Nascent director Isaac Lock has made a film starring the kind of woman we should aspire to emulate in body and mind. Turning growing old disgracefully into an art form, All Day Everyday follows the energetic Ro Sylvester as she embarks on a fitness rampage — in varying states of undress — around the Tate Britain.
Jogging her way casually past a pair of paramedics tending to a convulsing visitor, we follow Ro as she theatrically casts off a black coat to reveal a pleats please-style mustard yellow dress. Resourcefully turning a visitors chair into an exercise bench, we watch her thrust her hips into the air before taking off into another room. Unsurprisingly warm, she unzips the dress in favour of a double-layered leotard look which allows her to demonstrate the extent of her strength and flexibility to all out fabulous effect.
“People describe things as iconic all of the time, and they’re almost always wrong,” Isaac tells us. “It’s a phrase that should be reserved for things that are truly rare and fascinating, like the Veiled Christ, or Fergie’s 2008 performance of Barracuda. The moment I saw Ro Sylvester, lifting weights in the gym in a full look and full hair and make up, I knew she was iconic in the true sense of the word. I found her entirely magnetic and beguiling; fully committed to doing her own thing, completely at odds with everyone else around her as if she she was on another plane. I couldn’t look away. I mean I could. Obviously I had to make myself, because staring at strangers in the gym is not socially acceptable, and for good reason.”
“I met Ro at a moment of my life when I was recovering from something quite major, and seeing her being exactly who she wanted to be, and not compromising for anything — including practicality — was hopeful and inspiring. To say I ‘met’ her at that time is actually untrue. It took me months to pluck up the courage to actually ask her to do a project. I saw her, and then months letter dared to introduce myself. By that time the film was actually commissioned and in pre-production, so we were extremely lucky she was into it. Beyond being a celebration of Ro’s incredible physical strength, it’s just about her representing this brilliant figure emerging from the chaos around her; finding the joy of fearlessly doing your own thing, even if it’s completely different to everyone else’s.”
All Day Everyday features a Who’s Who-worthy list of cameos appearances from London creatives, among them fellow photographer and filmmaker Oliver Hadlee Pearch, set designer Gary Card, choreographer Theo Adams, fashion editor and consultant Jeanie Annan-Lewin, fashion photographer Willian Selden, artist Ranny Cooper and model Ben Blackmore. The film was made for new fashion video network Made to Measure (M2M) as part of their Four Stories series, and produced by Somesuch.
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