BBC (UK), December 9, 2010

Fashion designer to dress Keanu Reeves in film 47 Ronin

A Nottingham-based fashion designer is working on the wardrobe for a Hollywood blockbuster.

Daniel Hanson has been commissioned to produce 300 kimonos for the film 47 Ronin, starring Keanu Reeves.

To take the commission the designer has dropped his Spring/Summer collection for the first time in 21 years.

He said: "[The designs] will consume us totally from now until April."

The film, by Universal Pictures, is based on the true story of a group of samurai who were left leaderless after their feudal lord was forced to commit ritual suicide.

Mr Hanson will be making costumes for 100 monks, 50 samurai, 16 prostitutes and 15 concubines.

"It's manor (sic) from heaven for us," he said. "We've got an end client. We can be as creative as we want to be within the context of the budget and know there is payback for it."

He added that the company's biggest ever commercial project would put the company in a position to reinvest in its production in Nottingham, bringing it back from abroad in the next few years.

The budget for 47 Ronin will be big. With this comes expectations and the demand for authenticity.

Daniel has been studying a 17th century Japanese garment to help draw up designs for the kimonos and get the shape right.

"It was almost like dust," he said. "We were told it was from a museum and we were told we had to be very careful with it."

A kimono is a traditional Japanese garment worn by men, women and children, with different styles for young and old.

Daniel said that in the film groups of characters will be able to be distinguished by what they wear.

"We are working on prints for prostitutes and embroideries for the concubines.

"Did you know the longer the kimono sleeves the more available you are. Prostitutes will have sleeves to the floor," he added.

The core business for Daniel Hanson is nightwear, supplying stores such as Harrods and Fortnum and Mason.

This will not be the first time the business has rubbed shoulders with celebrity.

"We have our benefactors, our celebrity clients who dip in and out. They add some excitement to the company and what it does," he said.

"I feel a sense of pride that we've been asked to do some of the commissions that we've been asked to do."

Daniel Hanson has been based in Nottingham for 16 of the last 21 years and describes it as his spiritual home.

"I don't think it matters where we are because our clientele is worldwide," he said.

Ronin 47 is due for release in the autumn of 2011.




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