Step into the surrealist world of photographer and producer Autumn de Wilde.
I’ll lead you through a few of her wild short films and images. From Orangina, to Prada and Rodarte.
Set in a hotel you’d expect to see in a Wes Anderson film- to the sound of a French pop band, The Rebels of Tijuana- Orangina has developed it’s whimsically un-British branding.
Here’s the TV spot for Orangina.
The nostalgic seaside setting, retro orange elevator and the model’s stripy romper all seductively elude to childhood innocence and curiosity. de Wilde has harnessed this dream-like nostalgia with the added quirkiness of French nonchalance.
Throughout the 60 second film I get the mixed feeling of both rebellion and innocence. There are odd, comedic sounds coming from the two elderly men standing at the elevator dressed in matching pastel suits, holding hands. It makes Orangina seem anything but mainstream. Hence the idea; shake it up.
The Postman Dreams
The theme follows the daydreams of a wandering postman. In an interview with Vogue, de Wilde explains why she chose the character: “I was looking for a way to make the films a series of dreams with one common thread to tie them together. This way, I could employ my favourite cocktail of surrealism and fantasy… I realized that a postman would be a fantastic, classic character to build on. A postman visits hundreds of lives for 10 seconds at a time when they deliver the mail. I loved the idea of our hero visiting so many different worlds every day and dreaming up fantastic lives for the people he encounters.”
Like the lobby boy and concierge of Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, here are the Postman’s dreams.
my favorite cocktail of surrealism and fantasy
The Tree comes across as very matter-of-fact, I think because of the motorcyclist’s direct trip to and from the Prada tree. There’s a childish confusion between real life and one’s imagination, and the strong conviction young children have which we we loose in a rational adult world. Why shouldn’t a girl find a tree full of red Galleria bags if she sets out to? I also like the fairytale morality of only taking one bag away.
The Battlefield is one of the films that makes the khaki £1,500 Galleria bag most attainable, as it’s turned into part of a little boy’s toy army. Cinematically, I really liked the quiet, orderly depiction of a make believe world.
The lined up toys and contents of a mother’s handbag reference and poke fun at Instagram’s bagspill and flatlay craze.
The Laundromat is my favourite of the postman’s dreams. Again, like The Tree, it’s so purposeful, whilst being a fashion ad. The mature, pin-up model is hyper dramatic. Every movement is sharp and forceful. To wear such a lucid green Prada boiler suit, confidence levels must be off the Richter scale.
I was amazed to read that this laundrette is genuine. de Wilde hunted it down in Los Angeles.
My process is to step inside the character of all my projects and explore the possibilities. I also rarely adhere to a specific time period so I can hunt for timelessness and longevity. This approach has worked in every field, including fashion. I am a hunter—that is my style.
de Wilde, interview with Vogue
The Makeout only permits a short glimpse of the model’s face (because she’s too busy snogging) and it means the bag steals the attention. It becomes an extension of the protagonist, in a glass slipper sort of way. Not-so-subtly enticing you to think how gorgeous and attractive you’d be with a Prada bag by your side.
The band that plays throughout the five films, as though it’s a chorus, is The Blasting Company. The comic role they play is almost as great as the Postman’s little scooter.
The Mulleavy sisters Kate and Laura have calculated what women want to wear, to a T. Romantic feminine frills, mixed with confident, high-fashion couture; the stuff I’d find in heaven. I’ve been the biggest fan since they sent models down the runway with black lipstick and bright yellow, black and purple orchid crowns and ear cuffs for fall 2016.
The fashion house started in Los Angeles in 2005 and after many successes, designed the ballet costumes for Darren Aronofsky’s film Black Swan in 2010. Their couture gowns are shown in the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
de Wilde has a long partnership with the Californian sisters and always works with them before shows and at fittings. I love the results of their partnership. Take a look at the r e s u l t.
Do you share my obsession with Autumn de Wilde?