Cyrus, who took on styling, cinematography, and makeup duties in addition to directing, presents Simpson in a new light. […] Onscreen, Simpson can express all sides of himself, and Cyrus’s vision allows for such complexity.
It takes bravery to do something outside the box, but for Simpson, this seems to come naturally. In a personal statement he shared with Vogue, Simpson outlines the thought process behind the visuals and why he and Cyrus have formed a lifelong collaboration.
“I entrusted Miley with full creative liberty in the conceptualization and direction of this visual. Allowing her to execute her vision and interpretation of the song itself. The idea was birthed in our bathroom with Miley organizing her collection of lipstick. I picked up a stick having never looked at one so discerningly before, taken aback by the art of the packaging, the beauty of the ‘NARS’ symbol embedded in the side, and remarking at how disappointed I’d be to see it ruined once used. This led to my curiosity in the art of makeup, and being educated by Miley on the process of ‘beating your mug’ and in particular, the art of drag. It was then that the character of ‘Rebecca’ was born.
During this time in lockdown and self-isolation, we were forced to stay inside our own space having no choice but to encourage ourselves to look subjectively and into our immediate environment for things to work and play with. This inspired a new appreciation for who we are and what we are. Miley’s knowledge of makeup, art, and drag culture combined with my knowledge of maritime and nautical culture. This concerned everything down to the wardrobe: the leather pants I bought myself four years ago thanks to inspiration I gleaned from seeing Elvis in his leather jumpsuit and Jim Morrison parading the Hollywood Bowl stage in his own pair, to the Chanel blouse I wore under my captain’s jacket endowed with Miley’s vintage Chanel pins and broaches and the blouse Miley herself received from Karl Lagerfeld in Paris after being photographed by him. The vintage Louis Vuitton trunk we bought online under the impression it had a C painted on the side, until discovering humorously upon its arrival it was a worn down G. The 1930s doctor’s bag Miley gifted me for my birthday with my Prince Neptune logo hand-painted on the side, and our combined book collections and personal belongings used as props.”
Only time will tell where Simpson and Cyrus will take their collaboration next. What’s clear is that this couple seems intent on pushing themselves—and their audience—with dramatic reinvention.