Desert Sessions, Volume I & II

The plan was to drive to Joshua Tree in the morning on the 28th of December, shoot all the funny vintage pieces I had pulled from Sielian Vintage and The Way We Wore, spend the night, and wake up in the middle of the desert on my birthday. That was the plan. A glorious, exciting plan that would surely make me forget how old I was getting. So we set sail, Elizabeth Gilpin and I, bright and early. According to the shrewd salesman at Hertz, the only car that was available – “Christmas is a busy time, lady” – was a black, 2014, convertible Camaro. A goddamn muscle car. I didn’t object though, as I am known to get off on fast cars and have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the gas peddle. But it’s not cheap, let me tell you. About one and a half hours into the trip, we arrived at Desert Hills Premium Outlets, a must-do for anyone who’s in transit or vacations in Palm Springs. “Maybe you can find some more clothes to shoot,” Elizabeth smiled as she got out of the car in the parking lot. I froze in my seat, clutching the steering wheel. It had just dawned on me: “Elizabeth. I. forgot. the. clothes.” I tried to hold it together but after a few heart wrenching seconds I lost it and cried like a little baby. Plan? Excitement? No more.

The next few hours were disastrous. Elizabeth tried to console me by pointing at the clouds. And saying how the weather report predicted much nicer weather, and higher temperatures the next day – it was literally freezing in the desert. But not even half an hour later the clouds disappeared and I was peering up at a clear blue sky. More tears. I sussed myself with a new Valentino top from the outlet store – it cost just $250 and it’s adorable. But we needed to get at least one good instagram out of this, so we drove into the mountains. By then it was so hot we wanted to get the hood up. Bad idea. Even with the manual we couldn’t figure it out. What a bunch of losers we were. And to make matters worse, while we climbed the rocks to get our shot, I cracked the screen of my phone. It was a decisive moment. How about we just go back to Los Angeles, and sleep on this…

I finally did make it to Joshua Tree, the next day. This time with my sister and her husband, who volunteered to drive me, and the clothes, to my birthday destination. It’s a fascinating place, not in the least because of the trees. They’re impressive and odd-looking. The town itself looks desolate but there’s a lot going on: saloons, coffee shops, thrift stores… None of which I was able to visit this time since I had just four hours to get my shoot underway. When I left Sasha Eisenman‘s little desert compound I was content. I didn’t wake up in the desert, or sit by the camp fire telling bedtime stories under the stars. Instead I had a home made margarita, a nice chat with my old friend, and a birthday party at the Mondrian in the city.

Photos by Sasha Eisenman.

Please use the Tales of Endearment code when you contact the The Way We Wore and Sielian Vintage to make your purchases!

Vintage floral pant suit from Sielian Vintage (Thank you for the birthday present, Lie and Tsutomu!); Wooden clogs by Rochas; Vintage navy blue belt by Galanos, $195 at The Way We Wore; Black and gold earrings by Marni; Vintage 70s sunglasses by Playboy, $300 at Sielian Vintage; My green mesh shopping bag.

Vintage orange (head) scarf, $65 at The Way We Wore; Navy and green jersey wrap dress by Diane Von Furstenberg (SS15); Vintage tortoise shell round sunglasses, $175 at Sielian Vintage; Vintage beaded vest by Nina Lee, $1250 at Sielian Vintage; Bustier top by Diane Von Furstenberg (SS15);

Vintage multi colored pant suit by Pucci, $1150 at Sielian Vintage; Double floral crown by Bes-Ben, $595 at The Way We Wore; Black patent 60s shoes by Prada (FW14); Round, blue lens, silver frame sunglasses, $175 at Sielian Vintage; Vintage orange and brown paisley skirt by Gianfranco Ferre, $550 at Sielian Vintage.

Blue gingham top and shorts by Diane Von Furstenberg (SS15); Vintage wide brim floral woven hat at The Way We Wore.

January 13, 2015

Leave a Comment

9 Responses to “Desert Sessions, Volume I & II”

  1. avatar

    Please write a book one day. 🙂 I think it would be so awesome and hilarious!

  2. avatar
    Scott Bryson - Reply

    For all the hand wringing & near disasters the light was perfect & one of your best shoots yet!

  3. avatar

    tienes tan impecable gusto y forma de convinar patrones tan diferente uno del otro, es como una obra de arte lo que haces,muy bellas todas las fotos!!!
    Ps. tenias que haber retratado el carro de Hertz 🙂 xo

  4. avatar

    Gorgeous as always natalie, love your smile and your gorgeounesssssssssssssssssss

  5. avatar

    LOVE this! You bring it with the looks in this one! Fuuun!

  6. avatar

    Haaa…love this!! YOu are totally bringin it with the looks! Fuuun!!!

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