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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.