The Frames: Lisa Eisner’s Love Story for Oliver Peoples

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Published January 13, 2011

It’s a classic story: boy meets girls, girl loves boy, both star in an amorous short film showcasing their chemistry and their sunglasses. Well, maybe not. But such is the case for Oliver Peoples’ 2011 eyewear campaign. In a sleepy love story starring Devendra Banhart (famed musical purveyor of avant-folk—don’t call it freak folk!) and real-life girlfriend Rebecca Schwartz, the couple bathes in the soft yellow glow of California, exploring a house and each other, personifying sexuality, intimacy, and luxury in the new specs line. An opening shot of mastermind architect John Lautner’s Rainbow House in the Hollywood Hills sets the stage for the newest campaign video, where in a departure from the past two seasons’ lighthearted fantasy storylines (like last year’s Elijah Wood/Shirley Manson adventure), this season’s campaign, directed by fashion world veteran Lisa Eisner, is all about authenticity.

Banhart and Schwartz bare all in the four-minute clip, allowing the camera lens to play voyeur in their relationship as they spend an afternoon dreamily indulging in one another. The two lazily lay in bed, both reading for good measure before tracing delicate fingers on faces framed by the wares. They quietly play in a bubble bath overlooking the picturesque hills. They dance on a terrace as their shadows follow slowly behind. Schwartz feeds her leading man a berry pie, adding sugar to a sweet afternoon. They exchange a playing card, adorned with a red heart. They share meaningful glances through reflective shades. Banhart croons in the background “brindo este amor” in the accompanying song “Brindo,” which plays like a Spanish lullaby. They laugh. It’s a tender tale without ever being a tale at all. Banhart and Schwartz are enchanting as themselves, selling their charm nearly as well as the tortoise-rimmed reading glasses. On both counts, we like what we see.