Remember yesterday how your lunch break was momentarily illuminated by all the wonder of the world, by the light of hope and life and maybe even love itself? Remember how everyone in that video you shared on [your relevant social media platform] was unnervingly good looking, and uniformly chic, and the music was disarmingly heart-wrenching and you couldn’t help but beam and pass it on in the hope that someone, anyone, might for a minute or three share in an encounter with the kind of joy and intimacy that lately has felt fewer and farther in between?
Well, it was all a lie. Sort of. Tati Pilieva’s ‘First Kiss’ video, which has since raked up some sixteen million views, was actually an ad – Satan’s preferred artistic medium – for LA-based womenswear label WREN and their Fall 2014 collection.
Sure, the founding premise remains true: the participants were all strangers kissing for the first time. They’re also strangers who happen to be well-versed in the performance of intimacy. Notes Slate:
The cast includes models Natalia Bonifacci, Ingrid Schram, and Langley Fox (daughter of [Manhattan] actress Mariel Hemingway and sister of model Dree); musicians Z Berg of The Like, Damian Kulash of OK Go, Justin Kennedy of Army Navy, singer Nicole Simone, and singer-actress Soko (who also performed the melancholy indie music that accompanies the short); and actors Karim Saleh, Matthew Carey, Jill Larson, Corby Griesenbeck, Elisabetta Tedla, Luke Cook, and Marianna Palka.
To be fair, Pilieva’s video is initially signposted with ‘WREN presents’, and names like Soko and Langley Fox raised a tentative red flag. If ‘First Kiss’ never pretended to be anything otherwise, does its nature as an advertisement make it (retroactively) any less moving for it being just another ad for clothes – albeit a brilliant one presented in a highly-shareable format?
Are whatever feelings it evoked in you rendered void now you’re a little wiser to its motives; or is this no different to being moved by the performances of actors in a film?
Is Pilieva the Jimmy Kimmel of fashion film? Do you even care?
Are you going to watch it again? Yes, yes you are.