For Co co-founders Stephanie Danan and Justin Kern, visually stimulating images are in their bones. (She’s produced A Thousand Words and Squeeze; he’s a former model who used to assist Mario Testino.) So it makes perfect sense that the pair has melded the cinematic with the sartorial since launching their line of simple, luxe, Parisian-casual pieces in 2011. Kate Moss and Liz Goldwyn are fans of Co’s short, sophisticated party dresses, drawstring leather skirts and crisp, asymmetrical button downs, which Kern and Danan continue to celebrate each season with an innovative short film (available at Barneys and Just One Eye in L.A., the goods range from $275 for a short-sleeve blouse to $3,000 for a fur vest).
And their latest — a lesbian-divorce-themed comedy staring Marisa Tomei and Elodie Bouchez — is their most elaborate to date. Dubbed She Said, She Said and directed by Oscar-winning The Kids Are Alright writer Stuart Blumberg, the short centers around Tomei and Bouchez meeting with their divorce attorney (played by comedian David Wain) and includes flashbacks of the couple’s less-than-blissful moments (Tomei’s almost illicit dog park encounter with a sexy stranger, played by leather-clad Parks and Recreation actress Aubrey Plaza) as well as happier times (a seductive front-of-fireplace situation in a dramatic Co gown).
“The backless jersey dress was really the centerpiece of our spring '13 collection, so we wanted it to be part of the film's climax, a sort of La Madeleine de Proust for Marisa and Elodie's relationship,” says Kern, who in addition to modeling and designing co-founded L.A.’s monthly art party, Not To Be Reproduced, in 2007. “We love the idea that something like a dress can play a role or take on a power much larger than its function. You never forget what you were wearing when you fall in love.”
The black-and-white not-so-basic basics of Co’s spring 2013 collection make perfect costumes for Tomei and Bouchez’s amusing spousal confrontations — which, as the film reveals, may or may not meet their end at the seven-minute mark.
Does the couple resolve their issues or does war ensue? Whatever happens, at least the clothes endure.