Stylee Fridays: New Power Studio and the Joys of Black Orville

January 08, 2010

New Power Studio, a design duo comprised of stylist Thom Murphy and women's wear designer Ebru Ercon have just been added to the MAN showcase for fall 2010, Topman and Fashion East's famed runway roster at London Fashion Week. The pair have been tolling at their label for little over a year, and debuted with a fall 2009 collection named after late '80s JA reggae group, White Mice. The new season also takes inspiration from the wonderful world of beasts, if ventriloquist duck dolls from the north of England count as members of the animal kingdom. Enter New Power Studio muse Orville, the little talking green duckling, a phenomenon so thoroughly British he's almost impossible to describe to someone who's never witnessed his sharp, quacking wit. Huggable and lovable and never seen without his minder, ventriloquist Keith Harris, Orville lives in perpetual babyhood, and when I went to see him at a panto (another British phenomenon) aged 5, he was wearing his standard uniform of old school diaper fastened with a gigantic pin.

Entitled Black Duck, New Power Studio have dyed Orville black for their spring 2010 collection, and references to him and his new ebony pelt are peppered throughout the collection—full frontal Orville over one tee, or just the top of his head and peepers on another. It doesn't feel like either Murphy, who's styling credits include a slew of heavy hitters like i-D and Arena Homme Plus, or Ercon take fashion very seriously, and in a landscape of po-faced fashion maniacs this is endlessly refreshing. Consider their style philosophies individually: "Machobitchface delicartee," says Murphy, and "Women’s rights wrong-un, with a classique bashment frump up," says Ercon, which ultimately adds up to the same playful and empowering mantra. Obviously, in this video Orville's been upstaged by his stunning assistant, and her outfit—tailored wrap-dress and towering headdress—kind of makes his diaper getup look a little, well, soggy. Some onlookers have labeled the project as "Nigerian QVC from hell," and others even speculated whether the short film was inspired by African satanist cinema (?!), which makes us wonder what little Orville would have to say about all of this.

From The Collection:

Stylee Fridays
Stylee Fridays: New Power Studio and the Joys of Black Orville