Nicholas Daley FW21 ‘Forgotten Fury’
For Autumn/Winter 21, British designer Nicholas Daley unveils Forgotten Fury, a filmic ode to the black martial arts tradition.
Directed by Piczo, a distinctly ‘70s lens has been applied to this dynamic short, Forgotten Fury, paying respectful homage to a rich era of black cinema, a moment driven by the radical forms of black activism and resistance that played backdrop to its birth.
Inspiration is taken specifically from the explosion of black martial arts films during the decade – an irresistible hybrid of Blaxploitation and East Asian combat. Famed for their idiosyncratic aesthetic, these highly stylised movies relied on the incredible skills of Karate champions-turned-actors, legends from Jim Kelly to Ron Van Clief, lighting up the screen in high-energy classics including Black Belt Jones and Black Dragon. Forgotten Fury channels a similar spirit; notions of power, resilience and an unapologetic self-belief underpinning this season’s high kicking short.
While Forgotten Fury takes its cue from a US-centric cinematic tradition, Nicholas places Black British martial arts at the heart of the production; a move influenced in part by his own personal interest in the sport.
Here, a line is drawn between past and present. Carrying on successful family traditions, two elite British taekwondo stars feature. European Champion and Olympic medal winner Lutalo Muhammad, son of Wayne Muhammad, a former taekwondo champion, and Christian McNeish, a European Championships gold medal winner, son of kickboxing World champion Chris McNeish. Going head to head, kitted out in Nicholas Daley AW21, the pair spar and parry: a selection of kicks, blocks and strikes setting the season’s collection in motion.
Subverting the expected ‘70s funk-fuelled soundtrack, Nicholas sets the action against a stripped back score, traditional West African drumming responding to the movement and tempo of Lutalo and Christian’s performance. London-based musicians Edward Wakili-Hick of Mercury prize nominated Sons Of Kemet and Yahael Camara, bandleader of West African folk-Jazz collective Balimaya Project, curate a unique soundscape, lending the film a tangible kinetic energy.
DOP: Joe Ridout
Creative Direction: Nicholas Daley
Styling: Stephan Mann
Set Design: Kei Yoshino
Grooming: Nathaniel Bury
Musicians: Edward Wakili-Hick & Yaheal Onono
Talent: Christian Mcneish & Lutalo Muhammad