Glorious Gwendoline Christie
Your Premiere Source for All Things Gwendoline Christie
Barnaby Roper’s otherworldly portrait of the Game of Thrones star
NOWNESS – British actor Gwendoline Christie is a model modern woman—taking on strong female roles including warrior Brienne of Tarth in HBO’s Game of Thrones, and Captain Phasma in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. She has also played the muse for fashion designers including Vivienne Westwood and Giles Deacon. In a new collaboration with technophile director Barnaby Roper, the towering beauty finds herself in a dark, digitally rendered alien landscape, entangled in unearthly garments created by Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen. Here, Roper talks about the process for creating the “dress of the future”:
“I wanted to explore the idea of a morphing virtual dress, and after meeting Iris I quickly understood that her designers are organic, their structures taken from nature. So despite the film being very heavy in post-production, the texture of the garment had to be fluid and feel like it was from nature. I wanted to show the dress of the future—to have it literally growing out of the ground.
“The texture of the garment had to be fluid and feel like it was from nature”
“All my films start with the basics: the subject, the environment and the way of shooting are all very traditional, but with each film I try to explore new ways of seeing by using a mixture of new and established values and crafts—lighting is a craft, editing is a craft, acting is a craft. Then I add layers to create my own vision.’
Dutch couturier Iris van Herpen’s shows often border on art installations – remember the vacuum packed models of AW14? This season, the designer’s Paris Fashion Week show starred Game of Thrones and soon to be Star Wars actress Gwendoline Christie who lay – apparently asleep – on a concrete round table set in the middle of the show venue.
Christie wore a dress which was being woven upon her, mixing several different techniques including laser cutting, hand weaving and 3D printing. She was flanked by three sculptures or “beings” made Jólan van der Wiel who (somehow) grew them using magnets.
“(Her) work reveals the secret structures of our existence giving us a multidimensional experience of what it is to be alive,” said Christie, commenting on the designer’s contribution to fashion, “It is an investigation into the past, present and future in all its primal and mythological forms.”
While Christie’s appearance in the show received a lot of attention on social media, it is by no means the actress’s first foray into the fashion; she modelled in Vivienne WestwoodGold Label’s show last season, following it up with a campaign for the brand shot by Juergen Teller.
As for the collection itself, it was (as usual) futuristic verging on science fictional. Starring SS16 breakout star Ruth Bell and Dazed cover girl Molly Bair, the show saw models teetering on “airborne” shoes which gave the illusion of the models floating above the ground.
With our Game of Thrones withdrawal symptoms at an all time high (Just how could the series end like that? WILL WE EVER BE THE SAME AGAIN?) we are eternally grateful to Vivienne Westwood for today releasing images of Gwendoline Christie – aka Brienne of Tarth aka the baddest-but-softest character on GoT – in the as-to-be-expected loco autumn/winter 2015 campaign.
Following a Vivienne Westwood catwalk turn (well, actually two to be precise) in Paris this past March, Gwendoline has cemented her relationship with not only the Queen of Punk but her place in the fashion business, too. The ice blonde babe has long been adored by designers – often showcasing the anarchic eveningwear of Giles Deacon, when she isn’t hitting up the red carpet in prints from Peter Pilotto, dramatic satin from Jean Paul Gaultier or something short’n’sweet from Ralph Lauren, but this Juergen Teller-lensed gig marks a major point in her trajectory: previous campaign stars are as varied and fascinating as Pamela Anderson and Kate Moss.
‘I am so proud to be part of Vivienne Westwood’s A/W 15 campaign. I have admired Vivienne ever since I can remember for her revolutionary mind and exquisitely rebellious design…’ says Gwendoline. ‘I love the ‘UNISEX’ theme of this collection. It is so relevant for Vivienne Westwood to reassert their activist mindset and create a collection that takes us beyond our current gender stereotypes with beauty and intelligence.’
This Westwood collection is precisely on point when considering fashion and the wider world’s new and welcome openmindedness when it comes to the specifications of gender – and the wardrobe that comes with. Vivienne Westwood explains the Unisex concept, ‘Trousers for women, yes! Dresses for men, the same dresses that women wear? Do that! It takes a lot of trial and error. Dresses without a woman’s waist! But then you, the woman, look like a king or queen (from history or a parallel universe) – you the man look like a king or a queen! We love the change in proportion: the big shoulders give a small head- it’s so sexual because it’s new, it makes you look at the person from outside, it’s all so sexual because we’re looking at people with new eyes.’
Gwendoline Christie, who plays The Game of Thrones only female knight Brienne of Tarth, has been cast in Vivienne Westwood’s AW15 campaign. Christie is also slated to play Captain Phasma in the upcoming (and hotly anticipated) new Star Wars film. Here, the 6’2” actress is shot by Juergen Teller, alongside actor/model/death metal drummer Leebo Freeman.
This isn’t Christie’s first foray into fashion – she walked in Westwood’s Gold Label AW15 show at Paris Fashion Week earlier this year, trading in her GoT uniform of heavy chainmail for a grey suit, black overcoat and giant hat.
“I met Gwendoline at our Red Label show in London,” explained the designer. “At the time we were planning our next Gold Label AW15 show – which was all about unisex! In this collection the same suit can be worn by a man and a woman, then I realised Gwendoline would be perfect, so I asked her to do it. When I asked her to be in the show, as well as the campaign, we got to know each other. She is a really interesting woman.”
Dame Westwood is clearly a fan of American TV stars, having also cast Breaking Bad’s Walt Jr (RJ Mitte) in her Gold Label AW15 show.
Gwendoline Christie for Vivienne Westwood’s AW15 campaign Photography Juergen Teller