A famous last name can be equal parts burden and blessing. Following celebrity relations into their respective fields is a well-worn path where comparisons are inevitable, and not always flattering. Sometimes, however, having famous and talented relatives is just really very convenient. Take Gia Coppola (Francis Ford’s granddaughter, and Sofia’s niece), who was the center of a small gathering Sunday night to toast “What’s Up?” a short film she made for designer Melissa Coker’s line, Wren.
“It was fun to make,” the 24-year-old smiled as she perched on a red banquette at Mister H. Her film was being projected on loop onto a wrinkled curtain behind her. The room was very dark, considering it was only 6 p.m., and the film was hard to see (the wrinkled curtain) and hard to hear (the Fifties style hits that were blasting from the DJ booth).
“I know, but the music Tennessee [Thomas] is playing is great,” Coppola shrugged.
From what could be made out, the film had the signature moody notes and the quiet intensity of most of Sofia Coppola’s works, and was shot mostly in interiors. It followed a teen girl writhing around in her bedroom — making Facebook videos of herself jumping on her bed and eavesdropping on her mother on the telephone.
“It’s really just inspired by what I would do if I was home alone, and bored,” Coppola explained. “It’s my friend Bella [Zarember] who’s starring in it. She’s 15.” Zarember was on hand, wearing a large pair of owl-eyed glasses and a slick of red lipstick across her mouth.
Coker was also there and ready to explain the collaboration.
“Everyone keeps asking my age,” the designer said. “I’m 32, Gia’s 24, and her friend, who’s here, is 15? I am not 15…anyway. Gia was just a perfect match for us.…Wren is feminine, classic. Gia fits right in. I met her in L.A., and it just made sense.”
Sofia Coppola swept through the party on the heels of Carlos Quirarte, Nora Zehetner and Kate Schelter.
“I’m proud of her,” the elder Coppola nodded, wrapping her niece in a hug.
Earlier, Gia had commented on her aunt’s recent marriage: “It’s funny, it was sort of the anti-Kardashian wedding, happening around the same time.”
And what’s next for the younger director?
“I’m working on something with James Franco, a feature,” Gia said, “We met at a party in L.A., he had seen my photography and he’d liked it, and now we’re working on something together.”
With that, she headed off to dance with her friends in front of the DJ booth.