The Fashion East designer talks casting his mates, shooting at The George and Dragon and why the Beckhams are the alternative royal family
In a flamboyant nod to the likes of Del Boy and Lady Di, this season CSM grad Ed Marler celebrated typical working class British culture for his second collection with Fashion East. The king of kitsch presented a concoction of outlandish leopard print, embroidered flat caps and Victoriana corsets for a wonderfully OTT homage to his home country. To commemorate the launch of his AW15 lookbook, shot at the beloved Shoreditch pub The George and Dragon and starring his mates (and his mum’s chihuahua Rocco), Marler discusses his favourite nights out, Britain’s alternative royal family, and casting his no-nonsense pals who might just spit in your pint.
What was the concept behind the lookbook?
Ed Marler: I love going to pubs, my dad loves going to pubs and my granddad loves going to pubs. A pub is the place the characters in my show would go to.
Why did you choose The George and Dragon?
Ed Marler: It’s the pub that me and all of my friends always go to so it seemed like the obvious choice. I asked Liliana who runs it and she was more than happy for us to shoot there. I suppose it was all about tying in my own lifestyle and community.
What’s the best night out you’ve had there?
Ed Marler: I’ve had so many they all almost merge into one, however me and Matthew Josephs DJ-ed straight after he’d styled the last Sibling menswear show and Daniel Sallstrom helped us DJ too. They did a Garage set – Cozette McCreery and everyone came too, so it turned into the unofficial Sibling after party. I also love it when Matthew goes in drag because he looks pretty.
After your show you said: “Everyone was a separate character, I told them to just have fun with it.” Can you talk us through some of the characters in the lookbook?
Ed Marler: Well, Reba Maybury was the queen of The George because that’s who she thinks she is when she’s dancing on the infamous barrel. Angel Rose was the sexy boss bitch barmaid, she’s got a bit of an attitude problem but really she’s a nice girl – she might spit in your drink though… Itunu Oke was just this sweet, innocent girl who acts like an angel in between everyone else’s debauchery. Kate Iorga was the regular punter who comes in everyday, the first in and the last out always striking a pose in the corner. And Owen Mooney was my take on the typical lad down the pub.
Why did you cast your friends?
Ed Marler: Models cost a lot of money which I don’t have and I thought it would put more life into the clothes. With this collection the clothes needed their own identity.
Who are your ultimate British icons?
Ed Marler: The Beckhams because they are nice family people, David is a talented sportsman and Victoria is an ambitious business woman. To me they are kind of like an alternative royal family.
Photography Liam Warwick; styling Matthew Josephs; hair Kota Suizu; make-up Daniel Sallstrom; models Angel Rose, Reba Maybury, Kate Iorga, Owen Mooney, Itunu Oke and Rocco the dog; special thanks Liliana at The George and Dragon