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Kenzo SS17 campaignCourtesy of Kenzo

Lemonade director explores PoC creativity in new Kenzo film

Shot by Kahlil Joseph, ‘Music is my Mistress’ sees Tracee Ellis Ross, Jesse Williams and Kelsey Lu struggle to find their voices

It’s that time again. Kenzo has finally released the full film for its SS17 campaign after teasing it last month and, true to form for arguably the best brand at making fashion films, it’s full of great talent. 

Titled Music is my Mistress, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon have once more tapped Lemonade director Kahlil Joseph, who shot an impressive cast featuring the inimitable daughter of Diana Ross, Tracee Ellis Ross, actor Jesse Williams and musician (and Abra labelmate) Kelsey Lu

Ross, who just won a Golden Globe for her role in Black-ish, stars as what Williams’ character in the film calls “African royalty.” It becomes clear – as the film is interspersed with quotes from the Senegalese film director Djibril Diop Mambéty – that this is a (pretty timely) exploration of PoC creativity, by a cast and crew of PoC creatives. At one point, Williams’ character even mentions Ross isn’t even meant to be in the country in a life-and-art alignment with Trump’s “travel ban.” 

Punctuated by marked silences with music only appearing in stilted bursts, Kenzo’s offering seems to be the film manifestation of this struggle to define your creative voice in a value system that wasn’t created by you. The concluding wisdom gives a sentiment to live by, that: “One must have the mad belief that anything is possible – you have to be mad to the point of being irresponsible.”

Watch the full film below and check out the gallery above for the full SS17 campaign imagery.