Haim’s “Falling” Music Video: We Chat With Stylist Sophia DeArborn In Exclusive Interview!

A still from Haim’s “Falling” music video.
Photo: Polydor Records

You know what they say, there’s just something about California girls. Maybe it’s their free spirits or just the fact that they aren’t as vitamin D deficient as us cranky goths here on the east coast, but lemme tell you, it’s something. Los Angeles sister-band Haim have whatever that California lady magic is in spades, and their latest video, for synth pop stunner “Falling,” makes that abundantly clear. Set in LA’s Angelus mountains, the video shows the three sisters (in descending age and height order: Este, Danielle, and Alana who is also known as ’Baby Haim’) arriving in the forest only to shed their more prim selves in exchange for living off the land and dancing ecstatically in the firelight. Transforming from wide-eyed explorers in vintage collegiate garb (high waisted skater skirts, buttoned-up blouses a la The Virgin Suicides) into wild girls fishing with their bare hands in cut off shorts, crop tops, and printed ponchos, Haim manage to capture all of the dynamism and magic of their live show in the clip, combining the arresting visuals with the emotional, driving tempo of the song. There’s also dancing, and a lot of it. We were so into the clothes in the video, which range from vintage to local LA designers, and fit both the narrative and the girls’ personal styles perfectly, that we knew we had to have a chat with Los Angeles stylist Sophia DeArborne to go a little deeper.

A still from Haim’s “Falling” music video.
Photo: Polydor Records

MTV STYLE: How did you prepare to shoot the video and what was the stylistic concept behind it?
Sophia DeArborne: When we were going over the inspiration for the video, me and Tabitha Denholm, the director were talking about it as Virgin Suicides meets Kids. Something that seems very youthful and playful but natural and with a little bit of a 70’s feel. Just that softness.

What brands are the girls wearing in the video?
We used a lot of Stone Cold Fox, which is an LA designer, and then I also used a lot of vintage, which I got from Wasteland.

Had you styled the band before?
No this was my first time, I had met Este before through friends but I had never styled them before.

How did you prepare to style the band?
Well the first thing I do when I’m working with a new band is I Google them [laughs]. I look them up, listen to their music, and kind of get a feel for their aesthetic in general. I just tried to see what they were about, what their personal style was, the kind of music they were making, and try and incorporate that into the feeling of the video.

A still from Haim’s “Falling” music video.
Photo: Polydor Records

Each of the girls really has a signature style. Did you talk about it before hand, or did you learn it on your own?
A little bit of both. I know that Danielle, for example, is more of a tom boy–she likes to wear pants and oversized stuff, but she was a sport though. I put her into some pretty teeny Levi’s cut-offs for the first look of the day in the morning and she was totally a champ about it. She looked hot as s*** so there’s no arguement in that department but I would say she wasn’t super comfortable in it but she trusted me and trusted the director and went with it and she looked amazing.

We stayed with Alana’s look–she wears a lot of little shorts and cut offs so that wasn’t difficult. But Este and Alana are probably the most similar, or rather I guess Este is kind of between the other two girls, she’ll wear shorts and dresses and things like that and she’s much more flexible, but yeah they were super easy, and you just kind of figure it out as you’re fitting them. You can look at something on someone and think they look like a million bucks, but if it’s something they’re not comfortable in it’s not going to come through.

Do you typically pull from LA designers and vintage when you shoot?
It was a specific choice for this video because of where we were shooting. It’s a lot of woodsy and desert-y scenes and they’re LA girls so we put them in a lot of that. We had a few other labels though, like YNC out of London, Acne, a few other labels. Tabitha wanted it to have a worn-in look, she didn’t want it to be overly polished, and wanted it to have a natural feel so we tried to make it look as lived-in as possible.

Was there anything you were concerned about getting messed up or dirty while you were shooting?
Yeah I was constantly concerned about that [laughs]. there were a few pieces that were a little more expensive. One of the blouses that Danielle wore was by Equipment, and I was concerned about that. There were a few pieces like that that I was a little scared about, but the girls are great, they’re super sweet, really respectful of everyone’s time and effort so they definitely made a concerted effort not to get anything dirty or messed up.

A still from Haim’s “Falling” music video.
Photo: Polydor Records

OK we need to talk about those JACKETS. Did you commission them or did the band have them already? What’s the story behind those?
Yeah those were great. I love those and I wish I could take credit for them. Those came from personal friends of the girls. They commissioned them. They’re silk bomber jackets with their names silk screened on them along with their spirit animals. I thought they went particularly well with what Alana was wearing. I had her in this plaid high waisted red bloomer short by this company called Geronimo Collection out of LA. They do these kind of 60’s and 70’s inspired women’s swimwear and a few dresses and things like that. Those looked really good together. It’s meant to have a little bit of a bad girls out of high school kind of vibe, and I thought those jackets were great for executing that look.

A still from Haim’s “Falling” music video.
Photo: Polydor Records

Do you have any other favorite pieces from the shoot?
It was such an amalgam of different designers, it’s hard to choose one piece because everyone was wearing so many different ones. I guess my favorite would be the last look that Alana is wearing. She’s wearing these stone cold fox high waisted silk shorts with roses lining the edges, and a cut-off vintage t shirt that says ’predator’ on it. I really liked that because she’s petite and very sweet looking but there’s definitely something kind of wild about her character and her personality, and with all of them, and I thought that captured her really well. It was a nice juxtaposition.

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