Proenza Schouler Teams with Harley Weir for Planned Parenthood of New York City film
BY SAWYER GAINES
“A woman is…” a little black boy softly utters through a set of uneven teeth as he provides the introduction to one of the most important, beautiful and empowering video projects that The Impression has seen so far this year. For their third collaboration with visual artist and director Harley Weir, Proenza Schouler has decided to take a stand for the rights of all women and femmes with a film that directly supports Planned Parenthood of New York. The film is a resounding victory for representation and equality with an extremely diverse cast of women of all body types, identities, races and backgrounds as they monologue about femininity, showcase the beauty of their bodies and embrace themselves for who they are.
The film really begins with some narration from model and actress Amber Valletta as she describes the biblical tale of the origins of man and woman, the story of Adam and Eve. It is of great creative merit that they begin the film with the story of how the gender binary was created because immediately after this they shift to narration from those that want to dismantle and tear down this gender binary. We are introduced to the young black visual artist, activist and creator Sage Adams who shaves their head while discussing how limiting and restrictive the binary gender system is. This dissolution of the gender binary continues with a brief monologue from transgender writer, model, actress and activist Hari Nef who describes growing up and being told that the way she would present herself naturally was actually feminine. Further highlights of the film include model Lily Newmark saying that being “powerful” is what makes her feminine, Sage Adams stating that they describe their body as a “flesh prison” and a resoundingly true statement about how shame is the reason we grow up learning about our bodies and sexuality in such a twisted and altogether wrong way. These monologues are juxtaposed with gorgeous and fascinating directorial work from Harley Weir who shoots the women of the film like they are marvelous sculptures or pieces of art that deserve to be put up on a pedestal and worshipped. Weir shows herself to be a supremely talented visual artist and filmmaker with startling, breathtaking imagery, intricate and creative usage of close-ups and her ability to create a certain mood especially with her deft and articulate use of color.
Proenza Schouler and Harley Weir’s “A Film for Planned Parenthood of New York City” is without question one of the most stunning, integral and deeply moving films that we have ever seen and it completely transcends what we expect from a fashion film. It’s subject matter and message could not be more timely with this incredible and vital organization in great jeopardy from changes brought on by the Trump administration Planned Parenthood needs all the help and support they can get. With this in mind The Impression would like to say that we unequivocally support and stand with Planned Parenthood and everything that was said in this video and believe these messages must be shared and spread across this entire nation. In the concluding words of the little kid that started the video “that’s all.”
Creative Director | Jen Brill
Art Direction | Raine Trainor
Director/Photographer | Harley Weir
Stylist | Camilla Nickerson
Hair | Tina Outen
Makeup | Thomas de Kluyver
Manicure | Alicia Torello, Sonya Belakhlef
Set Design | Matt Jackson
Casting | Greg Krelenstein, Lisa Duckworth, Amrit Sidh