The Outré Designer Delves Into the Mystic In His Entangling Short Film
Stepping into the role of High Priestess, muse and artist Taiana Giefer gets intimately acquainted with a writhing octopus in multimedia artist Paris Kain's gnostic short film. A frequent runway collaborator of Alexander Wang and Francisco Costa, Kain is best known for his talismanic jewelry line Abraxas Rex, founded in 2007, in which he embeds materials including meteorites and dinosaur bones into gold and platinum-silver alloy. With Octo-Pussy he expounds upon his favored themes of mysticism and the occult. "In tarot, the octopus represents insight and esoteric vision. It is in constant motion, waxing and waning to the moon and guided by its goddess the High Priestess," he says. We asked Kain to take us behind the scenes.
STATS FROM ON SET
Essential ingredients: A brave muse, a badass production team, and a seven-pound cephalopod mollusc of the order “Octopoda.”
Understudy: One smaller teenage octopus who wouldn’t stop texting, so we ate him too, but privately.
Inspiration: The alchemical ‘great work’ and life journey of Alejandro Jodorowsky and Pascale Montandon. To quote Jodorowsky, "In the tarot, the octopus with its eight legs represents the perfection of the unconscious, transcending or extending beyond the limits of the personal or individual."
Soundtrack: I composed the music, wanting the eerie repetitive sounds to take the audience into a hypnotic state. Unfortunately, while we were editing the film, hearing those sounds over and over again for many hours, we fought very hard to not lose control of our minds.
High Priestess attire: Rick Owens spring 2011 black leather shoulder dress.
Palate cleanser: Taiana had a cherry lollipop after the octopus because that’s just what a High Priestess does.
Shoot time: We did it in one take. And then we shot the other six films that belong to the series.
Acting secret: The octopus that appears in the film is actually dead.