Camilla Staerk’s Cinematic Vanitas

Camilla Staerk

Forget about fashion trends. The latest trend in the industry isn’t sartorial, it’s celluloid. Seriously. There have been enough designer short films screening around town the last few weeks to fill a multiplex.

But while Camilla Staerk got in on the action last week, she’s no Camilla-come-lately. In fact, the Danish-born designer, who debuted her film, “Vanitas,” at the Tribeca Grand Hotel, is married to well-known avant-garde filmmaker, Barnaby Roper, who routinely screens his work on SHOWstudio and NOWNESS (where you can watch the video). Camilla also put a new twist on the fashion film by using it to launch her Spring 2012 collection, about eight weeks before the rest of the fashion flock will be showing their spring wares at NYFW. Way to get a jump on things!

Inspired by the work of Hans Henrik Lerfeldt, Camilla’s favorite Danish artist, the collection played out by way of a leather jersey dress worn with mesh-and-leather suspenders, a leather lace skirt with sheer bodysuit, a sepia-toned chiffon trench atop net lingerie, and a pale mink collar with a high-waist ruched pencil skirt and sheer blouse – all worn with garter belts, buttoned stockings, and lace driving gloves. Oh, be-have!

“Vanitas” (which is Latin and, loosely translated, refers to the meaningless nature of earthly life and the transient nature of vanity) is a moody, broody dance piece starring Hilary Guswiler and Josephine Berggren from The Royal Danish Ballet (wearing Staerk finery, of course), with an original score by Sune Rose Wagner of The Raveonettes. The film is sensual and impressionistic, with a dark, slightly subversive subtext – much like the Nordic designer herself.

Lauren David Peden writes for Rue La La as a Contributing Editor.

July 20, 2011