With references to iconic styles from the 50s and 70s in particular, Perth based label Salasai‘s A/W 2013 collection, Heartlands, is rich in classic pantsuits and intricate tailoring. With a perfect fall color scheme, mimicking the season’s shedding leaves, browns, mustards and maroons are set off against plaids and a pop of lemon yellow. To accompany the covetable collection, New Zealand based director Claire Littler teamed up with Perth native Tay Kaka to create a short fashion film highlighting the clothes through the awkwardness of human emotion.
The Heartlands film shot in Perth, Western Australia on a 5DMII and a homemade tracking system made from two pipes and an old skateboard, sees two models clearly in a dysfunctional relationship, something which Littler explained just happened upon without any artistic direction.
“We actually had quite a different concept in mind when prepping for filming. I flew over to Perth for the shoot from Auckland and when we got to Tay’s grandparents’ house and started filming, all this magic just started happening and we couldn’t help but draw out a quite amusing sense of awkwardness in the situation, so we just rolled with it. This started feeling quite like a Royal Tenenbaums situation, and with the color palette of the clothes already laid out, an ‘ode to Wes’ was sort of born!” Add the soundtrack from Wes Anderson‘s latest masterpiece, Moonrise Kingdom‘s “le temps de l’amour” by Francois Hardy’s and all the pieces came together.
Littler told Portable, “The clothes of the AW 2013 collection for Salasai reference some of the coolest decades, the 50s and 70s, so we decided to draw out the 70s feel, I guess there is a hint to the aftermath of the 50s suburban dream. These two characters are living in a state of chaos and their relationship is clearly in a similar state. We kept using the word ‘house proud’ which we loved the idea of; both models have moments where they appear ‘house proud’ but they just don’t really appear to be on the same team. The woman has quite a dominant authority in the relationship and the man is somewhat confused, yet mesmerized by this wife. The idea is basically a slice of life of two strange people living a high class dream in a middle class life. Salasai clothes help them to stay ‘house proud’ and glamorous amidst the chaos.”
Bringing to life the collections of Salasai is something which Littler is extremely passionate about, musing, “I just adore fashion film. I come from backgrounds in both fashion and film. During University in 2009 I got to a point where I had to choose between them and one day I just sort of refused. Luckily for me there was a realm in New York and elsewhere out of little New Zealand that was about to birth a raging phenomena of fashion film that I’d really heard nothing about. It was sort of weird but when I started hearing that glorious onomatopoeia of he double-F, ‘Fashion Film’ more often, it was awesome!”