Message on a Bottle

Inspiration can strike at the most unexpected moments: A wisp of an idea floats leisurely by, before bubbling into a larger vision. Stylist Jaime Kay Waxman is no stranger to finding artistry in all places—most recently, in the form of bespoke wine bottles.

Element[AL] Wines’ core lineup, bottled in lightweight aluminum, features bold, metallic packaging crafted to complement the luscious wine inside. We asked Waxman to draw inspiration from these bottles to style four party looks, each expertly matched to its respective bottle’s fashion-forward aesthetic.

a group of bottles

Waxman’s process is guided by a sharp instinct, and backed by research: In preparation for this shoot, she pored over archive collections, as well as a book on a renowned Japanese designer’s larger-than-life apparel. “I love being transported into a world that someone’s created through their mind—I think that’s the goal of working with images,” Waxman muses. “You go on a journey, tell a story, or create a character. Every element matters, in that sense.”

I just want people to stop and want to be in that world. I’d want someone to look at my pictures and just be there.”

Then, instead of sourcing a fanciful lineup of potential wardrobe options, Waxman pulled only the pieces she planned to use, focusing on previously loved items. This kind of commitment to sustainability is paramount to Waxman’s process: avoiding excess, choosing apparel wisely, and in this case “honoring the sustainability of the bottle and brand’s approach,” in her words—a reference to Element[AL]’s shatter-proof, infinitely recyclable bottles. Talk about alignment on set.

For her overall concept, Waxman envisioned each bottle design as representing a friend en route to the same soirée. Each of the four varietals takes on a storyline of its own, dancing into the scene with a hostess gift and a well-planned outfit.

Scarlet Elegance

For the vivid red bottle encasing the brand’s cool-climate cultivated Pinot Noir, for example, she brainstormed a voluminous look to complement the complex, multi-layered flavors inside. Elegance was clearly key to this persona—so Waxman worked in a scarlet color palette, selecting sheer gloves and avant-garde footwear to match.

a woman in a red dress
a woman in a red dress

Crisp Metallics

Pinot Grigio, for its part, assumes the effortless cool-girl energy of a well-read guest who’s hip to evolving social trends. This partygoer inevitably totes along a reusable insulated tumbler (and is known to stash a bottle of Element[AL] in her designer backpack). The crisp, silver metallics of the bottle pointed Waxman toward an on-trend corset and straight-cut denim. The studded design ups the edginess in a fresh way—matching the wine’s unexpected notes of orange blossom and rich honey.

a woman holding flowers
a person standing on a stage

Rosy Romance

Next up, Rosé: a playful, celebratory addition to any party. Bright and evanescent, she’s been known to queue up dance-y pop tunes when handed the aux. Waxman was led to visions of a dynamic dress in a rosy hue. A long red ribbon adds a sweetness. “She looks like a dew drop, a little piece of candy,” she explains. “She’s over the top and a romantic, but still so cool.”

a person in a pink dress

Structural Balance

And finally, Chardonnay. She might be the go-to invitee at dinner parties, but she’s far from everyday. Waxman played up the shape and texture of this bottle with celebratory tinsel. A single structural earring offsets the dress and contrasting kitten heels, striking just the right balance between a classic party look and an unexpected pairing.

Taken all together, Waxman’s oenophilic vision is dazzling. “There’s a sense of collaboration and magic that comes together,” she explains. “You prepare this world, then this world takes on a life of its own on set.”

a person in a dress
a person in a dress

Feeling inspired by these blends? Learn more about Element[AL]’s innovative packaging and four varietals here.

Art direction by Thea Karas and Alice Stevens; creative production by Hannah Miller; edited by Sarah Strong; casting by Mariano Restrepo and Delaney Dierdorff; fashion styling by Jaime Kay Waxman; set design by Alice Martinelli; hair by Nai’vasha; makeup by Rommy Najor.

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