There's always something happening in the marvellous world of Fashion. Runways. Resort Collections. Pre-Fall. Pre-Spring. Insane magazine covers. Crazy looks on the red carpet and of course, ad campaigns! Twice a year, they are my guilty pleasures, the things I am looking forward to the most. Who will be featured into them? Who will shoot them? Twice a year, I am a very happy boy. Ok, you must think I am such a futile boy with no major issues in life. Perhaps you're right but for me, discovering these ad campaigns is like discovering new works of art. Let me be clear, some of them are not genius at all. Boring. Pointless. Or too expected and predictable. But on the contrary, some of them seem perfect. Everything is here at its right place. The perfect model (the it girl/model of the moment, the timeless fashion icon, the comeback of a legend). The perfect settings. The most appropriate photographer with his/her own universe. A perfect cocktail for a major Fashion experience.
A perfect fashion ad campaign is never won in advance. One may think that with a gorgeous girl, gorgeous clothes and a more than talented photographer, it will be done easily. Voilà! It is far from reality. Sometimes, all these elements are here but magic will never happen. For instance, I am far from being convinced by the latest Prada ad campaign shot by the legendary Steven Meisel and featuring the newcomer Mica Arganaraz. As far as I am concerned, it's a flop. Maybe I was expecting too much after the incredible Bauhaus-inspired runway show and after the amazing ad campaigns of the last seasons. Here something is missing. This je ne sais quoi that makes the essence of a Prada campaign. Moreover, I love when there is several girls in the pictures. Prada has always the most incredible cast ( for SS14 among others, Amanda Murphy, Malaika Firth, Anna Ewers, Ashleigh Good or Lexi Boling; for AW13 Freja Beha Erichsen, Amanda Murphy & Malaika Firth once again, Christy Turlington...etc) and I could go on and on listing the names of the girls who came into Miuccia Prada's Sphere (the most stunning cast is for me the one for SS13 with Saskia de Brauw, Amber Valletta, Raquel Zimmermann, Vanessa Axente, Irina Kravchenko, Eva Herzigova, Kirsten Owen or Sasha Pivovarova, Miuccia's protégée).
Sometimes magic is to be found somewhere else. Not with the perfect combination models + photographer + collection but thanks to a model who is able to retranscribe an atmosphere with her own weapon of choice: the Attitude! And when it comes to attitude, immediately my heart goes BOOM for Naomi "The Panther" Campbell. Her eyes tell us "Don't defy me, you'll lose" and we just want more! Such a shame she's so rare in ad campaigns but perhaps, that's what makes these shootings so special, so tasty, so intense, so iconic. She has made a lot of campaigns but for me, the Yves Saint Laurent by Stefano Pilati FW 08 and the Givenchy FW11 are her best! She's fierce, gorgeous, sexy and you surely don't want to mess with her! She wonderfully embodies the YSL woman, a powerful woman who is effortlessly chic and sexy. The same goes for Givenchy when she is literally the black panther who can bite you at any minute. So wild and sexy! Definitely not for the weak hearted!
There is another reason why sometimes I fall in love with an ad campaign: the story behind the photographs. You don't get it? Let me explain myself. Remember Lanvin FW11? (it seems that FW11 was a glorious time for ad campaigns!) Raquel Zimmermann & Karen Elson who could not be more chic in these Lanvin outfits (My God, this collection was so magnificent and flamboyant! A major Lanvin show!) striking strange poses, acting like Dancing Queens. But why? What made them dance that way? Well, it all made sense when I saw the making of (about a hundred times). I don't know if they really danced to the sound of Pitbull (first, I thought they were vibrating to the music of Wagner, Beethoven or Brahms) but the discrepancy is so wide that it can only make you smile or in my case, laugh (and try to do the same choreography but unfortunately without the garments and Alber Elbaz dancing by my side...)
Of course, in this brief history of my favourite Fashion ad campaigns, I could have mentioned Daria Werbowy (Ooh La la Daria!) for Yves Saint Laurent FW10 where she is just perfection and matches Naomi's sexy and strong aura or the Balenciaga FW12 by Steven Meisel featuring fresh faces and insanely cool clothes, that's why I think I love this campaign so much. Everything is perfect and here, perfection is far from being boring!
Wait a minute! I could not end this article without talking about Miu Miu ad campaigns where perhaps even more than for the Prada ones, the cast is absolutely stunning each and every time. No missteps (I am trying to mentally erase the Katie Holmes season...) and always the It-Girls! Miuccia Prada has the nose to find and bring to light the girls who will soon be on everyone's lips. Thus this season, she bet on Lupita Nyong'o (Do I really have to tell you who she is?) who won an Oscar this year and who has just been cast for Star Wars! Good job Miuccia! And in the past years, she hired such cool girls as Chloë Sevigny, Drew Barrymore, Lindsay Lohan, Kirsten Dunst, Mia Wasikowska, Vanessa Paradis, Adèle Exarchopoulos & Léa Seydoux to represent this younger sister of Prada! Flawless!
|Chloë Sevigny for Miu Miu SS96|
|Drew Barrymore for Miu Miu FW95|
|Lindsay Lohan for Miu Miu SS07|
|Vanessa Paradis for Miu Miu FW08|
|Kirsten Dunst for Miu Miu SS08|
|Mia Wasikowska for Miu Miu SS12|
|Chloë Sevigny for Miu Miu FW12|
|Lupita Nyong'o for Miu Miu SS14|
|Adèle Exarchopoulos & Léa Seydoux for Miu Miu Resort 2014|
A new season is coming and I can't wait to see the brand new ad campaigns! Some have already been disclosed and for the moment, I can say that Versace has done a very good job with Anna Ewers & the veteran Stella Tennant! Each day when switching on my computer or my phone, I wonder if something new has been published and this feeling, this excitement is perhaps even better than the campaigns themselves! What about you? What is your favourite fashion ad-campaign?