Sam Smith: A hedonistic feast of costume, dance, and sexual power, the four-minute video was shot in London and takes place in “The Body Shop,” a show-world of wonder and danger starring Sam Smith as the singing MC and Kim Petras as a sensuous dancer.
Sam Smith: The film follows a husband who, after sneaking away from his wife, visits his favorite sex club cabaret, where his secret desires are laid bare for everyone to see (including appearances by Gottmik and Violet Chachki from “RuPaul’s Drag Race“) and porn star Paddy O’Brian. Rather than being crushed by the scandal, the film’s protagonist woman finds independence in her sexuality after learning of her cheating spouse.
Sam Smith – Unholy ft Kim Petras on Radio 1
Floria relied on her background in the theatre industry to create lavish and exaggerated images for this contemporary version of the cabaret show. The filmmaker, who was raised around the theatrical and the avant-garde thanks to her parents’ careers as opera singers, has a signature cinematic aesthetic that is evident throughout the video and in her other award-winning work for clients like Gucci, Rihanna, David Bowie, and Justin Timberlake.
Sam Smith: The seductive music video has a varied and queer ensemble and was choreographed by the French dance company (LA)HORDE, who are known for their ability to conjure scenes and movements that take up radically current topics and concerns. The film features genuine, varied, and unapologetic bodies cast by Hannah Ashby Ward at Lane Casting, a firm owned by the LGBTQ+ community.
Lisa Jarvis, the video’s costume designer, devised a wide variety of unearthly designs for the massive outfit by drawing inspiration from 20th-century corset designer Mr. Pearl and French surrealist photographer Claude Cahun. Lisa selected ensembles for Violet Chachki and Kim Petras, including a spectacular dissolving pearl dress, from the collections of established fashion houses and up-and-coming designers.
The costumes, designed by Ben Reardon in collaboration with designers like Stephen Jones, Prada, and Ed Mahler, are opulent, sensual, and intoxicating to watch because they are each inherently unique to match the vibrant energy of each cast member. This includes superstar Sam Smith, whose looks were designed by Ben Reardon.
Sam Smith: In her capacity as a director, Floria Sigismondi has said, “I grew up in the realm of theatre and opera. Due to the medium of this film, I was able to go deeply into that background. It was crucial that the picture have a theatrical and dramatic atmosphere while seeming fresh and current to me. We had no desire to make a period piece. We aimed to build our own universe. The outfits widened the historical context of the cabaret and added a contemporary twist to the show. In my opinion, the most meaningful and satisfying aspect of this event was the opportunity to participate in and help organize a celebration for the LGBTQ+ community.
Sam Smith: The project’s “creative quality and expressiveness across departments” blew away Scheme Engine’s executive producer, Jannie McInnes. Floria encourages individuals to be their most imaginative selves while working for a lofty goal, and she also insists that they have a good time doing it. Sam Smith and the label gave us the gift of actual preparation time, and we made the most of it.
The wardrobe stylist, Lisa Jarvis, elaborates as follows: “I’ve been a fan of Floria’s work for quite some time, and as soon as I saw the mood board and heard ‘A Clockwork Orange,’ ‘Claude Cahun,’ ‘Mr. Pearl,’ and ‘Crazy Horse,’ I knew it was totally up my alley and would be hella fun to delve into. Keeping the sources in mind, I set out to design a universe where a wide variety of aesthetics were celebrated by everybody. It has to have a strong dose of naughtiness and seem ethereal, luxurious, and seductive.
MTV Live, MTVU, MTV Biggest Pop, NickMusic, and the rest of MTV’s international network aired the world premiere of the “Unholy” music video, and the famous Paramount Times Square billboards displayed it as well.