Rachel Antonoff’s inspiration for her spring 2014 collection was crushes, so she used a real life crush as the plot for her latest fashion film, which debuted last week at cool cocktail party.
“Crush” was a family affair–as it stars Antonoff’s brother Jack Antonoff (of Fun and being Lena Dunham’s boyfriend fame), and depicts the real life story of how Antonoff’s parents met, developed crushes on each other, and fell in love. Community‘s Gillian Jacobs plays Antonoff’s love interest and there are cameos by other cool, indie actors. It’s as adorable as it sounds, if not more so.
Speaking of cool actors, Parks & Recreation‘s Aubrey Plaza stars in the spring look book–previous stars of which have included Scarlett Johansson, Mae Whitman, and Pretty Little Liars‘ Troian Bellisario.
Interestingly, Antonoff says she’s not really into celebrity dressing. Read on for our Q&A with the designer, in which she dishes on that, the wonderful story behind the film, ditching fashion week, and watch the awesome film itself. Seriously, it’s great. I almost cried.
Fashionista: Loved the film so much! Tell me about the story behind it and how it came about.
Rachel Antonoff: It’s my parents. The theme for the line was “crush,” because the way I come up with ideas is just daydreaming and often I’m daydreaming about a crush, so it just made sense and I was thinking about crushes and people meeting and my parents just had this great story. I happened to see the work of this filmmaker, Bianca Giaever, and she does these really touching sort of documentary videos. I thought it’d be really cool to do something with her, but do my parents’ story, so that’s what we did. We interviewed my parents and it went really well.
Did you write it yourself, aside from your parents’ dialogue? How did you cast it?
The script came really easily. Gillian Jacobs was actually cast when I was thinking maybe it would be my grandmother’s story because my grandmother’s blonde, but she was so fantastic and I just thought it was so special that my brother played my dad. We shot it in L.A. and a lot of our friends came out and helped and it was just a phenomenal couple of days. And Michael is just a phenomenal editor; we had so much footage and he pulled that out of it, like within a day. I was really blown away.
What made you decide to do a video instead of a show again?
Last time it felt like a decision, like do we not wanna do a show? It’ll be so sad… and then it just felt better in almost every way–wider outreach, it’s such a small budget and this stuff is so expensive.
Is it cheaper to do a film?
Here’s the thing, it’s easier to call in favors for this. Presentations are more expensive for us, but this is the kind of thing that could be expensive, but I’m always inspired by what people are willing to do when they really like a project.
Do you feel there’s also an advantage to showing after fashion month?
I personally feel like there’s an advantage just to having more time. We wait for Style.com’s video fashion week, so they’ll be airing it tomorrow. And just the fact that they do it when they do it is so nice.
What’s the deal with the boob print you and your brother are wearing?
This is taken from a print that was in my grandmother’s bathroom our whole lives and still is. We had it in the background of our last video and the daughter of the artist saw it and reached out to me on Twitter, so we met her and her daughter’s actually here tonight, and then we worked something out with her to use the print and it just feels very special and very full-circle.
That’s amazing! What about the tees and sweatshirts I’ve been seeing everywhere?
I started making things that I wanted to wear and then I feel like I kind of got away from that a little–and I made the t-shirts and sweatshirts kind of on a whim and then they sold, and so it just seems like it could actually be a real possible cornerstone of the business, like bread and butter-wise. Now I just have to keep trying to think of shit and it’s hard because I’m not like a slogan t-shirt person.
We’ve noticed them on celebrities, like Mindy Kaling on her show. Do you make a push to do celebrity dressing?
I kind of feel like with celebrities… I used to work in PR and, it’s great; I think it’s really terrific that there are these people with a really great public platform, but I can’t feel good about it if even a fraction of my energy is spent attempting to make that happen. I feel like when it happens, great, and otherwise I’m not putting a foot forward towards that. So [Mindy] saw it and liked it and reached out and that was wonderful. I’m sure that we could be doing more of that if we were proactive, but it makes me feel icky. It feels like a weird gross exchange of goods and it’s just not my favorite part of this industry. I’d rather people buy stuff because they like it. And don’t get me wrong, Alexa Chung wearing that dress a few years ago that boosted sales, that helped, I just don’t want it to be a big, proactive thing we’re doing.
Watch the film and browse the collection below.