TIME Style and Design: Futuristic London Fashion

Jonathan de Villiers for TIME
Jonathan de Villiers for TIME
Jonathan de Villiers photographed Tom Hiddleston and Michelle Dockery for TIME Style & Design. Styling by Andreas Kokkino.

Hiddleston wears Burberry Prorsum, Paul Smith and Aquascutum. Dockery wears Antonio Berardi, Peter Pilotto and Cornelia James.

For TIME Style & Design’s fashion shoot with British actors Tom Hiddleston and Michelle Dockery, photographer Jonathan de Villiers got to work on the roof of what is the tallest hospital in the world, Guy’s Hospital in London. And that wasn’t the only superlative in play: “This is, dare I say it, one of the best periods for British fashion,” says de Villiers. “There’s a whole crop of new young designers.”

Style & Design

Behind the scenes on the roof of Guy's Hospital.

Fittingly for forward-looking designers, the shoot’s concept involved time travel from the future. The photographer, who hails from London but now lives in Paris, says that the city has recently embraced its own relationship with the future: in the last decade, the city seems to have recovered from backlash against ’60s modernism, he says, and its architecture has moved in a more avant-garde direction. Much of de Villiers’ work in Paris has to do with clichés about the fantasy of the city of lights, and he says that it was fun to get a chance to engage in similar reflection about his hometown—even if its archetypes are stuffier.

“People think of London as a very traditional city with a lot of old stuff, but in the last decade there’s been a kind of re-imagining,” he says. “I think the most interesting thing to be said about this shoot is the whole question of projecting ideas about a place and how that carries through to clothes and perceptions of design.”

But for this shoot de Villiers’ vision of the future also had to conquer the present—or at least the present-day weather. Although the shoot featured British fashion designers’ spring/summer collections, it was very much winter. “It was bitterly cold at ground level, and I could see the clouds racing across the sky, and I was thinking ‘Oh my God, by the time we get up on that roof it’s going to be crippling,” says de Villiers of the rooftop shoot. “But the actors were quite game and the sun came out and everything.”

For a deeper look into that future—and a take on London from a different kind of future perspective—check out this video shot on the set:

Related Topics: , , , , , , , ,

Latest Posts

APTOPIX Police Shooting Missouri

Pictures of the Week: Aug. 15 – Aug. 22

From ongoing unrest in Ferguson, Mo., and the killing of Hamas leaders in Gaza to Pope Francis' visit to South Korea and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, TIME presents the best pictures of the week.

Read More
Fabien Baron, Follow Friday

#LightBoxFF: Building a Fine Art Feed with Fabien Baron

Japan, Okuma, 2014.Inside the Central Control Room for Reactor 1 and 2 which both had a meltdown and exploded after the earthquake and tsunami hit the east coast of japan in 2011.

See Inside Fukushima’s Lethal Reactor

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,555 other followers