Power directorial, creative duo Jason Last and Jaime Rubiano, explore the idea of what constitutes fashion film in their latest for Garage Magazine, The Most Part Of You. Shot in Paris at Place Vendome and including excerpts written and narrated by Sarah Steinberg from her provocative short stories of the same name, the fashion film brings a mysteriously gorgeous and very real and personable face to the sometimes vapid and “by-the-book” representations of the fashion industry.
The film follows “an encounter of worlds; a duchess is confined in her Place Vendome birdcage — and lies, like metastasis, spread like the smell of stale cheese & nachos. The then and the now meet in The Most Part of You.”
The creative force behind the project, Jaime Rubiano, spoke to Portable about what he believes constitutes fashion film, and why it was so important to explore this in 2012 and The Most Part Of You;
“To define a genre so niche like fashion film right now is almost impossible. The codes behind this new visual métier are so disparate and malleable that to place it or define it makes it almost obsolete. On a personal level a fashion film is everything we aspire to create as it can encompass the dynamism of a music video and the technicalities of film all viewed and told through a more sartorial lens. It is also an aesthetic inspection and dissection of the garments and stories of the season and how with movement and sound we can funnel this ideas and create our own myths,” he said.
Notably, the film manages to reveal and explore fashion film through themes of ennui, beauty and listlessness fused and juxtaposed against the use of high fashion composited against the very real and personal emotive words of Steinberg. Rubiano mused how these themes resulted in such a deep, yet understated portrayal of the humble fashion film, with an underlying message.
“We are fascinated by the indefinite continued progress of existence and why not the trappings of time. In this particular piece, Jason and I wanted to entangle the perception of the past with the now. We also felt the need to explore the feelings behind this character with this abundance of time and anachronic style who seemed lost in the present. Ennui is a product of time and here it is in fact one more character one that allows the subject to dive into her Americana mind and twist all perceptions of her very own existence. The fashion in fact was the medium that allowed us to play with this concepts and position a past in a context of an uncertain and mythical present.”
Styled by Sabrina Marshall, model Antonia Wesseloh is lavishly doused in every relevant designer from the last 50 years such as, Miu Miu, Nina Ricci, Prada, Sonia Rykiel, Delfina Delettrez, Fendi, Falke, Marc Jacobs, Loewe, Celine, vintage Montana, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, vintage Christian Dior, Paule Ka, Delfina Delettrez, Jil Sander and Yves Saint Laurent. Like a spoiled Upper East Side socialite meets Sofia Coppola‘s Marie Antoinette, Wesseloh playfully exudes Steinberg’s words through working the covetable high end pieces rich in decadence with blank and unreadable facial expressions.
“The idea for the styling was a game of instinct. Sabrina had a very fixed concept on how to bring this character to life and how to glamorize her lies and how to create the discrepancy between who she is and who she was projecting to be. In a way a young wallis Warfield comes to mind in terms of the look and mood,” explained Rubiano.
Collaborating with Steinberg has undeniably added a new, honest and rarely explored element to the film which transcends being only nestled in the fashion realm. Rubiano divulged to Portable how Steinberg’s short stories, that could be likened to one of Hannah from Girls‘ infamous “essays,” brought together the project.
“The collaboration with Sarah was very spontaneous we always wanted to do something together and after the wild success of her short stories and our obsession with her witty and quirky style of writing we knew The Most Part Of You was that link that would thread this whole idea.”
Looking to the future and his industry, Rubiano expressed his feelings towards the development of fashion film and how ultimately to take a leaf out of Santigold’s book, we are the masters of our make-believe;
“Fashion film is at a critical stage in terms of how it doesn’t really have its own particular definition. That’s part of what’s exciting about it and having our work categorized within it I suppose. Fashion itself is ever-evolving, changing, repeating itself, so it would seem natural that fashion film will continue to grow in this same way. The fact that it exists right now is possibly enough. It’s up to us to see what we do with it. The only thing that can really define the genre is the work.”