I thought I would like Her. Spike Jonze directing Joaquin Phoenix in a thought-provoking tale about love in the digital age – what’s not to like? And I was right. It’s a beautiful film that left me wrapped in contemplations about life and about love.
What I didn’t expect was the fashion. Spike Jonze is known for his stylish off-beat films but Her is properly fashion-forward. I find it strange that so many films set in the future totally ignore the ever-evolving comfort factor in fashion. Oversized shapes, slouchy silhouettes and soft materials are key features of contemporary clothes. Yet if you believe Hollywood, future humans will be walking around wearing sharp suits and tight PVC. Her is different. Admittedly it’s a near-future scenario but still, the film’s nuanced depiction of how fashion and style could progress is extremely well conceived.
All the men in the film are rocking high-waisted trousers; a trend so common for women today is smoothly transitioned to the future’s men. Theodore, played by Phoenix, teams his with block coloured shirts, probably from the Uniqlo of the near future. It’s a cosy take on geek-chic and it's seriously on the money. Amy, Theodore’s best mate fabulously played by Amy Adams, goes grown-up tomboy with what looks like a little homage to Diane Keaton in Annie Hall. The high standard is hardly surprising; Humberto Leon, the founder of Opening Ceremony, possibly the world's coolest fashion retailer, had an important role in shaping the film's futuristic aesthetic. A capsule collection, Her by Opening Ceremony followed, naturally.
But the fashion is only one component of a larger ambience that is so perfectly captured in the film. In an interview in Sight & Sound magazine, Jonze said that the initial inspiration was Jamba Juice, a smoothie chain in America that’s very clean and brightly lit with lots of warm colours. The idea, he said, was that Jamba Juice was the future – where everything is nice and comfortable. The fabrics are soft, the food is good and technology makes everything easy. As Her shows, all this niceness doesn’t prevent you from feeling lonely or isolated but at least you can do it in style.