A High Art Collaboration for Nordstrom's Haute Couture Campaign

Plus Photos From Lexus' Sundance Lounge

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This spring, Nordstrom is pushing the idea of fashion as art a step further. Artist Ruben Toledo collaborated with photographer Ruven Afanador to create a campaign where the designer clothing and accessories at times play second fiddle to the graphic artwork.

"We have the highest regard for Ruben as an artist, and I felt it was really important that we not relegate his artwork to the background," said Linda Finn, Nordstrom's exec VP-marketing.

Indeed, Mr. Toledo, who has a long-standing relationship with the retailer, even painted directly on the models at times, at the prompting of Mr. Afanador. "I was afraid to go beyond -- the models were so beautiful and the clothes so beautiful -- but he pushed it," Mr. Toledo said. "It just evolved. We had no pre-conceived expectations. Although, I did have a bucket of black paint, because it takes longer to think in color."

Mr. Toledo painted each of the three 20-foot-by-30-foot panels, as well as the floor for each scene, on site over the course of a week. "It was a marathon," Mr. Toledo said. "Now, I'm blown away. I look at the pictures, and I can't believe we did that much work in that little time."

The ads will be featured in March issues of Elle, Vanity Fair and Vogue, and they will also grace Nordstrom's windows.
-- Natalie Zmuda
Nordstrom's fashion spread will appear in Conde Nast's Vogue ...

Nordstrom ad
Nordstrom ad from Vanity Fair
Hachette Filipacchi's Elle ...
and Conde's Vanity Fair.

Artist Ruben Toledo painting one of the 20-foot-by-30-foot panels. | Photo: Ruven Afanador
Toyota's luxury brand, Lexus, set up a special Lexus Hybrid Living Lounge during the Sundance Film Festival for invitation-only entertainment, refreshments and chilling out for five hours every day. The venue was packed with celebs, including Luke Wilson, Adrian Grenier, Moby, John Legend, Isabella Rossellini, George Lopez, Colin Firth, Steve Aoki, Diego Luna and Rex Lee.

John Legend's performance at the Lounge was the most popular -- with 1,100 people sending in their RSVPs. Lexus' eco-friendly lounge is a real-world showcase based on the Lexus Hybrid Living website, which went live in 2006.

Another version of the lounge will make a stop at two separate events in Manhattan during Fashion Week: Today at Earth Pledge's FutureFashion event at Gotham Hall and on Feb. 5, when Lexus sponsors Rodarte's new ready-to-wear collection at the former Dia:Chelsea on West 22nd Street.
-- Jean Halliday

Among the guests at the Hybrid Living Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival included Diego Luna ("Y Tu Mama Tambien") and Andrea Lim, Lexus' media manager ...

singer John Legend and Kimberley Gardiner, Lexus' event marketing manager ...
and "Entourage" star Adrian Grenier and Ms. Lim.
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