The famous Silver Dollar Saloon in Leadville, Colorado is a treasure trove of a bar inside, and the facade also takes some beating as an authentic wild west location. Leadville is America’s highest town and, like many old Colorado mining towns high in the mountains, it has largely escaped modernity and is all the better for it. This is a working town that doubles up inadvertently as a one stop film set. To walk down the main street is to enter the world of Taylor Sheridan.
The saloon proudly declares the date of its birth on the outside – 1879 - and my idea was to go forward 100 years to the 1970s when the famous Colorado ski resorts near Leadville such as Vail and Aspen were gaining traction with the stars of Hollywood. I wanted to pair 1970s ski fashion with what remains of the final frontier and see how the union played out. My sense was that the glamour could be accentuated by the contrast with what sat behind.
I had a card in my hand in having my fellow Brit, Cara Delevingne, as my muse and with Cara almost anything is possible. She is one the world’s leading models for good reason and styling her is a joy not a chore. The final photograph is elevated by the snow and the snowfall. Falling snow adds another character into a still image for free and on that freezing Monday morning the intensity of the falling snow was just about right. Too heavy a snow fall can create trouble, but we were not compromised visually that day - which was lucky.
I am sure someone at some stage has taken a picture like this outside the Silver Dollar Saloon, but I have yet to see it, so perhaps we got there first with this idea. It was certainly a first for Cara.