Calvin Klein, Inc. Chief Creative Officer Raf Simons Collaborates with The xx for “I Dare You” Music Video
Video Directed and Shot By Alasdair McLellan
Calvin Klein, Inc. announced that Chief Creative Officer Raf Simons collaborated with The xx and photographer and filmmaker Alasdair McLellan on the creative concept and direction for the music video for the band’s latest song “I Dare You.” (To View Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqflFMhkqHM&feature=youtu.be)
Pieces featured in the long-form music video included selections from Calvin Klein 205W39NYC Fall/Winter 2017 Collection, formerly known as the Calvin Klein (Luxury Ready-to-Wear) Collection (and recently reconfigured under Simons), Calvin Klein Jeans, Calvin Klein Platinum, and Calvin Klein Underwear.
Simons has had a longstanding appreciation of The xx – Jamie Smith, Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim – and was drawn to the band’s work with McLellan on the music videos for “On Hold” and “Say Something Loving.” Seeing a connection between the videos and his own work at Calvin Klein, Simons was pleased to collaborate on the third video of the trilogy, lending his eye to the architectural and atmospheric elements and utilizing an eclectic cast of Calvin Klein collaborators.
In order to write and record their latest album, I See You, Sim says, the band made a concerted effort to stretch themselves beyond their hometown of London, to seek out the light. “We wanted to do something new,” he says, “so we had to go someplace new, which has spilled over into the artwork and visuals.” In looking for the proper aesthetic depiction of the band’s new, expansive outlook, they called on photographer-filmmaker Alasdair McLellan. “The way he captures skies and a certain light is beautiful,“ says Sim. “And exactly what we wanted.”
The music video, which was filmed in Los Angeles at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Sowden house and John Lautner’s Rainbow House, opens with actress Millie Bobby Brown, who currently appears in the Calvin Klein By Appointment campaign, and also features Ashton Sanders, currently featured in the men’s Spring 2017 Calvin Klein Underwear advertising campaign; Paris Jackson, who attended this year’s Costume Institute Benefit as a guest of the brand; and models Lulu and Ernesto Cervantes, who each appear in advertising campaigns for the brand as well as the Fall 2017 CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC runway show.
“Wide-open spaces and beautiful skies,” says The xx bassist and vocalist Oliver Sim, sitting poolside at Lloyd Wright’s famous Sowden House in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. “L.A. definitely met my expectations.”
For ‘On Hold,’ the first installment of what has become a music video trilogy, McLellan and the band went to West Texas in order to capture the vast skies and artistic energies of Marfa. ‘Say Something Loving,’ the next chapter, was filmed in the very parts of London where the band grew up and constructed their carefully insulated world. And, “well, Marfa, London, and Los Angeles were the cities where they wrote and recorded the album,” McLellan says, so, for ‘I Dare You,’ “Los Angeles was the perfect place.”
The video for ‘I Dare You’ was “basically about transcending,” says Millie Bobby Brown, whose character kicks loose the narrative of the video. “Paris is transcending into love, Lulu into liking boys, and I’m transcending into a teen. So it’s really emotional for me,” she says. “It’s happening right now to all these kids—it’s all really real and true.”
It’s also chock-a-block with the architectural history of the city that appealed to McLellan. “Even if L.A. is not that old,” he says, “you feel the history everywhere, you see the streets and schools and places you grew up with from watching films and TV. It’s incredibly exotic to us,” he says, “Americana-through-cinema. I mean, there’s Rodeo Drive!”
The video debuted June 29th on The xx’s YouTube channel.
Editorial Credit: Calvin Klein
Image Credits: © 2017 Alasdair Mclellan