Set-Up: Strangers Kiss, Internet Turns to Mush

The first giveaway was when gangly armed Langley Fox (daughter of actress Mariel Hemingway and sister of model Dree), appeared on camera with a handsome looking man (surely a model, right?). 

She’s accustomed to this spotlight– a lens trained of her face, walking the runway, and modeling for brands like Genetic Denim–she shot their spring campaign. And yet she plays it coy.

“Do we just do this any time?” she turns to ask director Tatia Pilieva. “You ready?” And with Pilieva’s confirmation, Langley pulls her hair back, lets out a groan of anxiety, a school-girl giggle, and then we wait.

The words in white, “We asked 20 strangers to kiss for the first time…” appear on black.

And then we wait some more, as nervous coupled strangers, awkwardly dance around the task at hand: a seeming spontaneous moment of intimacy– a kiss with fate. A moment where they’re asked to let their guard and bottom lip down. To open up to the possibility of love– or, lust, at least.

There’s cinematic tension, body language that suggests some of these strangers may have just found “the one” (or least someone to spend the afternoon with), and it plays into our most romanticized tendencies about romance–the promise that love (or at least a good lip-lock) could happen at random. At the laundromat, the gas station, in the library somewhere between the Travel section and Chaucer.


made for cinema.

It proposes that love is unexpected and just might happen when you run into a total stranger.

Which is sometimes how love happens, but it’s also a bit of a bummer for all the single folks out there. Because when you consider that the total number of people in the U.S. who have tried online dating is 41,250,000, the reality of love in the modern age is a bit more Spike Jones’ Her, less Robert Doisneau Le baiser de l’hotel de ville (Kiss by the Hotel de Ville).

And the reality of the video, is that unlike that Soul Pancake Ball Pit video where strangers are asked to sit in a ball pit in the middle of the street and ask and answer questions about each other, this cast of “strangers,” are models: Natalia Bonifacci, Ingrid Schram, and Langley Fox; musicians Z Berg of The Like, Damian Kulash of OK Go, Justin Kennedy of Army Navy, singer Nicole Simone, and singer-actress Soko (who performs the accompanying indie music); and actors Karim Saleh, Matthew Carey, Jill Larson, Corby Griesenbeck, Elisabetta Tedla, Luke Cook, and Marianna Palka, who most likely picked up their belongings post kiss and hurried on their way to another casting, or the like.

So enjoy the ad to celebrate the debut of Wren’s Fall 2014 collection.

And try and pick that puddle of a shape you call your heart off the floor. You got us again, Internet.

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