Balmain is always pushing the boundaries of fashion, looking for new ways to blend other aspects of life with self expression. They’ve just embarked on an ambitious new effort; partnering with England’s Channel 4 for a short-form drama series, “Fracture.” The series is starring someone who would usually be considered an industry rival of Balmain, Jesse Jo Stark – heir to the Chrome Hearts empire. So what are the details behind this fascinating team-up? CELEB takes a look.
Fracture Brings Big Names Together
This team-up between Balmain and Channel 4 marks the first time a fashion label has coordinated with a broadcaster. The series, which will be five eight-minute episodes, will feature Balmain’s Fall/Winter 2021 collection throughout. It’s a fascinating new approach to marketing, but it isn’t just about the clothes.
The series will star Jesse Jo Stark, Charles Melton, Tommy Dorfman and Ajani Russell. Stark plays the lead role. Fashion United shares, “From the commissioner of ‘End of the F*ing World’ and ‘It’s A Sin’, Fracture is set in the desolate Le Rêve Motel on the outskirts of LA, described as a ‘shabby but charming landing spot for an array of colourful characters’.
The series centres on the motel and the mysterious Mya, played by Jesse Jo Stark, a struggling singer-songwriter who has fled her privileged life in New York for a solitary existence at the equally furtive Le Rêve.
Other cast members include Tommy Dorfman from 13 Reasons Why, who plays Mya’s sibling, Riverdale’s Charles Melton who stars as a disarmingly handsome drifter and poet, and breakout star of Skate Kitchen Ajani Russell who stars as Mya’s friend.”
Stark, who is a singer/songwriter and one of the heir apparents of the Chrome Hearts empire, is the perfect pick for this fashion-and-soul-rich depiction of a journey to independence.
Jesse Jo Stark and the Chrome Hearts Empire
Stark is the perfect choice, because despite being the heiress of a massively successful boutique fashion empire, the Stark family embraces independence, free-thinking, self-expression, and off-the-beaten-path lifestyle. For instance, when Stark released a pair of boots in the Chrome Heart line called Chrome Hearts’ Sugar Jones Boots, inspired by godmother Cher, she had interesting advice for buyers. Per Yahoo!, “As for keeping the boots pristine, Jesse Jo has but one tidbit of advice: don’t. ‘If you wan’t to clean them you can, but I wouldn’t,’ she says. ‘I think you should buy them clean and then just fuck them up.'”
Stark is also best buds with none other than Bella Hadid, who has collaborated with Chrome Hearts to release a variety of interesting fashion choices, including her eyewear line which was wildly popular upon release.
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The Chrome Hearts lines are released in low-pressure, creativity-first capsules that focus on quality over quantity. When asked if the family would consider merging or partnerships, Jesse Jo responded per WWD, “]I don’t want to do that, I have no f–king interest in somebody telling me how to do s–t,’ Jesse Jo says forcefully. (Richard [Stark] is in her camp.) ‘I have so many plans.…You as creators and we as creative kids are not done. This is our home, I rehearse here, I grew up here. It’s so irritating to be alive right now because everyone is just sucking the teat. I don’t know why it works for us not to, but we do everything organically and I’m not done doing that.’”
That sounds like something we could imagine Mya saying, which is why Stark is the perfect cast for this role. With a fiercely independent streak, a lifetime of experience with privilege, and a career as a singer/songwriter, Stark brings an authenticity to the role that will hopefully translate on-screen. The family’s ties to Hollywood run deep, with family friends including Cher, and brand loyals including Elton John, Cher, Kanye, Rihanna, Guns N’ Roses and Ozzy Osbourne.
The Chrome Hearts brand is eclectic, offering a variety of products. From gold toilet plungers to perfume and everything in between, the brand strives to be unique, edgy, and different.
When and Where to watch Fracture
Speaking of the role, the first episode will release on Channel 4 on September 2nd. Fashion United adds, “The series will premiere on September 2, available via Channel 4’s YouTube channel and as a box set in the UK on All 4. It will also stream worldwide via a bespoke co-branded website created for the series at fractureseries.com.
Commenting on the series, [creative director Olivier] Rousteing, said in a statement: ‘Fracture helps to make very clear Balmain’s determination to continue to break down boundaries and engage in unexpected, compelling and entertaining ways with lovers of fashion, music and design.
‘Fracture’s story, writing, acting, directing and images are incredible—I loved being able to play a part in making this happen and I can’t get Jesse Jo Stark’s music out of my head.’”
It will be fascinating to see this new fashion expression play out on screen. And who knows – maybe other designers, such as Chrome Hearts’ fan Virgil Abloh – will follow suit? Seeing Abloh bring his peerless creativity to a drama series would be a true joy. But starting this new trend with Balmain and Stark is nothing to sneeze at – and it will be available to viewers soon.