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The majority of styled shoots we participate in lean toward the more traditional side with hints of eclectic touches throughout. So, I was beyond ecstatic when Jessica and Ellen approached me for a mid-century modern Christmas themed shoot with a Vogue-esque feel to it. Rather than emphasizing on a wedding, it was a wonderful and refreshing opportunity to shoot a holiday party instead. With an emphasis on the art of hosting a dinner party, we set out to depict guests engaging in an indulgent meal, lighting the Christmas tree, and sharing cocktails amidst stimulating conversation.

It may be decades later, but we wanted to show that traditions can still carry on from generation-to-generation: food, drinks, and general merriment.

A lady in a mid-century outfit and makeup

A gentleman elegantly dressed

A profile of a woman dressed in the twenties style

A man wearing a blazer and a red bowtie

A blonde woman wearing fur shawl

A man wearing a grey jacket and a burgundy tie

We wanted it to feel as though guests had stepped straight out of the 1960’s “Mad Men” set, so it was exciting to work with a deep, moody color palette and hair/makeup featuring  thick eye liner, voluminous beehives, and stiff curls. All of the dresses are true vintage pieces, along with vintage fur shawls and coats that bring together the entire look. The menswear, albeit not vintage, certainly presented itself as so, with bowties and slick sport jackets.

We utilized our mid-century pieces to create a true backdrop of the times with various details from the times such as a Briard bowl filled with nuts and a warming tray turned bar cart for the host to prepare cocktails in Culver gold tumblers and lowballs.

A man preparing himself a drink from the cocktail bar

Pouring whisky in a glass

A coffee table with flowers, books, and candies on it

A black Heston chair on the grass

Of course, shooting a holiday party well before Christmas presented its own challenges in itself. Where would we locate a Christmas tree? Would the weather cooperate? Would we be able to pull off the warmth of the season? Alas, after a long search for a Christmas tree in October, Ellen somehow managed to locate one! The weather was one of the chilliest of the year, therefore we certainly didn’t need the models to pretend they were cold… the emotions Jessica captured were raw.

A Mid-Century Modern Christmas lounge setting in Austin

A Mid-Century style cocktail bar in an outdoor setting

Guesting standing or sitting in an outdoor lounge

The dinner table was a simple presentation – a true throwback to the times. Utilizing gold and white vintage china with simple glassware, Rosehip Flora created a table with colorful blooms in reds, greens, and pale pink arrangements.  Otherwise, it was a rather neutral palette with pops of color via the gift boxes on each guest’s plate.

A vintage style dinner table setting in a meadow

A traditional vintage Christmas table setting

A fondue pot with different dippers

A Christmas table setting

Outdoor Christmas dinner table

Guests cheering at the dinner table

Guests wearing mid-twenties vintage clothes standing next to a lightly decorated Christmas tree

No details were overlooked, whether it be the gorgeous calligraphy via Wondrous Whimsy on the invitation suite or the “Have Yourself a Merry Christmas” lyrics interwoven onto the Christmas tree. Guests even lit the candles on the tree to spread the holiday cheer and provide some warmth.

A couple lighting a candle on the Christmas tree

A gentleman sitting on a Roosevelt chair from Birch & Brass Vintage Rentals in Austin and San Antonio

A woman holding a Christmas card

A candle burning on a Christmas tree

Green and red Christmas cards

A red Christmas card

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years from the Birch & Brass family, and a special thanks to everyone that made this shoot a success. Photography: Jessica Scott / Styling & Coordination: Westcott Weddings / Florals: Rosehip Flora / Calligraphy & Invitation Suite: Wondrous Whimsy / Women’s Clothing: The Ivy Retreat / Menswear: Billy Reid / Tablecloth: Marquee / Shoot Location: STEMS Floral / Male Models: Micah Asohan, Shane Christopher, and Ian DeVoglaer / Female Models: Jenni Dawson, Emily Waldmann, and Lauren Casey.

Birch & Brass inventory utilized: Roosevelt Chair, Samson Narrow Farm Tables, Mismatched Dining Chairs, Gold Flatware, Mismatched Gold China, Heston Chair, Theo Coffee Table, Hendrix Settee, Stella Basket, Kenton Bar Cart, Nash Table, Mid-Century Lowballs, Mid-Century Tumblers, Clark Ice Bucket, Raymond Ice Bucket, Brass Tray.

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