As seen in Spike Jonze's latest sci-fi rom-com film, Her, future Angelenos live in a technicolor, Jamba Juice-inspired world filled with sexy-voiced
Siris OSes, high-waisted pants, collarless shirts and nary a neoprene peplum skirt in sight. The movie's retro-futuristic fashion is the vision of LA-based costume designer (and longtime Jonze collaborator) Casey Storm, who's created the looks behind such big screen flicks as Where the Wild Things Are and Adaptation, produced fashion clips for designer pal Geren Ford and masterminded the wardrobes of iconic '90s music videos for Björk, Weezer, the Beastie Boys and many others.
Nodding to the same Cali-inspired color palettes that graced NYFW's spring 2014 runways, the designer's work for the Golden Globe-winning film has already inspired a very wearable capsule collection—complete with the clever safety pin-adorned pockets—by none other than cool kid boutique Opening Ceremony. We sat down with Storm to talk about whether the City of Angels had a hand in Her's sartorial look, how he avoided Tinseltown's typical tricks when it comes to crafting a utopian society's collective closet, his favorite LA shops and much more. Read about it all after the jump.
Her was shot mostly in LA, with a few weeks in Shanghai. As a native Angeleno, how did your experiences growing up in this city affect the costumery?
"I imagine it influences any costuming i do to some extent. I love LA and have a special emotional connection with it, so details probably emerge subconsciously in so much of my work. It's hard to say what specifically in Her feels Angeleno. Amy wears her shirts with just the top button done, so maybe that's an homage to Cholo culture?"
The story takes place in not-so-distant future. How did you convey that in the wardrobe without resorting to all the typical Jetsons-esque tricks?
"We had early brainstorm sessions about what we wanted to convey. The initial conversations were more theoretical than practical. We talked about what kind of emotion we wanted the future to have and what kind of heartbeat it would possess. On futuristic films, I find that the conversation quickly becomes about distance and loneliness and coldness. These emotions require a cold palette and a flat synthetic texture. We dreamed differently.
We imagined that in the future you have access to everything. Why wouldn't you create a bespoke world? If you could access the internet and customize everything in your life, why wouldn't you create an inspiring warm world filled with oranges and reds and yellows instead of silver, black and white? And with precious resources dwindling, why create unrecyclable textures and textiles? Instead we return to cottons and wools and softness and warmth."
Were there any specific LA places that influenced the costume designs?
"Not necessarily. The characters and scenes dictate the design. The process of arriving at the style we did took weeks and weeks of trial and error."
We have to ask! How have your childhood experiences on the set of the 1980s TV series Mork and Mindy affected you professionally?
"Growing up on TV sets made me love the camaraderie of film. My dad and Robin Williams and the cast and crew of Mork and Mindy were a family that had so much love. It definitely parallels the film family that I grew up in with Spike and [production designer] K.K. [Barrett] and [producer] Vince [Landlay] and [editor] Eric [Zumbrennen] and [first assistant director] Thomas [Patrick Smith]. I think it's rare nowadays to have a film family. Everyone is a hired gun on each project and the nature of being freelance makes it difficult for the same group of people to always be available, but we manage to do it. We clear schedules months in advance and we prioritize being together."
What are your thoughts on Opening Ceremony's Her-inspired collection?
"I love the collection. It's great to see someone else's interpretation of what I did. Some of the pieces feel so close to the film and really capture the emotion of what I was doing and some of the pieces feel outside of my scope, but even on that stuff, I like seeing that my ideas aren't so literal. I'm glad [designer/OC co-owner] Humberto [Leon] took license to show what it meant to him. I have a bunch of the pieces and wear them a lot."
What LA-based labels or designers are you into at the moment?
"I'm not really a fashion person, I just like clothes. I love Opening Ceremony and Band of Outsiders. I love Dream Collective for jewelry."