Critically acclaimed independent film director Sean Baker, of Tangerine fame, teamed up with Kenzo for an exciting new project, a short film called Snowbird shot entirely with an iPhone 6 and starring Mad Max: Fury Road’s Abbey Lee Kershaw. Rather than glamorizing the clothes, Baker and Kenzo recontextualized them according to the poverty-stricken culture of the American trailer park. This juxtaposition of high and low manages to make the clothes a dramatic character in the film. In this exclusive interview, Savoir Flair talks to Sean Baker and the Kenzo creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon about this collaboration.
Since this film features the Spring/Summer 2016 collection, what’s with the title Snowbird? Sean: I like the contrast because I think that it intrigues the audience. If you look up the definition of Snowbird, it has to do with those wayward people of the Slab City community, the sort of nomadic nature in which they live there; some of them live there in winter and travel north in summer. The individuals who just live in Slab City in that part of the year are called Snowbirds. Abbey’s character Theo is obviously somebody who comes and goes.
Snowbird isn’t your typical fashion film and it doesn’t seem like a commercial for a brand. It’s set in a trailer park, which is not the most glamorous location. Did that even cross your mind, Carol and Humberto, this disconnect between the expected glamor of fashion and this locale?
Photo: Courtesy of Kenzo