The Allure | Oliver Peoples: Devendra Banhart at the Rainbow House

"Devendra Banhart at the Rainbow House"

a short film by Lisa Eisner

Oliver Peoples SS11ad campaign

Awash in the SoCal sun and girlfriend Rebecca Schwarz's uncannily radiant skin, psychedelic folk rocker and visual artist Devendra Banhart has landed at the center of Oliver Peoples' latest ad campaign. For those that have followed Dialogue Inc. for some time, you'll know that we've covered the high end spectacle designer before, when Zooey Deschanel starred in the short film "Sometimes We Do It Just For Fun" by Autumn De Wilde for its Spring-Summer 2009 campaign.

More sensual than De Wilde's whimsical turn, director Lisa Eisner basically depicts any couples perfect summer Sunday afternoon. Beginning ambiguously as fore or afterplay (maybe both, you decide), our couple lounges in bed with little to cover Banhart's assortment of tattoos and Schwartz's red toenail polish. Between the rustle of a newspaper and the turning of pages in an old book, the two pet and coo over each other without a worry to distract them. Have you ever been out at an intimate restaurant for dinner or drinks and a few tables away there is one of those couples? The two are so engrossed in each other that, in their world, everything around them has faded to nonexistence (or at least non-importance)? The man kisses her fingers and whispers into her ear. The woman rubs her fingers up and down his arm and fiddles with her hair; her legs are crossed, knees pointed straight to his heart. This is that couple when they know no one is looking.

Cut to scenes of toe kissing in the tub, walking in the garden and sliding down the bannister. They roll around on shag carpet and dance barefoot under the shadow of palm trees. They also like to try on lots of glasses while Banhart croons in Spanish (2009's "Brindo" serves as the soundtrack).  It really is a beautiful aesthetic execution; one that paints a picturesque brand image for Oliver Peoples. Set at John Lautner's rainbow-shaped Garcia House, it's the sort of place I want to take my girlfriend on a California get away. When I find her anyway. 

Oliver People's Senior Director of Marketing and Brand Communication explains the company's choice of direction:

“For our 2011 campaign, I envisioned a sensual experience for the onlooker – something truly sexy. But I wanted a sincerity that could only be achieved through a basis in reality,” says Walnum. “Lisa’s eye for pure beauty and her ability to capture it, along with Devendra and Rebecca’s authentic sexuality, created a distinct vibe that was completely natural and unforced – not unlike the design of our eyewear. Additionally, I wanted to set the piece within a typical contemporary cool So Cal setting, in this case Lautner House, since this resonates with our brand’s DNA being from here.”

Thanks to the Fader for tipping us off to this beauty, and Oliver Peoples and Co. for creating it. This is the sexiest thing we've seen so far in 2011.

—Joshua P. Ferguson

Devendra Banhart at Rainbow House from Oliver Peoples on Vimeo.


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