Jace Wayland, played by Jamie Campbell Bower - Costume Design by Gersha Phillips

“The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones”

September 6, 2013

Director Harold Zwart’s “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” is the first big screen adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s series of best-selling novels. The story follows a young girl named Clary Fray (Lily Collins), who unexpectedly learns that she descends from a long line of warriors who protect our world from demons. After her mother disappears, she joins forces with others like her, including a young man named Jace Wayland (Jamie Campbell Bower).

Jace and Clary’s characters are Shadowhunters – also known as Nephilim – which is a secret race of humans born with Angelic blood. They are a demon hunting race that has survived for over a thousand years and their mandate is to protect humans. Though Clary just learns of her unique lineage in the film, Jace has been a serious demon fighter his entire life. “He is a good fighter, a little cocky, but takes what he does very seriously,” says Costume Designer Gersha Phillips. As a result, his costume was all about function and longevity.

One particular costume he wears for a number of scenes is anchored by a custom leather jacket.

“I started with a number of ideas,” says Phillips. “I had been looking at leather jackets by Diesel, Julius, Belstaff, Burberry, Rick Owens and John Varvatos and liked elements of them all. I wanted the Shadowhunter costumes to have a slightly otherworldly look, but still look appropriate and not too out of place if you saw them walking down the street – more real than fantasy.”

Finding the right leather for the jacket was a challenge for Phillips, as she was looking for pre-washed leather skins – a sort of Rick Owens look, as she describes. “I ended up finding really great pre-washed Italian skins at Libra Leather in New York.” The other challenge, she says, was finding black ribbing…“something that should be easy to find but had completely disappeared from stock everywhere we looked.”

Jace’s leather jacket also has a hood, which came about after a conversation Phillips had with Jamie. “He mentioned that he liked the idea of being partially hidden by one, so a hood was added,” she says. “His pants are also a combination of a few looks. The harness was actually based on a fetish harness from Northbound Leather here in Toronto. The runes buckles were waterjet etched from designs made by one of Cassandra Clare’s artists and the rest of the costume includes a Diesel v-neck grey T-shirt and Fiorentini Baker tall boots. All of the pieces were distressed to give them a realistic, fighting warrior look.”

“The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” is now playing in theaters.

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