It’s mid-winter in the northern hemisphere, but the fashion industry has started making us wish spring was already here. From a surrealistic 70’s inspired daydream to the mystical African savannahs, allow me to take you on a swift journey through my pick of the top 5 fashion campaigns for the season to come.
We start our trip in Brooklyn, where the smartly-clad girls from Chanel have just landed — luggage in hand — apparently after a 3-month long flight on Chanel Airways. The recently published campaign by Karl Lagerfeld seems to be a continuation to the story we first saw on the runway back in October, where the models strutted along a set designed after a Chanel-branded airport terminal to present the spring collection. The urban backdrop makes for an interesting contrast with the overtly French palette shown on the garments. We can clearly get the idea of travelling behind these pictures, but I can just hope this couple of women reach their destination soon, so they can get a rest from dragging around those heavy bags full of — let me guess — even more Chanel outfits and actually start enjoying their trip.
2. DOLCE & GABBANA
Now it’s time to cheer things up and have fun on the colorful crowded streets of Italy, where Dolce & Gabbana have produced a series of fun images that celebrate Italian heritage, in which a wide array of patterns and colors explode beautifully towards the viewer. Again, the duo follows the concept of modernity blending with traditional style, first executed on their show a few months ago. Think about people eating pasta, friendly merchants and throngs of tourists taking selfies, and you have a typical present scene from any famous spot in this country. It is remarkable too that the designers decided to feature Asian people — their increasing customer base — taking to their culture in an effort of inclusion and diversity. However, I am not quite sure what the reactions of actual Asian men and women will be after them being pictured as tourists carrying shopping bags next to “locals”. I hope it doesn’t come the other way around. After all, #Italiaislove
Next we immerse ourselves in a retro styled daydream taking place in unsuspected places around Berlin. There is a strong feeling of decadence in this campaign imagined by Alessandro Michele for Gucci. The shots have a cinematic aura, seemingly longing for older times. This nostalgia is showcased in key pieces from the new collection, such as their blooms print silk jacket, an old map print pleated skirt and the heavily embellished handbags. There is also an accompanying video by Glen Luchford starring a dozen of limp models bathed in a very alluring golden light running after something — I would like to think of it as joy — which, grouped together with the photographs, cleverly manages to illustrate the latest take on the firm’s artistic direction towards a laid-back eccentricity.
Our next stop is the Amboseli National Park in Kenya, whose amazing plains served as the perfect stage for Valentino’s latest campaign. Albeit having been highly critiqued for appropriation by many, creative directors Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri also received praising reviews for the mastery shown on their spring collection inspired by African motifs. They made a smart move by appointing photographer Steven McCurry — a continuous collaborator of National Geographic — instead of the usual fashion professionals and headed together to the Kenyan savannah. The result is an amazing cluster of images that capture the beauty of the interaction between the natural environment, the Maasai people and the clothes by the French label.
The last one is the embodiment of sheer power, because it doesn’t need either an exotic location or a strange concept to deliver a strong impact. The trio of femmes fatales dressed head to toe in mesh and ruffles is Olivier Rousteing’s latest dream come true. He hand-picked supermodels Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell to star in Balmain’s new campaign, knowing the bomb-like effect any of these three women can have when sporting fashion. Teaming them up with Steven Klein for a studio shoot, the outcome is a series of dramatic images exuding sensuality, which will have devotees of the brand craving for every single item portrayed in this campaign. I can’t help wonder if this could mark the demise in fashion of the overrated starlets we get to see everywhere these days.
Our short trip ends here. The selection was tough, since this season of fashion shows a promising range of diversity. I hope you enjoyed the ride and I invite you to leave a comment on which was your favorite campaign.
Till next time!
Written by David Requena