A while back I had the pleasure of hosting the red carpet premiere of British feature film ‘Brash Young Turks’ directed by ‘on the rise’ director Naeem Mahmood. This fast paced tale of struggle, love, crime and power is set in a vibrant, stylized London and features an equally chic wardrobe and set design. As the movie now sweeps cinemas across the UK I took another look at the stylistics which for me are what really sets this film apart, the use of bold primary colours is present throughout, they punctuate the story and really help guide the viewer aesthetically through the changing moods of each scene – both the light and the dark subject matter is spectacularly enhanced by the use of these colours and textures. In ‘BYT’ Land The attitudes maybe brash but the fashion is totally on fleek.
From a fashionista viewpoint, the standout character for me was ‘Shaz’ played by Kimberly Marren, a character with sass and attitude matched with a kick-ass wardrobe – a natural clothes horse, this girl could pull any look off with aplomb, from the red patent cropped bomber and hot pants through to the frankly amazing latex dress and matching cap by Latex aficionado ‘Atsuko Kudo’ her clothes scream sex, power and savvy – I literally wanted every outfit she wore throughout!
Of course her male counterpart Paul Chiedozie’s Terrell Mackintosh more than holds his own in the wardrobe department, from gangster man about town in flat caps and sports-luxe ensembles from John Smedley in the early days to his sharp suiting and tailoring from Pal Zileri charting his rise to a businessman with attitude and the goods to back it up, it was hard not to be charmed by his suave and swagger – the boy sure does look good in a suit.
Melissa Latouche’s Mia is a character who’s style retains a girlish innocence throughout, I loved the Notting Hill carnival scene with the bold use of colour and prints and the 50s-inspired diner look, Mia is a sharp contrast to the overt sexiness of Shaz, her wardrobe shows a character steadily maturing whilst retaining her girly vibe somebody not wanting to grow up too soon despite the obvious adversities she’s faced – there was something refreshing about a character who by rights should be dark being so bright and full of colour and energy.
Accessories also did not disappoint and more than fulfilled my current fetish for ‘shades’, I particularly coveted Shaz’s 70s over-sized sunglasses, head gear was well represented with – Jimmy’s array of Trilbys, Terrell’s flat caps and there was just enough bling dripping off arms and necks to set the gangster tone nicely.
This is a beautifully shot feature film oozing style on top of plenty of substance, which shines a vibrant light on the often dark London, a triumph of hope and determination over adversity. The cinematography is so tactile; the colours, fabrics and textures practically jump off the screen at you, go catch a screening now I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Brash Young Turks will be screening at the BFI in London on Saturday 9th July 12.30pm. Includes cast and crew Q&A.