Behind the Scenes of Maiyet’s Dance Video


Maiyet’s Kristy Caylor spent her youth studying to be a professional ballerina. So when she met Benjamin Millepied, the dance director of the Paris Opera Ballet (non-terpsichorean types may know him as Mr. Natalie Portman), the two quickly agreed to collaborate on a project. When the choreographer learned that the spring collection was inspired by Surrealist sculpture, says Caylor, "he was like, 'Oh, it would be so wonderful to do this, in a Surrealist way, in a slow-motion ballet.' That was the birth of the union, so to speak."

The brand has previously shown on the runway in Paris, but this season it took over a school of dance to showcase its collection and screen the video Millepied directed and choreographed. (The stunning special effects, like a shot of water droplets in slo-mo, come courtesy of Ben Seresin, who was the director of photography on World War Z.) Explained Caylor at the screening, “We were talking about a different format to create an interesting experience and get close to the quality of the technique,” which comes in the form of batik made in Indonesia, intricate knits done in Peru, and lace that originated Stateside. The idea, she said, was “seeing that artisanship coming through rather than flying by.” So they cast dancers from the L.A. Dance Project and set up at a modernist home in Glendale for the shoot. Millepied’s dance vignettes are based on everyday movements — couples embracing, sparring, or jumping into a pool. Get a look at how the whole thing came together in this exclusive behind-the-scenes video.