The huge popularity of historical war films is set to continue early in 2018 with the release of World War II drama, the Darkest Hour. Once again, Winston Churchill is centre stage as we see Hitler close in on Britain during the early years of the conflict.
Historical accuracy is central to these period productions, no more so than in how the main characters are dressed, so it was no surprise that director Joe Wright and costume designer Jacqueline Durran turned to Henry Poole & Co, the real-life tailor to Churchill, to make sure everything was correct.
“We at Henry Poole were honoured to be entrusted with creating suits for Gary Oldman and Ben Mendelsohn, who play Churchill and King George VI respectively,” said the firm’s MD, Simon Cundey. “Just as the former Prime Minister had regular fittings at Henry Poole & Co, we also fitted his on-stage character Gary Oldman on set during rehearsals.”
Oldman wears a dark grey flannelled chalk stripe suit and what might be described as a “lounge morning suit”, while Mendelsohn wears a double-breasted lounge suit in mid blue worsted and a royal Naval undress uniform as an Admiral of the Fleet. The cloths used are exclusively sourced in Britain with Oldman’s and Mendelsohn’s bespoke attire cut in the period correct manner.
Simon adds: “The Churchill Chalk Stripe flannel, which we made especially for Churchill in 1936, is still one of our House exclusive Hall of Fame fabrics and is still manufactured by Fox Brothers, as it was back then, exclusively for Henry Poole.”