Meet director Lukhas Dhont, 4 times awarded at Cannes, indie musician Sylvie Kreusch, Lady Gaga’s stylist Tom Eerebout, and Alessandro Cangalli behind the Azzaro Couture video.
You are releasing a carte-blanche with Azzaro for the Haute Couture digital Week, could you tell us what Seedy Tricks is about?
SK: The song explores different sounds and textures. It features tribal drums, a beat that continues on throughout the track (kind of like a train), and multiple layers with oriental instruments, such as sitars, which I tried not to use in a typical way. The aim was to combine a psychedelic vibe with a double-edged naïvete. I pre-produce my music, but work with real instruments and real musicians, which was a very deliberate decision. Lyrically… let’s say I’m pouring my heart out…
LD: Sylvie’s music has a complete cinematographic universe, which is why as a director I am really attracted to her sound and the way she performs. The three of us already worked together on a video in which we explored several of the main themes in her work. Passion is an important element, but also the contrast between dream and reality.
AC: Romantic extremes are a central part of Sylvie’s work. This particular song describes an unrequited love. It inspired us to explore the parallels between romantic obsession and a loss of contact with reality.
Visually, the movie alternate between reality and hallucination in a feverish trip, how do you transmute the essence of music into images?
SK: I always get my inspiration from certain movie scenes during the process of writing and producing my music, but still the story I tell in my lyrics are very personal combined with the more dramatic aspects I find in these movies. When I get into the process of making images I go back to the mood board I created in my head. Together with my longtime visual partner in crime, Alessandro Cangelli, we get into all the details… it’s funny, because, in the end, it feels like he’s my psychologist. He knows me so well, we have the same taste and we can read each other’s minds.
Olivier Theyskens creations for Azzaro are a central part of the visual minimalist décor. It gives a cinematographic sensation and a touch of drama. How did you attribute those silhouettes into the scenes?
TE: I think the silhouettes Olivier made for Azzaro worked perfectly for the world of the video. It was important for me that the setups corresponded with the story Sylvie wanted to tell. The light and set played an important role in selecting the looks as I wanted to make sure it showed the intricate details of the fabrics and would work with Sylvie’s performance and become an enigmatic visual in her dancing.
LD: It was important to contrast the beauty of the couture with a gritty atmosphere. All of the references were images that resonated with a more dark side of Sylvie. His clothes are very elegant and feminine, which is ideal for Sylvie to perform in.
Tom, you are used to dress Lady Gaga with such iconic appearances as the Venice film festival or the Oscars. How would you describe Sylvie’s style in this musical performance?
I have known Sylvie for many years and her style and demeanor have always enticed me. She has this seductive effect on people and you can not help but be under her spell. When Sylvie is in the room she is the one you look at, which is such a special power to have. The style in this video gives a wink to the great performers who have always inspired both of us, Dalida, Isabelle Adjani, Diana Ross to name a few. But in its total, it is completely Sylvie and the world she wants to lure you in as a modern-day siren.
Sylvie, Seedy Trick is your first solo track and probably very special to you. How was it to embody this track for Azzaro with Lukas, Alessandro, Tom and Olivier?
SK: the song was the start of an era and now getting the chance to make this video feels like the end of the chapter. At first, it felt strange to use an old track but now I feel very grateful I could create this story together with this team. This video also feels like a continuation of what we created a year ago with the song Please To Devon. Both songs were written at the same time but tell different facets of the same love story, and this is echoed in the videos.
This video arrives after a very troubled period and talks about the absence/lack of response of a loved one within an urban surrounding. Is it something that resonate particularly for you? Did you had this in mind during the shooting?
SK: Yes, of course, I was surprised how much this affected me. I never realized how important it is to be able to cuddle and to be close to people I love. The recording day felt very special to me, this was the first time I was able to be together with a big group of such good friends, we were so excited about doing this together and all we wanted to do was give hugs at the end of the day. It was also a big risk to be on set the whole day with such a big group of people so I’m really grateful they wanted to be involved that means a lot! I am lucky to have worked with extremely talented people such as Lukas, Tom, and Alessandro, but also Kanamé Onoyama, Louis Ghewy, Cécile Paravina, Edouard Mailaender, and Aylin Hazel.
LD: More than ever we are in need of beauty. All of us share this passion to create something beautiful through the combination of images, music, and clothing. We came together with the aim to elevate our own spirits and those of the people that look at it. It’s of course strange to talk about haute couture in a moment of time where so much seems to be going on, but for this particular reason we think it’s valuable to remind ourselves that there is as much beauty as there is darkness.
The Azzaro woman is infused with the 70s motto about living the moment, not searching for empowerment nor to gain power but to experience life with all its complexity. As a young singer from the 21 st century does this relate to you? What is your vision of modern femininity
SK: I’ve always been very inspired by these women. I had a conversation about it with Olivier and it’s such a beautiful coincidence that we both feel the same way about female empowerment. There’s nothing as strong as a woman who dares to show her emotions. She can be crazy, start crying on stage, have all these mixed emotions. I think we are kind of losing that these days. I feel such pressure because for such a long time we always had to prove how strong and independent we are now and it almost becomes a taboo to cry in front of people now or to be honest that you are just still “not over it”. I find French singer Mireille Mathieu performing her song “A Quoi Tu Penses, Dis…” to be one of the most beautiful performances ever… it touched me so deeply and gave me a lot of confidence during a very rough emotional period in my life. It’s OK to feel hurt and to show it to the audience.
Couture and cinema have always been closely linked. How do you use fashion into your work?
LD: My mom has always been in the fashion industry, first making collections, then as a fashion teacher. It has always been part of my growing up and something I’ve been really interested in. However, I haven’t been able to fully explore it in my work. When I’m preparing a film, I’m very much a perfectionist when it comes to textures, colors, clothing… I owe this to my mom and hope to work on this more in the future. I’m very happy to work with people like Sylvie and Alessandro, aside from my work as an auteur.