Produced for Gucci by W magazine.
For her new four-part film series, a collaboration with Gucci, director Gia Coppola revisited one of the most famous ancient love stories, the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, and set it in modern-day New York City. The film stars singer-songwriter Lou Doillon (who is currently on a world tour promoting her latest album, Lay Low); model and ballerina Laura Love; model-cum-photographer Marcel Castenmiller; and Italian actor Rocco Di Gregorio. There are also cameo appearances from models like Tracey Antonopoulos and Julia Fleming, and music by Devonté Hynes. From the director to the extras, the film’s credits read like the guest list for the cool kid party everyone wants to be invited to.
But it’s Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele’s gorgeous 2016 Pre-Fall collection that really steals the spotlight in this atmospheric, magical film, with its symphony of bold colors, flora and fauna prints, and rich textures. Coppola, who hails from Hollywood royalty (Francis Ford Coppola is her grandfather; Sofia Coppola is her aunt) and first made a splash with her debut feature Palo Alto, captured the collection in a whole new light with her dreamy yet gritty style of filmmaking. She let the clothes speak for themselves—and also for the characters, since the film is nearly dialogue-free—with the styling help of award-winning costume designer Arianne Phillips. The result is a feast for the eyes, from the whimsical patchworks and avian embroideries to the striking hues and metallic accents. One can’t help but call to mind Coppola’s aunt Sofia’s 2006 film Marie Antoinette, which was not only a thoroughly modern treatment of an iconic story, but also a complete confection when it comes to the visuals.
In the first part of the Orpheus series, Eurydice (played by Doillon, daughter of Jane Birkin) walks down the aisle in a fairytale-like pink tulle gown sprinkled with sequins, and butterfly and snake patchworks. After Orpheus (Castenmiller) lifts Eurydice’s matching pink tulle veil, he adds a ring to her hand, which is already stacked with several of Gucci’s signature bijoux. (Orpheus himself also has a sizeable ring collection on his fingers, just like Michele is known to sport.) The happy couple say their vows in front of the officiator, played by actor and jewelry designer Waris Ahluwalia, then proceed to their uber-stylish party, filled with guests clad in glittering frocks and floral silk bomber jackets (pretty much any look in the room would have fashion hounds lusting after it). When Orpheus and Eurydice make their exit, Aristaeus is sitting outside. In the classic tale, Aristaeus is a man, but in this modern version the role is played by Love, perched like a bird of prey in oversize square shades and a glamorous fur-trimmed, floral print coat.
The newlyweds descend into the honeymoon stage of pure, marital bliss. They hole up in their apartment making love and playing card games, with Eurydice sporting a silky yellow number and black cardigan emblazoned with this season’s recurring embroideries. They transition to Central Park, with Eurydice in a memorable lavender and yellow-trimmed fur coat and Orpheus in a sporty bomber jacket. Their happiness is interrupted by Aristaeus in a striking red cape jacket and trousers. Before long, she causes Eurydice to be sent to Hell, although the footwear-conscious will admire Eurydice’s crystal star- and moon-embellished boots as much as they mourn her passing.
Orpheus, seeking his wife, finds a clue to her whereabouts. He goes to retrieve her from the underworld (in this case, a dimly-lit Manhattan nightclub), and persuades Hades (Di Gregorio) to let her go by playing music so powerful it makes the Devil himself feel empathy. Hades’ release of Eurydice comes with conditions, however: he tells Orpheus that if he looks back at his wife as they journey from the Underworld, she’ll be returned to Hell, and lost forever. In this scene we see that Orpheus’s bomber is stitched with the words “L’Aveugle Par Amour”– blind for love. In the film’s last scenes, we hope Orpheus will heed the phrase and keep his eyes off Eurydice, even as we—and he—know that he won’t.