At first glance, it seems one of the film world’s least likely collaborations – the director seeking to reinvent science fiction with visceral realism and a haute-couture designer best known for dressing Queen Elizabeth II. The British designer possessed exactly the qualities Kubrick was looking for. While his epic project was obviously set in a period then decades ahead, the filmmaker sought a timeless aesthetic – at least compared to the tinfoil and skin-tight fabrics of earlier space operas – and found it in a tailor with a seemingly effortless classic look.
In the end, though, Amies’ slim-fitting suits and eye-catching space stewardess uniforms with egg-shaped helmets became key to 2001’s aesthetic. Like the film, they are integral to today’s globe-trotting Stanley Kubrick exhibition. What better way to remember a pioneering designer with respect for tradition.
Chris Mugan writes for The Independent and The Collective Review