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FKA twigs Ed Marler baroque clothing home with you video

FKA twigs and designer Ed Marler are bringing baroque back

The former Fashion East designer discusses the ostentatious, avant-garde looks he created for ‘home with you’, as well as the inspiration behind them

There is nothing understated about Ed Marler’s clothes. The former Fashion East designer revels in the ostentatious, has a penchant for crowns, and admits he’s a sucker for dressing up at every given opportunity – in Marler’s eyes, the words ‘dressing down’ seemingly don’t exist, and his world is all the more beautiful for it.  

Growing up in Buckinghamshire, Marler explains he was aware of fashion’s power and its ability to transform from a young age, as he watched his mum get dressed up for a night out. “I’d see how good it made her feel when she was done up,” he remembers. “But it wasn’t until I was much older that I could use clothes myself, as either a way to fit in or purposely do the opposite.” 

Also fully aware of the ways in which clothes can serve to tell a story is FKA twigs, who Marler has been helping to bring to life the 2019 iteration of Mary Magdalene. Having dressed her for 2019 MTV VMAs and the video for “Cellophane”, Marler once again joins forces with twigs on her beautiful new video “home with you”. As taken from upcoming album Magdalene, the track’s visuals see twigs journey from a basement club in Dalston, out of the city and into the country – where she wades through a tree-lined river – in a series of avant-garde, regal-looking gowns (if you haven’t seen it by now, watch it immediately). 

What’s evident when seeing twigs’ and Marler’s work is how each has a character in mind when it comes to approaching either a music video or a collection. “Recently it’s twigs, and different incarnations of who she is, and the different sides of her personality, but inspiration comes from history, or films, or pop culture, or just the ways that people dress day-to-day. ” the designer confirms. “Things that are mundane mixed with something regal. I think people think I’m away with the fairies all the time but what interests me is something completely extraordinary that’s grounded by something everyday. I have to feed my brain with images all the time for that to happen, though, and then it just clicks when I least expect it, like when I’m watching EastEnders or something.” Non-fiction reference books “about renaissance armour, or whatever I’m into at that moment” are also a point of reference.

When it came to “home with you” specifically, twigs and Marler discussed ‘two opposite worlds colliding’, and how she knew that at one point she wanted to run in a big, white dress. According to the designer, she was heavily into The Handmaid’s Tale when the video was filmed over a year ago. “We made the first look feel quite baroque and gaudy so the second one would be a complete contrast. I wanted her to look really overdressed because she was clearly bored and wanted to be somewhere else, so it made sense.” he says. The white, almost virginal dress, meanwhile, was inspired by Edwardian bloomers and petticoats: “Like Picnic at Hanging Rock, but really exaggerated. But everyone thinks it was inspired by Midsommar, which I hadn’t heard of until people started commenting on it on Instagram. It looks like something I need to watch.” 

Elsewhere, Marler explains he hopes to work more with Theo Adams, who directed the performances in the “home with you” video, and eventually would love to stage his own fashion show in collaborations with Adams and twigs. “I’d also love to make something for Shirley Bassey, but I don’t think I’m really her thing,” he laughs.

One thing that seems certain, though, is that twigs and Marler will continue building their own fantasy world, where billowing baroque ball-gowns don’t look out of place sweeping along Kingsland Road’s litter-strewn pavements. “My partner Matthew (Josephs) is her stylist and creative director, so working together was just a natural thing really. I can’t help but stick my nose in, so they probably don’t have a choice really!”