Sometimes the costuming of a film influences fashion. A consequential by-product of the film in question, fans piece together versions of those costumes and adopt their style. They’re inspired by a character; they want to become that character. David Fincher’s soon to be released The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo does it knowingly.
As I speculated when the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for H&M collection was first announced, the costuming looks to deviate from the way it’s described in Stieg Larsson’s books; and we can only guess there was some commercial drive to this.
If George Lucas created the Ewoks and Jar Jar Binks with a nod towards selling toys, Dragon Tattoo, perhaps, let its costume be influenced by the fact that a generation of teens and twenty-somethings would walk away wanting to be Lisbeth Salander.
Costume designer Trish Summerville’s collaboration with H&M makes that easy. There’s no need to go hunt down a worn-in leather jacker or pair of motorcycle pants; Salander’s style is as accessible as heading to your local H&M. There is something mildly revolutionary about this. It’s not licensed merchandise, it’s not a collection by a particular designer who was simply inspired by the film. While often designer goods get product placement in films and then, perhaps, released as special editions by that designer – for example in the way that an Omega watch or Tom Ford suit from a James Bond film might be – this is something different. It’s a subtle alignment with the character and the film, without being the exact product placed in the film, without being emblazoned with branding.
It’s in many ways the equivalent of a designer doing a collaboration with a high street store: a commercial, accessible version of a less accessible (or in this case, to the public, inaccessible) product.
If the capsule does well (and there’s no reason it shouldn’t) we can only anticipate that future films will make the same attempt. Especially now that the designer-high street collaborations are tiring from their marathon run.
You can now view all of the pieces in the H&M Dragon Tattoo collection by clicking on the gallery above.