“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”
I’ve always loved this Carl Sagan quote for the way it dreamily intertwines science and poetry, and it came to mind while reading photographer and filmmaker Lauren Kai‘s introduction to her short fashion film, “Cut from the Same Cloth,” which premiered last week at Junior High LA. The two minute film is as quietly stunning as it is fiercely empowering, a joyful and ethereal ode to the resilient beauty of black girl magic and a telling reminder of the hardships that many women of color face in the fashion world due to separation, rejection, and appropriation.
The women in the film seem to flow untethered through each frame, swimming through the desert air like eerie and luminous mirages, clothed in pink and cream and buttery marigold, sunlight gleaming off their skin and moonlight turning their cheekbones iridescent as they dance and stretch and hold each other, their strength a calm and quiet undercurrent.
Shot in Salton Sea, California with an all-girl cast and crew, “Cut From the Same Cloth” was formed from the idea that “no matter what our race or ethnic background we are all one and the same. No matter how we perceive humanity, we all come from the same place and we will all return to the same place. Even though we are constantly distracted from seeing each other in the same light, we are still all one and the same.”
The film is is beaming with light and joy and soulful expression, and the surreal landscape provides a fitting backdrop for the overarching theme of the power of representation and the importance of telling the stories that are often overlooked. As Lauren puts it, “The energy at the Salton Sea is kind of inexplicable – it seems to be a very powerful and intriguing place but I’m not quite sure why. It almost feels like the city has so many stories and memories that were kind of just ripped out of it without the chance to be told.”
Utterly enamored? Us too. Keep up with Lauren’s work here.