06/01/12 - 0 Comments
Designer Snail Mail: Great British Fashion Stamp Set
Ladies and gents of the UK, it’s time to send your friends a letter. Yes, we’re talking snail mail, not an email or a text. We know, it will take a day or two to reach them, but trust us, you’ll be starting a postal trend. With the May 15 release of the Great British Fashion Stamp Set, the UK has made this dated form of communication haute couture. For the moment, sending an email is so last season.
These tiny postage masterpieces are the work of a very talented team in honor of the upcoming London Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. They’d have to be, since these stamps represent ten of Britain’s top designers. Ossie Clark, Jean Muir, Zandra Rhodes, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Granny Takes a Trip, Norman Hartnell, Tommy Nutter and Hardy Amies are each featured in the collection. Let’s be honest, with names like these on the stamp, your letters can’t help but be glamourous.
Together Michael Johnson, creative director of London-based graphic design company Johnson Banks, and world-renowned photographer Sølve Sundsbø came up with stunning depictions of each iconic designer. With an intense background in fashion photography, this type of excellence is something we’ve come to expect from Sundsbø’s work. His resume (if he were to ever need one) includes photoshoots for Italian Vogue, The New York Times and W Magazine. Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Hermès, Armani, Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint Laurent are also advertisers all on Sundsbø’s client list.
The process of creating the stamps was far from simple, according to Johnson. ”It’s hard to make clothes look interesting if no one’s wearing them,” Johnson said in an interview with British Vogue. These stamps, however, and the intricate designs which grace them, are anything but dull.
To photograph the clothes, Sundsbø and Johnson used models, giving the stamps and the designs they feature an incredibly lifelike look. The models, however, were later photoshopped out of the stamp, leaving only a white silhouette where their bodies had been. The effect, though fashionably eerie, was the design team’s brilliant solution to the problem posed by celebrity. Before starting the project, Johnson did his homework. “There’s a great photo of Ringo Starr wearing a classic Tommy Nutter suit in the seventies, but you just think, “there’s a great photo of Ringo” and don’t look at the suit,” said Johnson in the British Vogue interview. By removing the models, Johnson and Sundsbø avoided this problem altogether. Pure fashion is what makes these stamps purely fashionable.
So, how do you get your hands on a stamp featuring Alexander McQueen’s duck feather dress from his Autumn/Winter 2009 Horn of Plenty collection, or Vivienne Westwood’s Harlequin outfit worn by Naomi Campbell in 1993? Actually, you have a lot of options. The simplest and most basic package includes the ten stamps featured in the Great British Fashion Stamp Set collection. Online at the Royal Mail’s website, buying these ten stamps will only cost you £6 (around $9). For a more detailed collection, the Great British Fashion Presentation Pack is a great option. Here, you get all ten stamps plus an illustrated history of British fashion written by Amy de la Haye, a professor at the London College of Fashion. Even better, this package is just £6.50 (around $10), practically the same price as buying the stamps themselves.
If you’re looking to display the stamps as art rather than send them on a letter, the Royal Mail also offers the stamps pre-framed. With the Great British Fashion Framed Stamps set, the stamps come tastefully displayed against an off-white background in a black ash-effect frame. For £25 (around $39), you can buy these stamps ready to hang on your wall. If stamps really aren’t your thing but you still really want to get your hands on these iconic prints, we recommend buying the postcards, priced at £4.50 (around $7) on the Royal Mail’s website.
Whether you’re buying for yourself or for a letter you plan on sending or, better yet, if you’re buying an elegant postcard to mail with these designer stamps–it’s high time you made your way down to the Post Office to catch a glimpse of these mini-masterpieces. British mail never looked so fashionable. Electronic communication, step aside – the best of the UK fashion industry have officially gone postal.