Female (Singapore) - - CONTENTS -

Sofia Cop­pola shares the ’80s in­flu­ences that shape her world.

Sofia Cop­pola may be an iconic ’90s It girl, but she’s an ’80s kid at heart. In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view, the Os­car-win­ning film­maker shares the in­flu­ences from the era that shaped her cov­eted style, wry out­look and lat­est glam­orous ad for Cartier. Pa­tri­cia Lee re­ports.

The ’80s has been called the decade when “pre­dictabil­ity lost its cache.” Kids wanted to be the free­wheel­ing Fer­ris Bueller, Madonna proved that shock sells, and en­fant ter­ri­bles like Jean Paul Gaultier ruled the run­ways. At first sight, those bold and brash years seem at odds with Sofia Cop­pola’s charmed, ethe­real worlds.

Yet ’80s throw­backs are rife in her work – al­beit in­fused with Cop­pola’s be­guil­ing sub­tlety, dark hu­mour and on point fash­ion sen­si­bil­ity. Who else would have put Scar­lett Jo­hans­son in a glam rock pink wig while belt­ing out karaoke hits in Lost in Trans­la­tion? Or jux­ta­posed Ver­sailles chic with post-punk beats in Marie An­toinette? “The ’80s was when I was a teenager, so it made a big im­pres­sion on shap­ing me into who I am,” says the di­rec­tor.

Cop­pola be­longs to Hol­ly­wood’s Gen­er­a­tion X, along­side other au­teurs, such as Spike Jonze and Wes An­der­son, who came of age during Tin­sel­town’s era of ex­cess. Once writ­ten off as the dazed and con­fused, the whimsy and wan­der­ings of their early adult­hood have blos­somed into idio­syn­cratic cult hits. Cop­pola’s own lost years, in­clud­ing a bru­tally panned stab at act­ing and flir­ta­tion with fash­ion de­sign, have been well doc­u­mented. It was only when Cop­pola got be­hind the cam­era – show­ing us the world through her eyes –that the mul­ti­ple per­spec­tives that com­pose her rich point of view came to­gether.

To­day, the film­maker’s slant is so sought after, the phrase “I want Sofia Cop­pola to di­rect my life” has be­come some­thing of a modern-day mantra. Cop­pola’s fil­ter has the abil­ity to ro­man­ti­cise any story – be it about be­ing trapped in an ex­is­ten­tial cri­sis in LA, fame-ob­sessed teenagers on a rob­bing spree, or the highly-an­tic­i­pated rein­tro­duc­tion of Cartier’s Pan­there de Cartier watch from 1983.

Per­fectly timed, her ad for the brand puts Cop­pola’s golden spin on an era that has been see­ing a re­vival. “The ’80s were deca­dent and glam­orous. To me, the women looked like women. They had a grown-up so­phis­ti­ca­tion,” she shares, ex­plain­ing the in­spi­ra­tions be­hind the cast­ing of Court­ney Eaton along­side Donna Sum­mer’s daugh­ters, and the choice of lus­cious lo­ca­tions in­clud­ing Gior­gio’s night club and the Fox Man­sion.

“I thought about what I loved from that time – go­ing to Mr Chow’s, Lau­ren Hut­ton in Amer­i­can Gigolo, Hel­mut New­ton, French Vogue, and above all, the mu­sic and the op­ti­mism...”, she says. The Pan­there it­self is so in­ge­niously worked in, we find our­selves want­ing the woman, the life­style, and the watch. After all, few un­der­stand the power of sug­ges­tion bet­ter than Cop­pola. “It’s just about hav­ing a lit­tle flash of gold that re­minds us of the disco era,” she says.


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