Life of the Party With BIMBA Y LOLA and Caroline Polachek

Photography:
Petra Collins
Words:
Rosie Herdman

What would it be like to party with Caroline Polachek? Would she stomp along the tops of tables, like in one part of the music video for her song Welcome To My Island? Maybe she’d be writhing as fluidly on a dance floor as she does on a stage, or lavishing her extraordinary voice upon a karaoke mic. In the new Holiday Campaign for Spanish fashion brand BIMBA Y LOLA, Polachek is anointed as prom queen – an unpredictable electro-pop party princess wearing a silver tinsel crown to ring in the festive season. 

She wears the label’s new Hobo Pocket Bag with Swarovski Crystals, in shades of red, black and pale pear green, slinging it over her shoulder or resting it on a metallic cloth-covered table among eggnog and cream tarts. Elven-like, Polachek’s ears peek through her dark hair and are decorated with Bimba Y Lola’s costumey silver star and crystal earrings and looping silver hoop earrings.  
We’re invited to view these glimmering scenes through the lens of artist and director Petra Collins, in her signature cinematic style with light flair and soft fog. 
In one, Polachek crouches languidly on what could be a black-lit stage; in another, she gazes over a moon-pale shoulder backed by a line-up of extravagantly decorated cakes and tinsel. She wears red, pierced leather and long black gloves; dreamy white frills; and witchy black. 
It’s not the first time Collins has collaborated with Bimba Y Lola; the renowned photographer captured its Fall/Winter 22 campaign shoot with Russian Doll actor – and current Puss Puss cover starNatasha Lyonne, and a tongue-in-cheek short film on the “Bimbaylolized” origin story for the same season. 
Collins has had a bumper year, but you could arguably say that about every year of the prolific photographer’s career since she rose to prominence in the early 2010s, shaping an entire cultural aesthetic as she did so. 
A brief summary of recent additions to her portfolio includes photographing Japanese-American model and actor (and another past PUSS PUSS cover star) Kiko Mizuhara, world-famous content creator Emma Chamberlain, and actor Lakeith Stanfield for high-profile magazine cover stories and directing frequent muse Olivia Rodrigo for Rodrigo’s Bad Idea Right and Vampire music videos.
In this project, Collins’ nostalgic aesthetic is an ideal foil for Polachek’s futuristic sound and the BIMBA Y LOLA’s party-ready pieces.
Founded in 2005 by Uxía Domínguez Rodríguez and María Domínguez Rodríguez, the label now describes itself as a “creative collective” dedicated to bringing together an ever-changing but like-minded community inspired by arts and culture. It’s known for its irreverence and vibrant energy, with an off-kilter charm that suits idiosyncratic talents like Collins, Polachek and Lyonne. Other past brand faces have included Madonna’s daughter Lourdes Leon, who starred in the Fall 2021 campaign with creative direction by beauty guru Isamaya Ffrench.
In Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Polachek, BIMBA Y LOLA has found an “atypical and intellectual dancing queen” whose individuality reigns without a sparkle out of place.
When she starred in our September 2020 digital cover story, New York-born Polachek was in the throes of writing her sophomore solo album – the second she recorded under her own name after starting her music career in the indie band Chairlift in 2005 and a brief stint as Ramona Lisa between 2013 and 2014.
Polachek released Desire, I Want to Turn Into You in February this year to critical acclaim – Rolling Stone described it as “an impressive pop-science flex”, and songs like Bunny Is a Rider, Welcome To My Island, Pretty In Possible and Crude Drawing Of An Angel see Polachek exploring the peripheries of both pop music and her impressive vocal abilities. 
Having spent most of the year since her album release gracing stages across North America, Europe and Asia for festivals and her Spiraling Tour, Polachek’s fanbase is only growing. And while she’s already been in the music industry for nearly two decades, her capacity for reinvention and evolution as well as a unique sense of style seem endless.
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