IT ALL ADS UP
AN IMAGE OUTSELLS A THOUSAND WORDS. CHUMKI BHARADWAJ REPORTS ON THE CAUSE CÉLÈBRE OF SOME FASHION BRANDS.
The risk of ritual is inertia. When retail is therapy and selective memory a civic virtue, creativity underwrites the record of distractions and tastes of the moment. But when it comes to fashion, fads fade even faster. In the business of imagery, where illusions are created, fashion advertising liberates art, blurring borders between content and intent. The idea: create an awestruck epiphany to buck the seasonal trend through a memorable campaign.
Since fashion ads are the windows into the souls of brands, the photographer, philosophy, models, location and styling meld together to contour the narrative of the season or re- write the saga of its legacy for eager fans.
Faberge, a brand that is imbued with the weight of legend, and a sense of history, recently collaborated with genius fashion photographer Mario Testino on a new black and white advertising campaign that aims to reinterpret Faberge for a new generation.
In an effort to break free of it’s traditional image of old royalty, the campaign aims to capture the spirit and personality of youth by shooting real young people interacting with their friends as the creative landscape. Katharina Flohr, creative director, Faberge, explains: “We wanted to celebrate “la jeunesse doree” with this campaign and make Faberge relevant to a younger audience. Josh Faberge, whose mother Sarah Faberge heads the Faberge Heritage Council, invited Josh along with his friends to discover Faberge for themselves, engaging with the jewellery, mixing it up and layering the pendants however they liked. The result: a compelling image that tells the story of a new generation reinterpreting Faberge for their contemporaries.”
Conversely, brands like Burberry chose to celebrate Britishness, London and the Burberry heritage of weather protection with their A/ W’ 12 ad campaign, which turned
out to be the brand’s most cinematic shoot ever. Shot at night, the campaign shot by Mario Testino at the iconic Royal Naval College in Greenwich London used the cinematic references inspired by old British cinema, which sets the mood for the entire autumn winter 2012 collections. Much like it’s matinee muse, the campaign unfolds in phases starting with the “encounter”…
Luxury major Louis Vuitton chose to renew it’s association with the core values campaign it launched in 2007, al- beit with a new personality: Muhammad Ali. Photographed by Annie Leibovitz at his home in Arizona, the images poignantly capture Ali watching one of his grandsons who, wearing a pair of boxing gloves, stands proudly as if waiting to enter the ring. Depicting the face of the future: Is this young boy preparing to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious grandfather? The tagline reads: “Some stars show you the way. Muhammad Ali and a rising star. Phoenix, Arizona.” Now that’s a legacy.
Brand Diesel, however, chose to re- identify with its complex identity following the outright humour of earlier campaigns Be Stupid and Diesel Island. The brand’s latest advertising campaign seeks to underline its status as an iconic brand, with simple yet startling images that express playful confidence and sophistication. The images, shot by celebrated photography duo Mert & Marcus, portray a Diesel lover who is sexy, strong, challenging, powerful and playful. More minimalistic than recent campaigns, the images nonetheless embrace Diesel’s trademark surreal touches, gently disrupting fashion advertising conventions. Beautiful women cuddle up to retro robots, embrace cacti or take flight with office fans. While women are the main focus, men are wielding giant pickaxes or caught in bear traps, all the while retaining a typically Diesel tongue- in- cheek attitude.
In the end, the forever tagline that always works magic for fashion campaigns remains: hype dissipates apathy, so serve it with a big slug of smug.
THE FABERGE CAMPAIGN SHOT BY MARIO TESTINO;
LOUIS VUITTON’S NEW CORE VALUES CAMPAIGN ( BELOW)
ANOTHER MARIO TESTINO CAMPAIGN IN BACK AND WHITE SHOT FOR BURBERRY ( ABOVE); DIESEL’S NEW CAMPAIGN PORTRAYS A DIESEL LOVER AS SEXY AND CONFIDENT: BEAUTIFUL WOMAN CUDDLING UP TO A ROBOT ( LEFT)