You know that old age question; out of everyone in the world, dead or alive, who would you have dinner with? My answer hasn’t changed since I was 14. This was around the time Baz Lurhmann's Romeo + Juliet came out, & never (not since my Hanson/Spice girls days) have I ever been more obsessed with human being. Leo, would be the obvious answer, with his boyish good looks & passion for his Juliet. But nay, my heart was giveth to another… Baz ‘Creative God’ Luhrmann had my heart, and has had most of it (hubby & baby have some of it) from that day on. So what he was old enough to be my dad? His brain was otherworldly & I would have sold my little sister to have a chance to pick it.
I was reminded of this lifelong obsession when my creative sister Nina sent me a random link. With nothing to indicate what I was about to open, my trust in her taste & timing coerced me to eagerly click… It was a 4 minute advert written & directed by the genius that is Baz, for the Erdem + H&M collaboration. From the second it starts it’s as if you are falling down some moody, sexy rabbit hole into something so magical & evocative, you feel as though you have been swallowed up by the most wondrous of dreams.
“I hold no preference among flowers, as long as they are wild, free… and spontaneous.” This line in itself sent me over the edge. Spoken by the mysterious, eccentric & effortlessly glamorous ‘great aunt’ figure Lady Demere who the story suggests owns the fantastical paradise in more ways than one. As if what you see in front of you is actually an extension of her imagination that is somehow tangible, real. SO real. The ’secret garden that grows within the outrageously beautiful influenced by designer Erdem Moralioglu's signature floral print
Overall it is a love story. I mean it’s Baz. It HAD to be a love story. But what brought this story into the 21st century, regardless of the endless & captivating visual nods to 17th-19th century aesthetics was the ‘unconventional’ & bohemian love story.
At the beginning you feel a beautiful connection between the young protagonist Adam & his lover, as if he is being scandalously whisked away to meet his loves favourite people. Not in your average way. You could be watching a visually spectacular episode of skins at this point.
Over an endlessly seductive candlelit dinner with ‘the young, the celebrated & the beautiful’ Lady Demere asks stunning young Adam ‘what forms do your pleasures take’? As if in a dream like state his eyes fix on an incredibly beautiful woman. This is one of my favourite shots as the juxtaposition between the femininity of the woman’s gown & her exquisite beauty along side her almost gender neutral shaved head is incredibly captivating & fits into the ‘unconventional’ theme seamlessly. It turns out that shock horror, the unique beauty is the Adam’s lover’s sister. ‘Such a lot of temptation, isn’t it’, thank you Lady Demere.
The story effortlessly moves quickly into the climax of the short film with the love triangle acting out a game of ‘hide & seek’, and the protagonist stumbling on the newly suited up sister and so takes place one of the best kisses I’ve ever seen on screen. But what I love most about this scene & the film itself (although the kiss itself is very hard to beat) is that everyone, girls & boys, are wearing both the female & male clothing lines. Mixing & matching everything from suits, to frill neck shirts & endless accessories. This imagery gives the ultimate sense of bohemian freedom and it’s no wonder you feel elated & excited in equal measures when you get to the end of the magical 4 minutes.
So although on first view, as always with a Baz Lurhman production, you are completely taken by the overwhelmingly spectacular visuals - the blooms, the chandeliers, the beautiful people - what it’s really about, and celebrates even, is diversity, freedom, equality & beauty in all forms. Such is what should inspire the world & it’s people. Completely & flawlessly inspiring.