NOTES ON CAMP

Video Premiere: L’Amour Bleu’s “Take It” is a Sensory Overload, Champagne-Fueled Romp

“Take It,” the new music video premiere from music group L’Amour Bleu starring dancers Silas & Rashaun, is all about exploring sensuality and lots and lots of color.


When dancer Silas Riener found himself in a mesh bodysuit painted in the likeness of his naked body, entangled with his similarly clad partner Rashaun Mitchell and lying on a platform painted to look like a jungle, with a stepladder bearing a cameraman suspended over them, he had a thought: “Okay, this is a new thing.”

Riener was in the midst of filming “Take It,” the new video that premieres today exclusively on W from music group-cum-artists’ collective L’Amour Bleu, directed by designer George Venson of the textile and wallpaper label Voutsa.

The video premiere comes on the heels of L’Amour Bleu’s debut full-length album, Please, which was released, fittingly, on Valentine’s Day, via the DIY label Static Recital and was filled with tales of romance, sensuality, and male nurses; “Take It” is the most pop-driven of the songs. “I’m obsessed with the band INXS,” said vocalist and guitarist Ryan Schaefer, formerly of Palms. “I kept jokingly saying, ‘Let’s do something that’s a little more INXS.’” Pause. “Not that this sounds anything like INXS.”

Over the course of a champagne-fueled day last May, Venson, Silas & Rashaun, band members Schaefer, Matt Tong of Bloc Party, and E.A. Ireland, and the group’s art director Shane Ruth, who works under the name Baby, gathered at Venson’s Lower East Side pop-up shop for Voutsa. It was an organic meeting of friends as well as collaborators—Venson had previously designed a costume for Riener, and he was friends with several L’Amour Bleu band members—and they came ready to create mischief.

“Everyone was wearing silk,” Schaefer recalled, laughing.

Though the track itself is precise in its narrative, exploring the power dynamics that emerge out of the relationship between a woman and her male nurse, the video for “Take It” is more fungible. It takes place across several rooms, united by their visual impression and the music rather than a specific story, with Mitchell and Riener composing choreographies against different backdrops and using varying costumes.

In one, they curl up together, their black-and-white looks matching the backdrop and a landline phone shaped like lips on the floor, while in another, they do pelvic thrusts in hooded caftans against a white brick wall, a velvet rope suspended in front of them. Though Riener explained they did some prep work ahead of time, much of the video was improvised.

“The concept was informed by the fact that we had two male dancers who assumed the role of partners,” Venson said. “Throughout the video they’re in various sorts of relationships with each other.” The video also echoes L’Amour Bleu’s own fascination with modes and expressions of masculinity—particularly “masculine sensuality or sensibilities,” Ruth added.

The image of the male nurse, too, is one that has typically troubled traditional gender roles; personally, women are more often ascribed the role of caregiver and professionally, more often associated with nursing.

“It’s fascinating because it is very multi-dimensional,” Ruth said. “It’s just a natural subject matter that’s fun to question. It’s smart to question it.”

Va-Va-Voutsa! Inside Its New Pop-Up Shop, Not Your Grandmother’s Wallpaper

Cafiero Select Home lamp, Voutsa lampshade, Voutsa Mimi wallpaper, and Voutsa x Paul Marlow clothing at Voutsa: The Vanity Project at 179 Mott Street, New York. Photo by Siyoung Song.

Voutsa x Paul Marlow clothing, jewelry by Carole Tanenbaum Vintage Collection, Voutsa Pilu wallpaper, and Voutsa pillows at Voutsa: The Vanity Project at 179 Mott Street, New York. Photo by Siyoung Song.

Voutsa x Paul Marlow at Voutsa: The Vanity Project at 179 Mott Street, New York. Photo by Siyoung Song.

Voutsa pillows at Voutsa: The Vanity Project at 179 Mott Street, New York. Photo by Siyoung Song.

Cafiero Select Home lamp, Voutsa lampshade, and Voutsa Mimi wallpaper at Voutsa: The Vanity Project at 179 Mott Street, New York. Photo by Siyoung Song.

Voutsa x Paul Marlow clothing, jewelry by Carole Tanenbaum Vintage Collection, Heliogabalus Voutsa wallpaper, and Voutsa x Sabahs shoes at Voutsa: The Vanity Project at 179 Mott Street, New York. Photo by Siyoung Song.

Cafiero Select Home urn lamp and Voutsa lampshade, Tzelan lamps (above), Voutsa x We-R2 Studio trays and tea towels, Voutsa totes, and Bellocq tea and candles at Voutsa: The Vanity Project at 179 Mott Street, New York. Photo by Siyoung Song.

Voutsa x Paul Marlow clothing, jewelry by Carole Tanenbaum Vintage Collection, and George Voutsa wallpaper at Voutsa: The Vanity Project at 179 Mott Street, New York. Photo by Siyoung Song.

Voutsa x Paul Marlow clothing, jewelry by Carole Tanenbaum Vintage Collection, and Baldasnakes Voutsa wallpaper at Voutsa: The Vanity Project at 179 Mott Street, New York. Photo by Siyoung Song.

Voutsa x Mother of Thousands Giant Mrs. Noodle pillow and giant Ballets Russes Voutsa lampshade at Voutsa: The Vanity Project at 179 Mott Street, New York. Photo by Siyoung Song.

Voutsa x Paul Marlow clothing, jewelry by Carole Tanenbaum Vintage Collection, and Nunhats Voutsa wallpaper at Voutsa: The Vanity Project at 179 Mott Street, New York. Photo by Siyoung Song.

Voutsa x Paul Marlow clothing, jewelry by Carole Tanenbaum Vintage Collection, Voutsa lampshades, and chairs by Voutsa x Sasha Bikoff Interior Design at Voutsa: The Vanity Project at 179 Mott Street, New York. Photo by Siyoung Song.

Voutsa x Justin Vivian Bond collaborative wallpaper at Voutsa: The Vanity Project at 179 Mott Street, New York. Photo by Siyoung Song.

Voutsa x Paul Marlow clothing and jewelry by Carole Tanenbaum Vintage Collection at Voutsa: The Vanity Project at 179 Mott Street, New York. Photo by Siyoung Song.

Voutsa x Paul Marlow clothing, Voutsa tote, and Voutsa x Sabah shoes at Voutsa: The Vanity Project at 179 Mott Street, New York. Photo by Siyoung Song.

Voutsa x Mother of Thousands chairs and Earrings, Diaghilev, and Octopussi wallpaper at Voutsa: The Vanity Project at 179 Mott Street, New York. Photo by Siyoung Song.

Voutsa x Mother of Thousands Giant Mrs. Noodle pillow at Voutsa: The Vanity Project at 179 Mott Street, New York. Photo by Siyoung Song.

Cafiero Select Home lighting and Voutsa lampshades at Voutsa: The Vanity Project at 179 Mott Street, New York. Photo by Siyoung Song.

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