Lynden’s Ear for Fashion: Nick Knight, Ruth Hogben and Darren Berry


Last September 2012 Philip Treacy presented a star studded show at London Fashion Week. Black models strutted in iconic outfits from Michael Jackson’s stage wardrobe coupled with Treacy’s phenomenal head-pieces. ‘Hatstand’ by Nick Knight and Ruth Hogben, is a striking film supporting the collection whereby nifty editing and choreography manage to effortlessly link African tribal dance through to Michael Jackson. The dance makes me think of Chunk by Archie Bronson Outfit. The director Leo Scott went on holiday in Gambia – a random guy heard the song which gave way to an impromptu never-ending dance session defying all laws of cinematography but conveying pure go with the flow joy.

In ‘Hatstand’ – Grace Bol looks like she’s really having a good time too. It would be way too distracting (and probably expensive) to put an actual Jacko track on the film. I worry that the final soundtrack is a little bit lost midway, slightly overwhelmed by the vibrancy of the action, but it still compliments the movement. The sound links subtly and intelligently to African roots before giving a nod and a thrust to a tentatively whispered (don’t let the music publisher find out) beat boxed ‘Billie Jean’– which for me is the stroke of genius within the piece (though I wonder – was she originally dancing to Billie Jean and budget forced them to go to sound design?). Ultimately this fun yet stylish film makes those crazy caps look seriously tempting and Michael Jackson’s African-American derivation is posthumously confirmed.

Lynden Campbell is the Head of Syncronisation at Domino Recording and Domino Publishing companies. Read more from Lynden on her daily blog for Domino.


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