almost one year after flames engulfed Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s masterpiece, destroying students’ work moments before the degree show and leaving the world’s architectural community speechless, as if they had lost a dear old friend, work has just begun on the problem of how to rebuild it. Half of the building survived unscathed, but the rest will require repair. However, the biggest question hangs over what should become of the hallowed gem of the library, regarded by many as one of the most important interiors of the 20th century – which the school has vowed to rebuild exactly as it was. The eyes of the world are watching: even Brad Pitt has been roped in as a fundraising ambassador, to help reach the £35m target.


“It’s like dealing with a precious text,” says David Page of Page\Park architects, the conservation practice charged with the daunting task of reconstruction, as he stands in hard hat and high-vis, a fluorescent sliver of hope in the blackened scene. “This was Mackintosh speaking to the world. Now we need to piece his message back together.”


The months since the blaze have seen a healthy and heated debate, staged in public forums and the press, on the right way forward. Some camps see a duty to rebuild an exact replica; others believe such an act to be a Disney-like betrayal of an architect who himself was radically modern.


“[Mackintosh] was driven by a lifelong search for new forms in architecture and technology and was never a copyist,” says Alan Dunlop, a Mack alumnus and professor of architecture at Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University. “I have no doubt that he would reject the approach of building a replica.”


Julian Harrap, the conservation architect responsible for the acclaimed reconstruction Neues Museum in Berlin with David Chipperfield, which favoured a measured combination of restoration and bold new insertion, also thinks now is the time for bravery.


“The Mack really has to be bold because the library was not properly being used in the years running up to the fire,” he said. “The institution needs a vision for how the library can once again become a symbol of Mackintosh and of the city, and I believe that involves avoiding simplicity and avoiding the idea of a replica.”


Anyone who visited the building as a tourist might have felt uneasy as the sacred library was opened up for the tour, then swiftly locked shut after they left. Indeed, even students were only allowed into the holy of holies for half-a-day a week. This sense of preciousness has already infected the new studio building across the street, where students have been told not to affix anything to the gleaming white walls, in order to keep architect’s “driven void” light-wells sacrosanct. They’ve retorted with a bold poster campaign: “Steven Holl’s perpetually blank canvas: who are we preserving this space for?”


However the famous library is rebuilt, will it ever be more than a shrine to the ghost of Mackintosh? Tom Inns, the school’s director, is unclear of its future role. “It had gone beyond a library,” he says. “We now have a functioning library elsewhere, so the space will be used as a vessel for creativity – for students, but also for the many other public audiences the art school caters to.” And will the door still be locked? “The key was lost in the fire,” he says, “and we might not put it back.”


He is adamant that they are determined to rebuild the structure as faithfully as possible to the original. It is the right thing to do – particularly because, remarkably, all the information required to do so exists. Luckily for the architects, the library was one of the most documented spaces in history, with original construction drawings, a complete set of measured drawings taken in the early 1990s and countless photographs, including the Guardian’s own 360-degree interactive panorama. But despite the thorough records, the fire revealed a number of surprises.


“With Mackintosh, you expect it to be amazing craftsmanship,” says Page. “We had always assumed, for example, that the great timber columns holding up the mezzanine, which really defined the room, were carved from single pieces of oak. But the fire has shown them to be nailed together from a few lengths of pine, then covered with a thin facing plate.”


“It’s basically like a shop fit-out,” says Ranald McInnes, head of heritage management at Historic Scotland, picking at the charred nails that now protrude from these black stumps. The Kauri pine, from which the columns were built, was a cheap ballast material, he says, brought back in boats from New Zealand and readily available at the Glasgow shipyards. It has since become a protected species, so there are now questions over what to use instead. Wouldn’t Mack’s joiners just head to the nearest builders’ merchants and see what was going cheap?


It’s not quite so simple. The genius of the School of Art, and many of Mackintosh’s other works, is the combination of off-the-peg materials with things that have been exquisitely crafted. On the one hand, he specified timber “from the saw” and plaster “from the float”, while on the other he was constantly on site, breathing down his workers’ necks, insisting that the ends of steel beams be carefully stripped and twisted into impossibly elaborate decorative curls. As project manager Liz Davidson puts it: “He was a magician. He created magic out of base materials.”


So can the magic be restored? In their entry to the competition, Page\Park undertook a forensic deconstruction of a single bay of the library, examining every joint and unpicking the tricks of structure and ornament that Mackintosh deployed. They’re confident they can remake it all. But there are questions about the finish. Photographs from 1909 show a much lighter tint to the wood than the dark treacly stain most will remember. If it’s rebuilt anew, it could have all the atmosphere of a freshly fitted MFI kitchen.


“It will feel new, but the patina will come with use,” insists Page. “We have to build up from the base blocks – strip it back and then allow the clutter to develop. We shouldn’t force it into the image that we remember.”


And what we remember isn’t necessarily what Mackintosh intended. The great vertical windows, for example, which run up the western elevation like a trio of crystal chimneys, were replaced in 1947. Mackintosh had designed horizontal casements with a more Japanese feel – so which is the more “truthful” to restore? Similarly, his vision for the whole school was never completed. There are a couple of empty niches in the entrance, where others are filled with decorative mosaic; is now the time to fill them in? Such questions remain to be answered.


The inferno, for all its horrendous destruction, has also provided an opportunity. The fire suppression system – which was tragically almost complete before the blaze, but delayed by the discovery of asbestos – will be finished, along with services threaded through newly exposed ducts and voids. The notoriously leaky north-light studio windows, ravaged by the flames, will be replaced with versions that hopefully keep out the drips.


But above all, the school should have the confidence to reinvigorate the building as what it was always meant to be: a working art school. Muriel Gray, chair of the board of governors (who has vowed that her first act will be to re-carve the naughty graffiti she engraved into the library woodwork as a student) has stated that the school of art “will die if it becomes a museum”. And Liz Davidson is frank. “We’re going to rebuild it all with extreme care,” she says, “then hand it over to the students to treat with extreme irreverence.”