In a timely salute to the talent of the late, great Tony Hart, ESQUIRE magazine celebrates the 30th anniversary of Morph, the character Hart made famous, by making him a first-time wardrobe of custom-made clothes and turning him into a magazine cover star. Kitted out in his specially-made designer clothes by labels such as Burberry, Gucci and Prada, Morph graces ESQUIRE's fashion pages as well as a special limited-edition front cover of the upmarket men's magazine. Each of Morph's outfits is a miniature recreation of the original.
Morph has been naked since first appearing on an episode of TAKE HART in 1977. Now, thanks to ESQUIRE's fashion department and the brilliance of the team at Aardman Animations, the plasticine superstar appears clothed for the very first time, and dressed in this season's key pieces. Peter Lord, Aardman's co-founder, sketched out the scenes for Morph and his mischievous sidekick Chaz, before the country's finest animators, sculptors, model-and prop-makers embarked on a painstaking eight-week process to create ESQUIRE's most unusual and creative fashion-shoot to date.
Morph the plasticine stop-motion character appeared with Hart on several of his television programs and was produced for the BBC by Aardman Animations, later famous for Wallace and Gromit.
Peter Lord, co-founder of Aardman Animations comments: "Tony Hart was a terrific artist: skilful, fluent and endlessly inventive. What an inspiring, inspirational career he had in TV -- effortlessly encouraging young people to express themselves in every sort of visual medium. In person, he was amazingly modest about his talent and his achievements; and that TV manner -- gentlemanly, kindly, and polite -- was absolutely genuine and a reflection of the man."
ESQUIRE has worked closely with Lord for the last few months in order to create the special photographs of Morph and his sidekick Chaz.
Lord commented, "I must say the ESQUIRE shoot was a hoot. The joke is that Morph's wardrobe -- which is approximately one-twelfth scale -- was almost certainly worth twice as much as my wardrobe. Morph is really tiny -- only about 12 or 13 centimetres tall. I couldn't imagine how you could make clothes so tiny and then fit them around Morph's body -- which isn't exactly slim – and still have them look good, but the whole team succeeded triumphantly."
The result is a genuine metamorphosis of which Tony would be proud.