What happens when a luxury company taps a worldy, sophisticated designer/actor/fashion person as their global brand ambassador? Usually, nothing. But, The Luxury Collection Hotels and Resorts managed to enlist a really cool one who does more than show up at parties.
Waris Ahluwalia, who you may know from his acting roles in Wes Anderson films, his beautiful jewelry line House of Waris and being impeccably well dressed at all times, is the hotel group’s “Global Traveler.” And as such, he’s gone above and beyond what was required of him to create a beautiful short film with an all-star cast and crew that includes I Am Love‘s Luca Guadagnino (director), Tilda Swinton (co-writer), Heidi Bivens (stylist), Jason Schwartzman (music) and Agyness Deyn in one of her first acting roles ever (she’ll play a stripper in her next film).
Yesterday, I had the pleasure (seriously, it felt like a mini-vacation in the middle of the day) to attend a private screening of Here (which you can watch in full above) with Waris and Heidi in a gorgeous suite at The Chatwal in midtown. We got to chat about making the film, putting together the gorgeous wardrobe and working with brand new actress Agyness Deyn.
Waris, one of the most charming people on the planet, said of putting the cast and crew together: “I picked friends who also are talented.”
The talented friends shot at three of the Luxury Collection’s properties: The Equinox in Manchester Village, VT, The Phoenician in Scottsdale, AZ and The Royal Hawaiian in Honolulu travel scenes on an airplane and a train, both of which were real and in motion. It was all done “guerilla style” over the course of one week.
Waris’ primary inspiration for the film was Hitchcock. “I mean, look at her,” he said when asked about the decision to use Hitchcock-esque beauty Agyness Deyn in the lead role, who he sees as a romantic, yet strong and powerful woman. Director Luca Guadagnino instantly said she was ‘it’ upon seeing her photo. In the film, she travels from place to place on a mysterious adventure to find a significant other (played by Waris–though you can only see his hands). When he found out she had moved to L.A. and was focusing on acting, he called her up and the rest is history.
With no dialogue, the film is all about aesthetic beauty, which it had lots of–including the wardrobe. Every look was incredibly chic, simple and timeless. Stylist Heidi Bivens told us she tried to use silhouettes people in Hitckock’s films would wear. Some favorites included a past season black Dior coat, a Yigal Azrouel green shirt dress and a yellow Valentino gown.
See below for a fun behind-the-scenes video. What do you think of Aggy’s (silent) acting skills? For more, head to the the film’s website.