Fur, Fear, and Apocalyptic Ski Fashion

ski fashion photo shootApocalyptic Ski Fashion? Every year the SNOW fashion team travels to a new locale for our ski fashion photo shoots to photograph the latest ski and après-ski looks. This year, the Mad Max film’s post-nuclear war / desert nomad style became the inspiration behind this edition’s editorial fashion shoot “Rebel Snow” (page 103 of the 2017 high season issue) with top photographer Daniela Federici.

We drove a 15-foot Penske truck from Aspen, Colorado to Palmdale, California, where we rented a 36-foot Winnebago motorhome we quickly nicknamed the #Winterbagel; it offered shelter from Palmdale’s desert heat, a refuge for our models to primp and prep.

On shoot day, the location owner — a Sam Shepard look-a-like from The Right Stuff — led our caravan along a narrow dirt road, scarred deeply with wheel ruts. Our location turned out to be a remote and dilapidated cabin, its surroundings a graveyard of old cars, tumbleweed strewn haphazardly about. The setting had a post-apocalyptic feel, so very perfect for a Mad Max mirage.

ski fashion photo shootDaniela created Apocalyptic ski fashion magic that day, despite blistering sun and distracting heat. After many hours of shooting we began packing up our goods and gear, including furs and jewels and expensive camera equipment — that’s when the real trouble started. Two intruders arrived on the scene wearing long Bowie knives; our remote, secret location had been breached. Unfortunately the messenger who’d delivered the Van Cleef & Arpels jewels had just left. He had been packing heat so he may have been more useful than our top models in a combat situation.

Fur started flying as we quickly packed. We called the cops but knew it would take too long for them to arrive. We had the menacing thugs outnumbered, it’s true, but we didn’t want to pit models, stylists, and the photo team against these shady looking characters. Hearts racing, we pulled the vehicles out onto the road, eyes glued to the rear view mirror so we could keep watch. The Embassy Suites in Palmdale never looked so good. A fair bit of wine was shared that night as we relived our peril. Who knew shooting fashion editorial was high risk?

ski fashion photo shootLast year I had the good fortune of attending British Polo Day in India. We were enjoying gin and tonics with the Maharaja of Jodhpur when the conversation turned to skiing. Emma Cooper-Key began recounting how her very British family was instrumental in starting Méribel. “The French ski resort of Méribel?” I asked. Her answer was a simple: “Yes.” British journalist Charlotte Metcalf was also on the scene that day; once Cooper-Key had finished her story we all decided it was one that must be told in SNOW. Check out The Descendants (page 128 of the 2017 high season issue).

The Rich at Play (page 134 of the 2017 high season issue) by Shinan Govani is resplendent with the iconic photography of Slim Aarons. Govani dishes on why capturing skiing in the 1960s was such an important part of Slim’s photographic repertoire. As a New Hampshire boy, Aarons had his camera turned on this ‘hot new sport’ of skiing. Each photograph tells a story and every detail is fabulous — from the subjects’ nonchalance to their look-at-me sentiment.

Ski IcelandFinally, in Beyond Those Mountains (page 120 of the 2017 high season issue), Andrew Findlay’s story paired with photos by Kari Medig paint a picture of life in remote Iceland. They also reveal what it’s like to ski in this mystical land. Arctic Heli Skiing offers an expression of Iceland’s culture and traditions just as much as it transports people to endless ski runs to make perfect turns above stunning fjords.

You can almost smell the Aquavit. This season, make a plan to ski at least one new ski destination in the world; new experiences generate compelling stories, as we discovered in the desert. Be sure to post your images everywhere so your friends will wonder if you might be on assignment for SNOW.

Let it SNOW!

– Barbara Sanders, Publisher