When is a jacket so much more than a jacket? When director Gracie Otto is shooting it for a brand campaign that’s very cleverly disguised as a fun short film.
“Good fashion choices can be such an important part of your life,” she says (much to GRAZIA’s delight, because we wholeheartedly agree) when we spoke to her about directing the newest Sportsgirl campaign, called This Jacket’s Got Your Back, which launched nationally today.
“[It’s about] how a special purchase becomes an integral part of your everyday existence,” Otto says of the 60-second film’s plot line. “And like a good friend, always has your back. It’s always going to be there in the good times and when you need a shoulder to cry on, and doesn’t mind waiting to go home until after you’ve finished dancing.”
Written down, it sounds odd to personify a piece of clothing, but 29-year-old Otto – much like the star of the campaign film Elfy Scott, who was also a contributing writer on the script – lives and works in a creative world where folks don’t blink an eye at the idea of dancing on a rooftop amidst coloured smoke with their friends.
The campaign, shot around Sydney’s Surry Hills, also stars young Aussie talent-on-the-rise Raenee Sydney and Ruby Campbell (who GRAZIA shot for our Too Cool for College fashion story by Tane Coffin last year), a three-way nod to the brand’s commitment to unearthing and showcasing young Aussie talent.
“We wanted naturally beautiful girls with strong character and with a particular sassiness,” says Otto, who’s also associate producer on a feature documentary about Whitney Houston, called Can I Be Me, which is set to open internationally. (As an aside, she’s also studying Improvisation and Stand-Up Comedy in Los Angeles and credits the likes of Amy Schumer, Chelsea Handler and Jen Kirkman as “addictive”.)
And Sassy, Elfy Scott is. The award-winning writer, model and sometimes actor with that signature blunt bob fringe is hard to define, but it’s not a stretch to imagine she really is the carefree, cheeky, femme fatal who dons a dozen different jackets, tossing one after another aside for the next, in this movie. Our chat with her below will have you in stitches. And ready to trade in your blazer for a khaki cardigan this season. Read on…
WATCH ELFY BEHIND THE SCENES:
You work across many elements of media, particularly digital and work as both a model and writer. How do you fill in the ‘occupation’ box on an airport customs form? Excellent question. Generally, I say model. Not necessarily because that’s how I like to identify myself to the world but because I’m halfway convinced that airlines are more likely to upgrade a model to business class than they are a writer or journalist. I wholly accept the naivety of this.
What was the highlight of this fashion shoot? I loved that Sportsgirl gave me a voice and encouraged me to be myself. As a model, you’re so rarely given the opportunity to inject your personality – your true, unadulterated, dorky personality – into your work, so this was an incredible campaign to be involved in.
Which jacket did you most want to pinch from wardrobe afterwards? Definitely the military cardigan. I think cardigans in general are an underrated piece of apparel and that one is brilliant.
What’s next on the creative or personal agenda for you? For the moment I’m just going to keep trucking away as a freelance writer. This year I’ve resolved to finally perfect the act of blogging regularly on my website and I’ve actually got a fictional book in the works that I’ve finally committed to – so I’m sure everybody can look forward to reading that in about 15 years’ time.
Finally, what do you say to people (like GRAZIA) who think you look like you could be Thandie Newton‘s younger sister? Firstly, I would be delighted and absolutely complimented. And then I would just have to laugh at them for being so ridiculous and misunderstanding the concept of genetic inheritance. Thandie Newton has cheekbones that could slice a Christmas ham and I have the bone structure of a baked bean. If she was my older sister I’d be furious.
And with that, Elfy, we’d all have to beg to differ. Then restock our autumn jacket supply.
Credit (all stills images): Ben Sullivan