Bits and Bobs.
The bob is a century old hairstyle for the hot to trot female fashionista. A statement cut that frames a face and defines a personality, from Louise Brooks to VB’s Pob, it’s not a cut for the indecisive. Picking up on the ongoing trend, photography and film duo Saty and Pratha have taken a leaf out of Polly Maggoo’s pocket book and created a minute long film of girls winking and blinking out from under perfectly shaped tresses. Selected for Diane Pernet’s 5th chapter of A Shaded View on Fashion Film, Saty and Pratha’s fleeting flick will compete in the festival commencing this Friday.
i-D online caught up with the delectable duo to talk bobs, Pobs and run of the mill swishing chiffon.
Where do you live/ how old are you/ what did you study? We’re from Canada and did printing and publishing at uni. We took the plunge and moved to London a few years back. At the moment we are living in New York but aiming to be back home in the land of grey and crumpets early in the new year. Seriously, this big yellow thing in the sky is really tripping us out.
How did you get into filmmaking? Saty used to do a lot of commercial editing and motion graphics and we’ve both been on a lot of film sets. At some point it just felt like a natural progression to take our still photography work towards moving images.
Why the bob? It has managed to stay relevant for a very long time, that’s hard to do! We initially wanted to focus on it after it cropped up on several AW’12 runways (Lanvin, Helmut Lang, Marni), and then of course when Vidal Sassoon passed away earlier this year, there was a renewed interest in the art of hair cuts versus hair styles. On a chewier level, we really like the way a bob frames someone’s face, and how it’s associated with having a strong character – from flappers to take-me-seriously-now starlets, the idea is that mousy women don’t have bobs!
What were your references? We liked the idea of each bob in the story belonging to a different character, and loosely based these on heroines from Fellini films such as 8 1/2. We are also THE biggest fans of William Klein, so there’s a tiny bit of Polly Maggoo in there too.
Top 5 fashion icon bobs? Coco Chanel, Mary Quant, Anna Wintour, Posh Spice (it’s got it’s own name!), Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction, Natalie Portman in Leon.
What are you working on next? We’re working on a short film in NYC with our good friend Ying Ying – a wide-eyed love letter to the city – and a brand film for a menswear designer who we are obsessed with! And of course our first love, shooting stills.
What’s your opinion on the narrative/ no narrative in fashion film debate?
Saty: We buy into both approaches, and have done both ‘eye candy for the sake of eye candy’ films as well as ‘beginning, middle and end’ ones. Speaking for myself, I have a pretty short attention span so if something has a story line I’m more likely to watch it through. On the other hand, there are some image-centric films that are so loaded visually that I’ll gladly watch them multiple times.
Pratha: People talk about fashion film being a ‘new’ medium, with different rules, but it’s not really – it’s just a natural progression from print editorials. On the whole, I think the same things that make an editorial good are what make a fashion film good – eliciting some sort of emotional response or awe. Nobody really cares about the editorials with swishy pony-tailed models jumping in the air surrounded by chiffon, and nobody’s going to be excited to see that in motion either! We should all be conscious of WHY we’re making something (and the answer shouldn’t be ‘Because we can’).
What are you working on next? We’re working on a short film here in NYC with our good friend Ying Ying – a wide-eyed love letter to the city – and a brand film for a menswear designer who we are obsessed with! And of course our first love, shooting stills.
Text: Felicity Kinsella
Film and Stills: Saty + Pratha
Styling: Naz and Kusi at Tzarkusi
Models: Diana at Premier, Helene at Elite
Hair: Paul Merritt at Jed Root using UNITE
Make-up: Debbie Finnegan for M.A.C. Pro
Nails: Sophie Harris-Greenslade at Illustrated Nail
Set Design: Eddie Hecht
Casting: The Eye Casting
Filming Assistance: Drew Whittam
Hair Assistance: Ayumi Pearson
Animal Tamers: Chad Burton and Burger Kim