Killer app: TV psycho cuts a dash in jim-jams printed by Friedmans

Rhys Handley
Tuesday, October 22, 2019

In Knowledge Bank, we come face-to-face with plenty of Killer Apps – but rarely do we encounter actual killers.

The thrilling BBC series Killing Eve has once again taken the world by storm with its second series, though many may not realise that one of the series’ most iconic costumes could not exist without the help of our trusty friend print.

What was produced?

In this series’ second episode, psychopathic assassin Villanelle (portrayed on screen by Jodie Comer) escapes the scene of one of her more disturbing crimes questionably disguised in the comic book-themed pyjamas of her victim, a young boy.

The costume, which set the internet alight, was produced by Altricham-based Friedmans through its Funkifabrics web-to-print service. Production company Sid Gentle Films ordered two rolls of 1.45x10m stretch fabric – 82% polyester, 12% lycra – in two different designs available on the Funkifabrics site.

What did the job entail?

The designs were available on Friedmans’ own database and selected by Sid Gentle, making adjustments for scale and colour according to its needs.

Friedmans printed the two chosen designs onto transfer paper using its Mimaki TS300P-1800 dye-sublimation system. They were transferred to the Italian-made fabric using a rotary heat press manufactured by Klieverik.

They were then delivered to Sid Gentle, where they were tailored into two costumes: the iconic pair worn by Comer, and another grey design worn by her innocent victim.

What challenges were  overcome?

The end-use for the fabric was at the time unknown to Friedmans, which has produced similar fabric costuming for other  high-profile shows such as Game of Thrones and Strictly Come Dancing. According to design manager Nick Thomas, the only direct communication his firm had with this first- time client was a conversation  about the potential copyright-based pitfalls to using Friedman’s design.

Thomas said: “We had to reassure them that the designs they liked the look of were not copyrighted and that they would be free to use them for their production.

“It wasn’t until I saw the first promotional materials for this award-winning show that I realised that our rolls have fabric had been turned into a costume for one of its main characters, which is pretty magic.”

What was the feedback?

Reception from the Killing Eve fandom was certainly positive, with a flurry of tweets from fans desperate to get a pair of Villanelle’s ill-fitting outfit and Thomas reporting increased sales in the design ever since. Jodie Comer herself was even quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying: “I think it’s my favourite outfit of the whole series.” Killer praise, indeed.

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