Literature Rocks The Fashion World
Claire McNally
London, 02/2012


Literature and fashion don't walk the same streets, people often say. Writers' disdain for the fashion industry is well known throughout the world. "We're building a bridge here, I believe", it's what I've heard from Burberry spokesman this Valentine's Day week here in London. And I believe it.

In their latest campaign, Burberry built a bridge between what we all believed to be worlds on opposite sides of an invisible battlefield, by bringing together Renée Huntington, the newest catwalk darling, and the newest crowned king of horror fiction Seán Mac Diarmuid. She's the beauty icon of the moment. He's the winner of all of last year's most prominent literature prizes, which is a feat no horror writer had achieved before in history. She made it to the top with her dramatic looks and her ability to know who's who in the fashion world. He rose from a local Irish writer to an international phenomenon through a web of death and fear woven in an intricate and poetically built prose. And Burberry realized they might have more in common than both being Dubliners.



"They're both very talented, young and popular.", summarized the spokesman for the British brand. "It's like bringing two hurricanes together under the same roof. They proved to have an amazing chemistry... The results left us all speechless! Renée's one of the best professionals we've worked with so far. And those old movie star looks added to the romance atmosphere in such a dramatic way... It's a stark contrast to Seán's fierce masculinity."

The advertising campaign proved to be an immediate success, topping the trend topics of the social media less than an hour after it's online release. Check out some more pictures below, as well as an exclusive interview with both Seán and Renée.




"Can you tell us a bit about working with a guy who's not a professional model? How do you evaluate Seán as a model?"

"Well, he was amazing! He was so relaxed all the time! I guess he wasn't nervous at all! And he's so funny and nice! He kept everybody relaxed and laughing and made it a wonderful time for everybody! I guess it's all due to the fact that he's not a professional model, actually. If he was, it wouldn't be half as much fun as it was! It's one of the best shootings ever!"



"How did it feel to model for the first time? And what do you think of your partner in front of the camera?"

" Ah... I'd say like a fish out o' the water, but that's just commonplace... T'was fun in a rather unexpected way. I got here with cold sweat running down me spine, but it was all done and over so fast... Everyone knows exactly what they're doing, well, everyone except meself, so they just guided me 'round and I tried to be a good lad and do what I was told. I did trip a camera or two, but fortunately I didn't kill anyone. I guess there wasn't time enough for me to get anyone killed with my clumsyness. Oh... Aye, Renée... Why, she's an amazing professional for someone her age. When I was her age I was about to publish me first novel, but I only really delivered newspapers and mowed some lawn for me Joyces. And here she is, ready to conquer the world, aye?"




"From a Dublin High School Girl to a Supermodel in a matter of months. That's quite a change! How do you deal with all the fame and success?"

"Well, I always wanted to be a model, so I love it! Everyone makes me feel like a princess! I get to travel around a lot, which I always wanted to do, I get to know a lot of nice people from all over the world who do all kinds of nice stuff, like Seán for example... Well, the worst about it is that I don't have much time left to study anymore, and I had to hire a teacher to travel with me so that I can at least study when I can... But other than that it's like living a dream! And it was very nice to welcome Seán into this dream!"




"And speaking of studying and culture, are you a book person? How often do you read? What are your reading habits?"

"Oh, I love reading! Especially Twilight! I wasn't fond of reading, really, until Twilight. But after Edward and Bella I became addicted! It's so romantic! Now I'm reading all I can find on the subject!"




"And you, Seán? Are you a fan of Twilight?"

"No. And that's the best I can do to be polite about it, so let's just leave it at that, aye?"




"And are you a fashion consumer? Do you have a stylist, or a fashion consultant? Did your personal taste influence your decision to model for Burberry?"

"Aye, I am. Not in a traditional sense... If there is any traditional sense... What I mean is: I know what fits me well, and what doesn't, both inside and outside, and I dress according to that rather than simply following trends blindly. No, I don't. There's no need for that kind of entourage. Aye, it did. Burberry is a timeless label of sorts, and it's easier to fit into my style. Besides, I'm rather fond of timeless styles rather than fast fashion."




"Do you have any plans of modelling again now that this historic bridge has been built between intellectual and fashion worlds?"

"I don't have any plans of modelling again for now. This isn't my career. It's just something I decided to try, for personal reasons. And to be very honest, I don't believe we're building or breaking bridges here. Fashion production and consumption have been walking hand in hand with urban anthropology and sociology, not to mention history, for a long while now. Designers have been inspiring themselves in painters, sculptors, writers, and their productions. And writers, painters, moviemakers are also constantly watching the fashion world, and welcoming partnerships of all sorts. I guess there's no need for all the fuss, really. T'is nice to be here, and to be a part of all this, but the biggest contributions are given behind the cameras, and not in front of them."




"And what do you both think about the new collection? And the photos have got such an atmosphere, and being a Valentine's Day campaign and all... Is there anything else going on... Behind the cameras, as you said, Seán?"

Seán: "Not at all! Renée's a kid, miss!"
Renée: "Oh, I'm underaged, aye, but I'm not a kid! (laughs)"
Seán: "Aye, you are! (laughs) I teach children your age!"
Renée: "They're not children! They're teenagers!"
Seán: "Ah... Big difference! I see it now... (laughs) Kid."
Renée: "Well... The collection is great! I love it! If I could, I'd take it all home with me!"
Seán: "Aye... The clothes are very nice indeed."
Renée: "And the shooting was magical... Everyone was so inspired..."
Seán:"And very professional about it."
Renée: "And I guess I made a new friend!"

And with that, the supermodel gave the writer a hug. And who's to say no bridges were crossed today? Burberry's Valentine's Day mini collection hit the stores yesterday, just in time to inspire you into getting that perfect present to the one you love.



Ok, there was one single slang up there, and I forgot to put it down here before.

Joyces - Money.