Dree and Drake wear Spring’s essentials
Actors Drake Burnette and Dree Hemingway model this season’s essential must-haves and talk realness and sisterhood.
After a winter of rainy, dark clouds, Los Angeles is sunny again. Dree Hemingway squints at the sun as she rests her head on Drake Burnette’s shoulder. Dree is in a white silk shirt and flowy black trousers, also made from silk. Drake wears a soft pink, silk mix v-neck. “A lot of people say we look like sisters, which I find funny”, says Dree. It is easy to see the resemblance. Even though Dree comes off as the bubblier, more spirited one on set this day, she and Drake share the same energy.
”The thing I love most about Dree is how she is, almost radically, present in the moment. Her energy is relentless and contagious and causes me to feel immediately comfortable around her because she is so free,” says Drake.
The duo was set up to be friends by their agent, who knew they would get along.
”We both have acting in common, we are older [than most models] and we are kind of nerdy”, says Dree.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN FRIENDS?
”I need everything to be real. If you’ll just do small talk, everything on the surface, we’re probably not going to be friends. Drake is instantaneously real with everybody. She is also very smart and very interesting.”
After all that rain, the hills surrounding LA are extraordinarily green. Looking down on them from high up above the clouds (today’s location is dreamy) puts everybody in a good mood. Dree and Drake change into one look after another: crisp white shirts, perfectly washed denims, a striped wrap dress, silk blouses and the collection’s key pieces: a fantastic trench coat, a wrap skirt and a pair of wide trousers, made from a thick cotton fabric. They are all part of H&M’s Premium Essentials, a capsule collection of high quality must-haves and our current wardrobe obsessions.
Dree and Drake take turns in front of the camera. When asked if modelling and acting is about tapping into the same kind of creativity, neither of them agrees.
”Modelling is… lighter,” says Drake. ”It is about reading the room and finding your ‘character’ – that isn’t necessarily being clearly communicated. For me, modelling is about charming a room full of strangers by giving them the fantasy version of you.”
With acting, both Dree and Drake say they are drawn to characters that have a certain rawness about them. ”To be able to be really raw and vulnerable on camera is almost like a drug, in a weird way,” says Dree. Her latest films are, however, of the comedy kind. In LA Times – which premiered at the Sundance festival earlier this year – she plays a woman trying to figure out love and how to make the right decisions. And even though comedy scares her a bit – ”I am always insecure that I am not funny enough, since I am not a comedy trained actor. I couldn’t compete with Tina Fey or someone like that” – she is currently filming another one.
”It is called In A Relationship. When I first read the script it seemed like a typical rom com, but it is very realistic. And it is funny because it is real.”
Drake Burnette is also tapping into her funny side, but for her it is more about tragic comedy, she says. Marfa Girl 2, the sequel to Larry Clarke’s 2012 film, is set to premiere in early summer with Drake repeating her role.
”As with all of Larry's films, the story is about consequence, and we see the characters as they struggle against the deeply disturbing circumstances of their lives. But within all that struggle is the heart of the story, which is about curiosity, humour and love.”
GOING BACK TO THE SUBJECT OF SISTERS, WHAT DOES SISTERHOOD MEAN TO YOU?
DRAKE: ”Sisterhood for me is about honesty, inclusion, love, safety and understanding.”
WHAT IS THE MOST POWERFUL THING ABOUT WOMEN?
DRAKE: ”Our persevering capacity for empathy despite the inherent oppression and repression of and within our lives.”
DREE: ”Women are incredible. I had the most inspiring lunch at Sundance with some amazing women in film; Shirley MacLaine and [directors] Jill Soloway and Kim Peirce, among others. I don’t want to be hired because just I am a woman, I want to be hired because I kick ass at what I do. Women really need to stand up for each other, show that we kick ass. That is sisterhood.”
The Premium Essentials is an online exclusive collection and will hit hm.com on Thursday, 16 March.
WHAT: Actor and model
WHERE: Los Angeles
DRIVES: A red Mercedes named Ethel. ”I asked a woman outside a restaurant if she wanted to name her. I am a really good driver. And fast.”
WHAT: Actor and model
WHERE: Los Angeles/New York
FEMALE HEROES: Nina Simone, Anaïs Nin, Eva Hesse, Frida Kahlo, Joan Didion. ”And Rihanna has been fuelling a fire in my heart ever since Anti hit last year.”
PHOTOGRAPHER: Nick Dorey | D + V Management
STYLIST: Columbine Smille | LundLund
HAIR: Conrad Dornan | Bridge Artists
MAKEUP: Emi Kaneko | Bryant Artists
MODELS: Dree Hemingway and Drake Burnette | DNA Models