I am a very visual person. I decide in an instant if I like something or not, purely based on appearance and snap-judgements. Perhaps that is why I adore fashion: it is a very visual field. It is all about the aesthetic and little about the substance on the surface, it is personal choice if you decide to dig deeper. One of my favourite ways to look at fashion is through the advertising campaigns put out by the brands at the start of each season: they run in the magazines, are occasionally pasted onto bus stops and are splattered all over the internet. An advert, if successful, will make you want to buy something from the brand. That is the whole point of advertising, to draw in customers and increase sales. However, a fashion advert is different to a regular advert that you would see for a can of beans or some washing powder. Yes, the Heinz brand name sells the product similar to the way that the Hermes name sells a bag and yes, if you use that particular brand of detergent you are buying into a certain lifestyle but really it is not the same. Fashion adverts are an extension of an editorial, in my eyes. If they are worthwhile, they are inspirational or should I say aspirational? When I look at the ad campaigns for some of my favourite brands, I don’t see the dollar signs but I see the story. The advert is a real-life representation of the house. It lets you know a little bit more about the brand, like who their ideal girl is. I mean, how else would we know exactly that the Miu Miu girl is the kooky little sister of Prada, slightly mischievous and a whole lot of fun, if that idea wasn’t reiterated in the adverts time and time again?
At this current moment, there are countless new adverts coming out since we are now entering the new season. In a little less than a month, fashion “month” will be upon us again hence signalling the beginning of the Spring 2015 season (even though what is being presented is for FW15). It is easy to get a little bit lost in the seasons, especially considering that these days celebrities have worn half of the next-season collections before they have hit the stores or are even ready to pre-order. When you see these clothes in the adverts again or actually being used in editorials, you are reminded that they are, in fact, current season and that celebrities live in another world. A world without waiting times…
Regardless, the excitement of seeing certain clothes in print makes the wait worthwhile. I always love seeing what pieces from the collections (especially since many have over 50 looks) actually make it into the ads as surely the best of the best are chosen. I also love how sometimes, say you didn’t quite get the collection the first time you seen it or you just didn’t like it, the adverts can totally change your opinion on certain pieces. I know that that has happened for me personally time and time again with collections that I hated first time around then loved in print. Alternatively, the opposite can happen.
This season, the three campaigns that I adore the most are Prada, Chanel & Givenchy. Firstly, with this seasons’ Prada, I liked it straight away. The show was opened by Gemma Ward who is subsequently starring in the campaigns, shot by Steven Meisel… obviously. I find it slightly hilarious how people have been calling for her return online for, literally, 5 years at least and were shot down. Now she is back and in a big way. I have noticed that one of the main features of this collection (and also the menswear collection), the visible seams and stitching, has already made its way onto the high street but only in menswear so far: I seen a new season shirt in Topman but I can’t find it online for the life of me. I think what is so wonderful about the Prada brand is that 9 times out of 10, they get the ad campaigns spot on. Even the ones that I think I didn’t like at the time grow on me months later (take Fall 2014 as an example). I also adore the Resort campaign for the brand so I will include that in this list. I have one of the images stuck up on my bedroom wall as I love it so much: maybe I should frame it?
Second is Chanel. After putting Gisele Bundchen in the current Chanel No5 perfume adverts (the You’re The One That I Want campaign), Karl has chosen her to front the brand’s Spring 2015 adverts also. Now if you remember, the collection was all about revolution, they staged a feminist protest at the show. However, I’m not sure that it is clear to see from the adverts. The whole concept is Chanel Paris After Dark, or #chanelparisafterdark if you want to go all Instagram correct, and they follow Gisele around various locations in the beautiful city including the infamous Love Lock bridge. I think the result is a million times better than some previous season adverts (take the boxing-style campaign with Cara Delevingne and Binx Walton) and is actually rather fitting for the brand.
Finally, I adore the latest Givenchy adverts. On Tumblr, there are a set of super risqué images going around featuring a whole lot of sex, both heterosexual and homosexual, and lots of skin: these are fake. Then there is also the more tame, commercial version which are the same images minus the explicit pictures: or should I say the real version. Julia Roberts also stars in the adverts, looking moody and, quite frankly, fucking brilliant along with models Imaan Hammam (my latest love, along with Prada-exclusive and my current goal in life Aya Jones), Stella Lucia & Mica Arganaraz, whose hair in the adverts reminds me slightly of Gia’s. I find the edits oddly funny and wish that they were genuine, just to cause a stir and wind people-up. Can you imagine the look on people’s faces when they flicked open Vogue to see that?