The internet’s jaw collectively dropped when Die Antwoord released their video for “Ugly Boy." Within the span of almost-five minutes, Ninja, Yo-Landi Vi$$er, Cara Delevingne, Charlotte Free, Marilyn Manson, Dita von Teese, Jack Black, Flea, and the ATL twins all cavorted as the eccentric South African duo’s Donker Mag track thumped on. But once you got past those unexpected appearances, the clothes were just as eye-popping—especially when it came to a red-and-white doodled-on Cara depantsing a gold track suit-clad Ninja.
So, we had to find out the story behind the styling. Walking us through all of the last-minute costumes—and that one unnamed person wearing an Aphex Twin mask—was the LA stylist duo Annie + Hannah, who were also kind enough to share some behind-the-scenes snaps.
MTV: What inspired you to come up with a character that looked like Aphex Twin’s Richard D. James?
Annie + Hannah: Die Antwoord videos are entirely about executing Ninja & Yo-Landi's vision. It was Ninja's idea, and we just did what we could to make it come to life exactly as he imagined it. The entire look was put together by Chris Cunningham's mask, Raquel Allegra screen printed the graphic on these downtown L.A. hoodies we had completely torn apart and reinforced by the amazing Harwood Lee to create a custom fit sweatshirt with a better and sturdier hood.
MTV: How did you get in touch with Chris Cunningham to make the mask? What was that conversation like?
Annie + Hannah: We wish we had wild stories to tell you about the mask but this, like the cameo appearances, was Ninja & Yo-Landi reaching out personally to the people they knew and supported Die Antwoord.
MTV: Can you pleaaaase tell me who was under it?
Annie + Hannah: NO. The funny thing is, we're not, not supposed to tell you but I think everyone is into messing with you guys and we're not spilling the beans.
MTV: What was the idea behind the graphics Ninja drew on Cara's face and clothing?
Annie + Hannah: Ninja is an artist, these little creatures are just part of Die Antwoord’s crazy zef world/culture.
MTV: Did he come up with them just for the video, or has he been working on them for a while?
Annie + Hannah: As far as we know, it's one of his things! He uses it everywhere from the beginning in "Enter the Ninja."
MTV: What was the biggest surprise on-set?
Annie + Hannah: CARA DELEVINGNE! We didn't realize she was in the video until she showed up in the room squirting a penis gun at us.
MTV: Were there any hiccups or fashion emergencies?
Annie + Hannah: Of course! There are always hiccups here or there, but that's part of the creative process. Luckily, we had a fantastic team working with us and managed to get everything sorted out. Funny story only the first assistant director knows: We showed up on set sans a pair of pants from the twins' track suits. We had an assistant run to DTLA's garment district before the stores even open, buy fabric for the pants, run to Harwood's shop to make the pants and show up on set before the twins even got there at 11 a.m.
MTV: What was the energy like on set? Was everyone palling around with each other? Or did people come in to do their parts and leave?
Annie + Hannah: The vibe was excellent! Ninja and Yo-Landi were super chill and watching their creative juices flow on the fly was inspiring. Everyone palled around and stayed way after their part was over. Everyone was so excited to be a part of Die Antwoord's first video in the US/ [their] pop debut. We were all there to work but also enjoy this unique opportunity together.
MTV: Did Dita von Teese design the lingerie she wore? How did she choose that look with the pasties?
Annie + Hannah: While the point of some of the cameos' looks was to completely transform them into characters like Muggz as Chaos or Jack Black as a mafioso-type with an eye scar, Ninja chose to keep some of the cast authentic to their person by letting them come dressed in their own wardrobe, with some given some guidelines, which is how Dita’s look came to be.
MTV: How was this video different from other ones you've worked on?
Annie + Hannah: Everything was different. Usually, you can only push the envelope so far and the lack of boundaries on this one was so intriguing. Aside from the custom pieces there was a certain level of DIY involved, and we love to get our hands dirty. The process of evolving some of the characters from Ninja's idea, to collaborating with design geniuses like Raquel Allegra and Harwood Lee, from fabric selection to seeing them come to life was brilliant. While we're constantly creating characters in our line of work, we don't always get to be so adventurous, so we had a blast! It was an honor to work with them and hope to do so again in the future.