We at Henry Poole & Co send our congratulations to the Oscar winners and nominees from the movie ‘The Darkest Hour’. We were so happy to create costumes for both Gary Oldman and Ben Mendelsohn. Working with Costume designer Jaqueline Durran and her assistant Andrea Cripps, our Directors, Keith Levett-an expert himself in Costume history, Simon Cundey and Vice Chairman Philip Parker were given broad guidance as to what Joe Wright wanted in terms of colour. Keith scoured the internet for images of both Churchill and King George VI, so as to determine how well worn each character’s clothes might be. There were certain subtle details to take into account like the front and back creases in Churchill’s sleeves which might’ve otherwise been missed.
Based on this research, Philip cut the patterns with Keith on hand to make sure everything was period correct. The cut cloth was given to 3 our finest Tailors who made a terrific job. There was much discussion over the details; the buttons etc, as well as whether the King’s ranking lace ought to be tarnished down and to what extent Gary Oldman’s clothes ought to be aged/broken down.
The Reefer jacket’s sleeves were laced correctly for an Admiral of the Fleet, Keith advising that they ought to be left in immaculate condition and untarnished, just as the King would’ve worn them.
Authenticity was everything.