Crystals upon glimmering crystals, roses of the richest red, a palette of nude-hued pinks made of lace and lingerie, boa-trimmed robes, and fluffy carpeting — femme luxury peaks when these forces combine, and particularly when it's the dazzling duo Sateen who's presenting it all. In their new video, "Finer Things," premiering today, the Brooklyn band is radiant with unabashed glamour – and it serves as a reminder that everyone's entitled to the same flagrant love of all things luxe.
The "anti-glam shaming anthem," culled from their self-titled EP released last fall, is an assertion of the misogynistic double-standard behind criticizing feminine trappings as shallow. Embracing the material — the finer things — shouldn't be equated with emotional or intellectual emptiness, but for femmes, that's the stereotypical slam.
PAPER spoke with Miss Queen and Exquisite of Sateen about the message of the track and the inspiration behind the opulence delivered in the clip. The couple delivers looks dripping with femme splendor often, of course, but "Finer Things" was actually sparked by another project — read on for more.
What's new in the world of Sateen? How has life changed since the EP released last November?
Almost immediately after the release of our last EP, Exquisite underwent facial feminization surgery. There is a really intense recovery period after this particular surgery so we were pretty much forced into hiding, even though there was a bit of demand for us to be out and performing. We are finally getting back out and have played a couple of shows. This spring/summer we have a bunch of US dates already confirmed (which include some pride festivals). We are also working on new music and new music videos, which will hopefully be out before the end of the year.
How did the concept of the video come about? You mentioned part of it was filmed while shooting for Chakrubs, and noted a few designers featured in your looks — can you elaborate on that?
We started shooting with Eva [Zar] for Chakrubs [natural crystal sex toys brand] and fell in love with her romantic, feminine style. In turning that into a video for "Finer Things" we approached it like she was filming our honeymoon (which coincidentally did really happen at a love motel, similar to the one in the video). It being the video for "Finer Things," we knew we needed to turn some glam looks. In the love motel scenes, we wore Garo Sparo and Slashed by Tia pieces, which were styled by Heather Dunphy. In the outdoor scene we wore Vex Latex and the red looks are by Vaquera.
Can you tell us more about the message of "Finer Things," and how luxury and glamour — and shutting down anyone who criticizes those who embrace it — can be empowering?
We consider this song to be an anti-glam shaming anthem. In acting typically "feminine," whether by wearing makeup or glamorous clothing, women are called vain or materialistic; yet, men who typify masculinity are only praised for it. We want this song to encourage people to be as full fantasy and glam as they desire.
Do you feel any closer today to that declaration in the song, "One day, you'll know my name"?
We are completely independent, queer femmes. As such, we understand that overnight fame is not part of our trajectory. We know that we are growing as artists and we know we are on the right path. Our message is unfiltered, we do not compromise who we are and we intend to keep it that way, even if it costs us some notoriety or "success." So the answer is yes, but only by inches, not miles.