Bruce Weber: A New-Fashioned Christmas

A Glittering Winter's Fête at Selfridges from the Celebrated Photographer

Holiday clichés are turned upside-down in Bruce Weber’s decadently surreal family Christmas for the British department store Selfridges. The Pennsylvania-born photographer and filmmaker—a creator of stunning fashion campaigns since the 1970s and veteran contributor to GQ, Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone—immersed his team in the spirit of the winter season while shooting in the grand halls of the London flagship way back in June. “Sometimes my film crew felt like Eloise at the Plaza,” Weber says of the late night shoot. “They were always losing their way in the store—at every turn they found something beautiful or interesting to distract them.” Part of a wider campaign that will include outdoor and arthouse cinema screenings, for this film Weber and Selfridges Creative Director Alannah Weston teamed up with Vogue stylist Bay Garnett. The result was a feast for the eyes including sparkling chandeliers, a motley cast of characters and even some digital snow. Model Laura Love, daughter of Vogue’s West Coast Editor Lisa Love, embraced her role as a ballerina so fully that she found herself dancing out in the rain at midnight. “Once we got rolling we forgot what time it was,” says Weber. “All we could think about was the excitement of a child not being able to sleep because of the presents waiting under the tree.”

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    Reindeer Wrangling

    Director Eva Weber Braves the Arctic to Capture the Majesty of Santa’s Sleigh Pullers

    Journeying 400 kilometers above the polar circle to Karigasniemi village in Utsjoki, Finland, filmmaker Eva Weber captures the reindeer herding that has been the livelihood of the Arctic’s indigenous Sámi people for countless generations. On the farm of local herder Ari Niiles Niittyvuopio, thousands of reindeer are brought in from the surrounding mountainsides where they graze in warmer months. Once gathered, the animals are identified by various markers and distributed to their owners, who depend on them for food, hides and, in some instances, entertainment. A popular sport in the region, reindeer racing takes place every spring, with bucks trained to pull a “jockey” on skies around a one-kilometer loop at speeds of up to 60kmph to determine who owns the fastest beast. With twilight looming at 9:30am and complete darkness having settled by 2pm, Weber and her crew braved temperatures of minus 18 degrees Celsius during the several days they spent with the animals. “They really are the most striking creatures,” says Weber. “They all have this incredible, breath-taking energy and inexplicable mystery. The noise they make is completely fascinating, beautiful, unlike anything you’ve ever heard before.”
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    Eniko's Diamond Dip

    The Model Stars in KT Auleta and Lancôme Makeup Guru Aaron de Mey's Bejeweled Pool Glide

    One great thing about the relatively new creative outlet of fashion film is that it allows photographers to bring some of their most cherished images to life. KT Auleta, the director of today’s dazzling poolside spectacular, had one such image resting for years in her portfolio. “It’s a picture of a girl wearing a visor, sitting in a pool,” says the photographer-turned-filmmaker, whose work has appeared in i-D, Vogue Russia and Self-Service.  “She’s smiling, you can really see her skin, and she looks filled with such spirit. I always wanted to do something more with that photograph.” To work this potent visual into the glittery splashy short film you see before you, set at a swimming pool on the Gold Coast, Long Island (retreat of choice for millionaires and movie stars), Auleta teamed up with celebrated makeup artist and Lancôme Creative Director Aaron de Mey, who is famous for his no-holds-barred love of high-impact color and sparkly, glossy finishes. The film’s star, Hungarian model Enikő Mihalik, is one of De Mey’s favorites—he waxes lyrical about her “elegant toughness,” “Siamese cat eyes” and “latex-like skin.”  Her jewelry comes courtesy of the Italian jeweler Bulgari. Beneath the film’s luxe, seductive shimmer lies a more subtle narrative, indicated by Auleta’s inclusion of the Anne Carson quote as the film closes. “There’s this idea of transformation through cleansing in the water,” says Auleta, “like the myth of a burning phoenix, ascending and changing.”

    Aaron de Mey explains how to get Enikő's look in the film:

    The black, liquid-lined feline eye was achieved using Lancôme Artliner Precision Point Eyeliner in Black. I drew the shape upward and outward to make Enikő's eyes look dynamic and slightly punk. Two sets of false lashes were applied to the top lash line and coated with Lancôme Hypnose Waterproof Custom Volume Mascara in Black to define and enhance the eye shape created with the eyeliner. For the lips I applied Swarovski crystals individually to a light layer of Shu Uemura eyelash glue. I used Lancôme Teint Miracle Natural Skin Perfection foundation to perfect and even the skin tone. The eyebrows were bleached to erase them so that the focus was shifted to the eyes. Click here to read De May's fall makeup recommendations.

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