So, I did something...
It’s not often that you get the chance to build a fashion moment around a nursery rhyme.
Part of what makes fashion so fun to play with is that it’s always gonna be a part of any world, real or imagined. So I was super excited when Squarespace called and said they wanted us to do a Super Bowl commercial where Z played the girl who sells seashells and André 3000 narrated. (Who everyone loves, including Z and I.)
It’s funny to dream up how a nursery rhyme would look as a visual, because you start to realize how many of them are about entrepreneurs! Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, probably to sell them. And Sally’s really just selling seashells so she can make ends meet. She's just trying to eat.
I had a lot of fun thinking about how to find the right clothes for the commercial. I don’t usually get to work with costumey stuff, because for the most part I dress girls for real life. For the street, not the storybook. And Z never does whimsy. We do other things all the time. We'll do daring, or elegant, or simple, or old school glamor, but when it comes to the whimsical stuff, we usually stay away from it.
Whimsy is tricky in fashion. It can make someone look childish or unserious if you don’t get the right balance. Z was a Disney girl once upon a time, and that’s not a story we reference too often. The most whimsical we’ve really gone was when I dressed her as Cinderella and myself as her fairy godfather, but that was for the Met...
The commercial was directed by Edgar Wright, and his style is all over it! He did Baby Driver and Last Night in Soho. He did a beautiful job. And because the story is about a girl launching a business, I needed the fashion to tell a story that evolved from her humble beginnings to her success. I wanted there to be a clear progression, but to keep it playful and eccentric without going too campy.
I was thinking about it like this: Sally gets some more money, and decides she wants to upgrade her style a little bit, because she’s built this small empire from a tiny seashell business and wants to start dressing the part. The whole mood of the commercial changes throughout. She’s sad at first, and then she becomes this energetic and successful young woman. I wanted the looks to reflect that.
So at the beginning she’s wearing this simple, slouchy knit sweater, and by the end, you see her in that gorgeous turquoise dress with the shells sewed into the bodice that I had custom made just for the commercial. It makes her look like a sea goddess. We thought of doing a longer version, but I thought this one was younger and more whimsical! And I think the seashell accessories in each outfit really ties them all together.
Until next time,