Behind the Scenes: Beautiful Struggle Short Film

We had a fantastic time shooting the Beautiful Struggle campaign video.  Beautiful Struggle is a narrative about creating your own fashion label.   We felt the story is an important one to tell because the journey of pursuing your dreams can have transformative powers.  When I started Mirame in 2011, I had no idea that I was going to have to be a businesswoman...crunching numbers, doing sales projections, creating marketing campaigns.  But each and everyday I learn something new, and it only confirms the notion that necessity is the mother of invention.  Through this experience, I have learned and grown tremendously.

I can't tell you how many people have asked me to talk about this journey.  Not just friends, fashion students, and family, but Women's centers and small business organizations.  I find something cathartic about sharing this experience, as though I have finally had a witness to emotional landscapes I have travelled.  Making a film about this experience only amplified that feeling.  A lot of people tell me I wear my heart of my sleeve, and the making of this film only affirmed that.

I decided to commission one of my favorite filmmakers Malik Isasis to make the Beautiful Struggle film.  Malik is a super talented storyteller who writes, directs, and produces films.  When I saw his movie, New York Decalogue, I was blown away by his ability to capture the solitude that women face as they navigate their conflicting roles of businesswoman, mother, and wife...or whatever the road may look like for them.  This film was largely silent, and in spite of that, was able to draw you in and take you on an emotional journey.

Filmaker Malik Isasis

Filmaker Malik Isasis

We shot the Beautiful Struggle, in one afternoon.  I had sent Malik photos of my studio with all of it's twists and turns, folds and wells of light.  We had plenty of angles to use, which made it easy to capture a dynamic point of view.  The artifacts in the studio, like the mammoth pattern table given to me by my grandmother and the dinosaur of an industrial machine given to me by Norma Kamali added to the vintage feel of our shoot.  It was important to me that people understood there is a heritage aspect to Mirame, that I take my craft very seriously, and have been taught by masters.  The large windows flooded the room with light, and the trees, shells and dried flowers lent a natural, quiet feel to the film.

Malik decided that the story would best be told set to music with voiceover on top.  I liked this idea because the experience felt like I was taking a person into my mind, and they were in a sense witnessing my thoughts.  We decided not to rehearse so that the story could take on an organic feel.  The camera was simply a fly on the wall.

Fitting a bikini on the form

Fitting a bikini on the form

Coming up with a design is a four step process.  Malik captured it all in the film.  First I create the sketch.  The sketch is a rough draft that captures the feel, or attitude of the suit.  From there I hit the paper and start making the pattern.  Once the pattern is complete, I cut it out and sew it together.  When that is done, it has to be put on the form (or model) and fit.  If there are any changes, I go back and revise the pattern, cut and sew one more time, and then hopefully it is ready for production.  Malik stood by as I went through this process, filming the construction of a foiled gold and chocolate bikini.

After shooting the footage, we sat down and did an interview.  Malik and his assistant asked plenty of questions about what inspired me to start Mirame.  We also went through what a typical day looks like, what some of the best moments have been, and what the challenges are.  Once again, we did no rehearsing or second takes, we just had a candid conversation.  From this exchange, Malik extracted the golden nuggets, and edited them down to the final film.  

As I watch the video, I have mixed emotions.  I feel really transparent.  I hope that my love for the art form of fashion design comes through.  Although much of the journey has been difficult, I am so thankful that I wake up everyday and get to do what I love.  I think the world would be a much happier place if we were all given the chance to pursue our passions.  I give thanks everyday, and hope that I can be a positive force in the universe.

Enjoy the film!!!  If you have a dream to create something of your own, never give up!