Models tied with climbing ropes, faces etched with euphoria, photographer Thomas Alexander and a stylist Andra Amelia Buhai have undone all the virtuous associations of the outdoor lifestyle – replacing cold drinks, camper renovations and wandering tattoos with the bacchanalia of ’80s nightlife “I was going through this book full of prime-time Studio 54 images and felt so inspired by the emotions at the exhibition,” says Buhai, who made her styling debut in the Winter 2022 issue of Dazed. “Photos of Björk, Grace Jones, Debbie Harry and David Bowie. I wanted the shoot to channel their goofy mannerisms and movements, like a group of friends having fun.”
Since the whole thing depended on the ecstasy and anxiety that so often occurs on the dance floor, Buhai scouted the models – with the help of the newgen agency Good catch – based on the elasticity of their facial expressions. But these aren’t necessarily feelings that can be called up on demand, so Buhai challenged the models to go with the method, entering the keys into their emotional memory. “I wanted a big laugh-smile from Junior, for example, who’s really into football, so I’d shout ‘Junior, imagine Arsenal just won the biggest game of the year!’ And he sure had the biggest smile on his face. ‘I can’t believe I fell for that,’ he said, laughing.”
Entire editorial showcases Pumathe latest collaboration with the Melbourne label PAM, which includes streetwear and hiking gear in puffy jackets, loafers and fleece sweaters in abstract camouflage and eye-popping prints inspired by the South American Yareta plant. Made from at least 20 percent recycled materials, psychedelic florals adorn classic sneaker shapes, while hats, backpacks and bottle bags are splashed with purple, lavender, green and copper. The collection also coincides with a larger project: PAM/PUMA BIO/VERSE, which supports biodiversity in the western Brazilian Amazon.
Powered by machine learning, location-specific audio sensors in the Jurua River region transmit environmental changes to local communities and scientists to aid research and support conservation efforts. So if the collection itself is an attempt to reconnect with nature, then Buhai’s shoot is a nocturnal rampage – with flecks of eye shadow, dyed hair and models caught mid-dance. “Honestly, it doesn’t matter how many times I look at the pictures, my face lights up every time,” she says. “It seemed surreal until the moment he got to the office and saw it in print IRL.” Click on the gallery above to see the rest of the shoot.