Two years ago, the supermodel Anja Rubik made her music video debut in “Chleb,” a Polish-language track by DJ Mister D (an alias of the Polish writer Dorota Masłowska). Deliberately kitschy and a touch absurd, it feels cartoonishly 90’s: lip gloss, candy jewelry, and a man with a stuffed tiger rendered in an 8-bit video game.
This is to say it bears little-to-no resemblance to Rubik’s second, more recent music video star turn, a somber endeavor with the Polish singer Mary Komasa called “Lost Me.” It was released on May 16 to relatively little fanfare; directed by Komasa’s brother Jan (an acclaimed documentarian and narrative director), it is based on his observed interactions between Komasa and Rubik, reportedly fast friends after they met through Komasa’s sister Zofia.
The video starts with Rubik as a world-weary model (what else?) just seconds before she’s thrust out onto the runway. Everyone peers at her skeptically — even the makeup artist seems a bit terse — and their skepticism turns to undisguised dismay when Rubik proceeds to unzip the side of her gown, pushing it to the floor as she stalks down the runway.
Photos: Anja Rubik Bares All in Daring New Video “Lost Me”
Anja Rubik outside Stella McCartney during Paris Fashion Week, March 2016. Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
Anja Rubik at Frieze Art Fair in New York, New York, May 2016. Photo by Getty Images.
Anja Rubik walks Chanel during Paris Fashion Week, March 2016. Photo by Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage.
Anja Rubik outside the Chloé show at Paris Fashion Week, March 2015. Photo by Getty Images.
Anja Rubik walks Anthony Vaccarello during Paris Fashion Week, March 2015. Photo by Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images.
Anja Rubik walks Isabel Marant during Paris Fashion Week, March 2015. Photo by Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images.
Anja Rubik backstage at Elie Saab during Paris Fashion Week, March 2015. Photo by François Guillot/AFP/Getty Images.
Anja Rubik walks Chloé during Paris Fashion Week, March 2015. Photo by Getty Images.
Anja Rubik at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 2015. Photo by Jacopo Raule/GC Images.
Anja Rubik walks Versace during Paris Couture, July 2015. Photo by Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage.
“We actually took it further than we originally thought it would go because it felt organic and right,” Rubik said of the nudity, crediting her comfort to a “strong bond” with Komasa.
For all the bare skin, the scene is not exactly erotic. Instead, it’s a confrontation between two alternate identities coming together. In the crowd just beyond the runway, an equally nude Komasa sways, clutching a keyring of grenades. As the song reaches its climax, she pulls the pin out, tossing the cluster of live grenades into the air and moving to embrace Rubik as the crowd around them dissolves into chaos.
“It’s about a liberation from the fear of judgment,” Rubik explained.
“Those grenades don’t explode,” Komasa added. “They are just a decoy, a symbol of fear. They were designed to look unreal.”
As the video closes out, the camera moves around the two blondes — Komasa, looking haunted; Rubik, teary-eyed. Cameras flash against their bare skin; they’re the only people illuminated in the shadowy room. They might be the outsiders of this narrative, but they’ve turned it into their show.