Kinga BurzaMusic Video and Fashion Film Director
"Fashion films are like little love projects."
[Ed. Note: Kinga Burza is a film director who gained acclaim by directing Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl" music video, which currently has over 100 million views on YouTube. Burza's other work includes music videos for Kate Nash, La Roux, and Peaches and fashion films for brands like Kate Spade.]
"My parents moved from Poland when I was one year old. They came to Australia not speaking English and so, naturally, it took them some time to find their feet. My mum always had really great style without spending too much and would always find amazing things in charity stores, markets, and garage sales way before they were in fashion. She also loved color-coordinating and matching themes and has most definitely passed this on to me. In all the photos of me from the 1980s we would would be in matching colors because she dressed me up until quite an old age; I remember wanting to dress myself and she was like, 'No, no, no. You're not going to be able to put outfits together.' I must have been like seven or eight. It was really frustrating! But I do think she’s had an great influence in my taste now.
The great thing about fashion films is that they are such a fresh medium ready to be explored. There are no rules or restrictions, really. ... Fashion films are like little love projects. Incorporating fashion in film is a vital element in piecing together each scene like a moving collage or mood board. I enjoy arranging and questioning all the elements together -- the actress in a red coat against the cool blue of a wall, the contrasting pale green mug in her hands, against a backdrop of neutrals. ... Why would this character wear this? What is it communicating? Fashion in film to me isn't particularly interesting without a context.
I believe Katy Perry saw one of my previous videos and asked for a treatment on her single 'I Kissed a Girl.' I pitched [an idea] ... we talked it through and then a couple days later I was on the plane to shoot her video. Although she was relatively unknown back then, she already had a stylist she was working with (whom she still works with now) called Johnny Wujek. ... My role with artists in videos is more quality control or advising a look to go with the theme and color palette -- to make sure it all fits together. At the end of the day, if the artist wants to wear jeans, they wear jeans because they need to be comfortable to get a good performance. For example, Courtney Love canceled two days before our shoot due to it not being possible to have her preferred stylist (Nicola Formichetti) on set. We only had a three day window to prep and he couldn't collect samples, fly to us from London, and fit her in time for the shoot. She didn't want to work with anyone local, so she cancelled. Needless to say, the video was never made!" -- Kinga Burza to Shop Ghost
Kinga Burza photographed in New York by Stevie Dance.
Kinga's Shop Ghost Tips
"Is it Frida Kahlo, Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface or Margot Tenenbaum? It probably depends on what I've just pitched or worked on actually. I'm inspired by so many influences, it's hard to really define what is my "thing." I just made a project that was very Sissy Spacek in Badlands, meets Lolita, meets Pretty Baby, meets Taxi Driver, so I'll probably be working floral whispy blouses and ribboned large brimmed straw hats this summer."
"I try to pack a little bit of everything because I want to be prepared for any kind of situation. Always have a red lipstick. Always have a pair of nice shoes. You never know where you might end up or what’s around the corner, really."
"As I’m staying in California I’ve been getting into the outdoors a lot, things like hiking boots and parkas. Now I get really excited when I walk into a sports store ... I bought men’s shoes the other day from Nike that were basically walking boots. They are the most waterproof ones you can get -- They are really cool!"