Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The Best Ad Campaigns- Spring/Summer 2011

Recently, the lost art of the advertising campaign has returned to the forefront of fashion. The ads never really went away but, for a while, fashion houses all seemed to rely on a continuous cycle of old ideas and old models (one more campaign with Freja Beha Erichsen standing looking moody and boyish and I will officially stop believing fashion is an art).

This year, the whole concept has changed and all the fashion heavyweights are battling it out for the most original ad campaign idea. The most notable being the Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall 2011 ads starring the lovely Elle Fanning- notable, of course, because the lovely Elle Fanning is just 13 years old. Following in the footsteps of her (slightly) older sister Dakota, Elle is seen dressed in muted greys and sombre pouts and generally just looking more mature than her tender years. Another glaring example of the loveliness of youth is Hailee Steinfeld becoming the new face of Miu Miu- new face being the operative word as Hailee is still only a wistful 14 years old.

On the other end of the spectrum are Moschino and Louis Vuitton who have both commissioned older models for their recent campaigns. The seasoned bunch include Yasmin Le Bon (for Moschino Spring 2011) who is 46, Kirsten McMenamy, also 46 and Christy Turlington who is 42 (both for LV, A/W 2010).  This wider variety of models may be the fashion houses trying to aim their products at a certain age group. Moschino has largely been known for younger style clothing and may be trying to branch out, for example. Or perhaps they, like us, have just gotten bored of seeing the same models in the same poses every season. Either way, there is definitely a rippling undercurrent of change amongst even the most well-known fashion house advertising campaigns.

The Autumn/Winter campaigns may be hitting headlines and billboards very soon but seeing as it's still (apparently) summer time,  here is a rundown of the best of the Spring/Summer 2011 campaigns.

Starring: Daphne Groenveld, Stephen Thompson, Mariacarla Boscono and Iris Strubegger
Shot by: Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot 

Givenchy's latest advertisement strategies are the créme de la créme- always controversial, never boring. Following up from the success of transexual model Lea T's Autumn/Winter 2011 campaign, Ricardo Tisci chose an albino model, Stephen Thompson, to star alongside Daphne Groenveld this season. Apparently he was inspired by Ancient Roman busts. The ads have an eerie feel to them, heightened by the shadowing and the black and white effect for maximum drama. 
Definitely one of my favourites.

Starring: Karmen Pedaru, Joan Smalls and Hailey Clauson
Shot by: Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

The cruellest of this seasons ad campaigns are from Gucci, who have single-handedly made vibrant colour-blocking an iconic trend for this summer. The shots are all bright colours and tropical atmospheres with handsome, brooding men lurking around. Probably the most perfect summer I can imagine.

 Yves Saint Laurent
Starring: Arizona Muse
Shot by: Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin 

YSL is one of my favourite fashion houses- I may not be able to pronounce it properly but it will always hold a dear place in my heart (my first and most favourite lipstick is YSL). And I also love Arizona Muse. So imagine my excitement when I heard she was modelling for their S/S campaigns. The border frame is so typically YSL and the minimalist theme really works here. Overall they have a really authentic French feel to them. Not their finest or most memorable but still beautiful.

Starring: Anja Rubik
Shot by: Karl Lagerfeld

The coolest thing about the recent Fendi campaigns is that they were shot by the King himself, Karl Lagerfeld. (Is there anything this man cannot do? Seriously). Once you've gotten over that, however, take another look at the shots. They have a Renaissance painting kind of feel to them, all quirky colours and luxurious settings. The colour-blocking trend is equally apparent, but with a vintage Italian vibe. They really make me want to paint my nails a pastelly turquoise.

Giuseppe Zanzotti
Starring: Anja Rubik (again)
Shot by: Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin

The second campaign to feature Anja Rubik is the legendary womens footwear designer Giuseppe Zanzotti. The ads were inspired by a summer holiday in St. Barts, although why anyone would wear white denim in the height of summer there is beyond me. The focus of the shots are of course on the feet, although my eye is personally drawn to the unbelievably long legs of Miss Rubik. The campaign has a strange, underlying sailor theme to it, with the white and blue colours and the ever-present hat but is the second most summery-looking campaign (after Gucci) so it had to be included.

Michael Kors
Starring: Karmen Pedaru and Simon Nessman
Shot by: Mario Testino

The award for best use of handsome topless man in advertising most definitely goes to Michael Kors. In all of the shots, Simon Nessman is either removing an item of clothing or already has. Oh and Karmen is there too. The campaign is again inspired by summer holidaying, although these shots are more laidback and sexier than Zanzotti's and have a sort of urgent getaway feel to them. 

Alberta Ferretti 
Starring: Sasha Pivovarova
Shot by: Paolo Roversi

The soft and romantic Alberta Ferretti campaign is one of my favourites this season. Channelling the bohemian/Seventies trend with the cutest model of the moment was always going to be a success. The ads are hauntingly dreamlike and kind of make me want to run barefoot through fields and stuff.

Alexander McQueen
Starring: Lindsay Wixson and Sasha Pivovarova (again) 

The magical touch of Sarah Burton is evident in the latest S/S campaign for Alexander McQueen. The effect of the butterflies is feminine and alluring yet eerie. The Monarch butterfly, which can be seen in the ads, are well known for their long, manic journeys and short lives and ultimately symbolise rebirth- a fitting concept considering the tragic fate of the label and the late, great McQueen himself.

My ultimate favourite Spring/Summer 2011 ad campaign is Mulberry
Starring: Lindsay Wixson and Nimue Smit
Shot by: Tim Walker

Mulberry has fast become one of the greatest successes of British fashion, and some argue that it is all down to the Alexa. However, Mulberry is more than just pretty bags named after fashionable celebrities. This campaign is, in my opinion, the most beautiful of this year- and not just because of the bags. It doesn't star the trendy celebrities who inspire them (some brands this season have chosen celebrities to front their campaigns- Blake Lively for Chanel Madamoiselle accessories for example- and their absence from this list is intentional). Instead this campaign is inspired by the legendary 1911 novel The Secret Garden  by Frances Hodgson Burnett, as you can see by the outside-coming-inside theme, (there is even a little piglet! If that isn't the epitome of cute then the world has gone all wrong). The pastel colours and romantic setting are doubly effective with the use of almost identical models. The flowers are, naturally, in abundance and overall the whole modestly extravagant campaign is so beautiful- and so quintessentially English- that I pine for a Mulberry even more than before. And after all, that is the sole purpose of ad campaigns.   

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Style Icons: Daisy Lowe

There isn't an ad campaign that she hasn't starred in, nor a runway she hasn't walked.
Daisy Lowe is the freshest, coolest style icon for the 21st century girl. She is a fashion and lingerie model, friend to the stars and girlfriend of Doctor Who himself, Matt Smith. Having modelled for more names than you could ever have thought possible, Daisy has just revealed that she is going to pose completely naked for a Playboy centrefold.

Daisy is no stranger to being nude in front of the cameras though. She has been a prolific Agent Provocateur model for the past three years and has done countless topless photoshoots. The admirable part of it all is that she is proud to not have a body like a typical model. Daisy actually owns hips, thighs and breasts and she is not ashamed to show them off. In fact, her womanly shape makes her the perfect role model. However, she recently admitted she'd struggled accept her body shape:
  "It's taken me seven years to get to the point where I can be comfortable with not being as thin as the rest of them".

Daisy Lowe for A Bathing Ape

 Daisy looks even better with her clothes on. Since getting signed to Select models at the tender age of 15, Daisy has modelled for pretty much everyone- Chanel, Vogue, Marc Jacobs, Mango, Henry Holland, Urban Outfitters, Vivienne Westwood, Nylon and Converse to name just a few memorable ones.

Of course, I couldn't write about Daisy without mentioning her famous background. Daisy is the daughter of rock star-turned-fashion designer Pearl Lowe- so she was always going to dress well. She had a few turbulent teenage years when she discovered her father wasn't Bronner Lowe as she'd previously thought, but husband of Gwen Stefani and frontman of rock band Bush, Gavin Rossdale- another set of seriously stylish parents. Daisy certainly has fashion in her genes.

Daisy Lowe for A Bathing Ape

Her red carpet look is even more stylish than her campaign work. Now known globally as a bona-fide 'it-girl', Daisy has the fashion world at her feet with her mix of playful yet sexy gothic-chic. She mixes up patterns and textures to make the outfit really her own and always has just a hint of flesh on show. Here are my favourite Daisy Lowe red carpet looks:

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The Wedding Weekend

 This past weekend has been something of a wedding extravaganza. In only five days (thats just 120 hours, by the way), five celebrity weddings have occurred- the fairytale WAG wedding, the scandal-ridden Royal Wedding, the three-day-long supermodel/rockstar wedding-festival,  the secret A-list elopement and the simple, all-American wedding.

But of course, the most important part (to the rest of us anyway) of any celebrity wedding is the attire. So who had the best wedding dress?  

Wedding 1: Abbey Clancy and Peter Crouch. 
The bride wore: Giles Deacon

The wedding weekend was kicked off in style on Thursday with the WAG event of the year. Lanky England striker Peter Crouch married Liverpudlian model and television presenter Abbey Clancy, arguably the most beautiful of the WAG brigade. They started dating in 2006 and only three months ago, Abbey gave birth to a daughter, Sophia Ruby.

Abbey reportedly managed to get her size 6 figure back just three weeks after giving birth to her daughter, and she certainly looks great in her slim-fitting, strapless dress, made exclusively for her by Giles Deacon. World-renowned Deacon is better known for his quirky, avant-garde creations rather than his lavish wedding dresses, but Abbey is a friend of the designer and has walked for him in his catwalk shows. She was also apparently "very involved" in the designing of the dress.

Her glamourous gown originally had a sleeveless lace panel attached to the dress going up to her neck but this was removed at the final fitting, according to Grazia. The slender silhouette, which was intricately embellished, drew out into a puffy, romantic-style train decorated with folds of chiffon and lace, but it was apparently so tight that she couldn't wear underwear on the big day!

Wedding 2: Prince Albert of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock
The bride wore: Giorgio Armani Privé

The nuptials of Prince Albert of Monaco to Charlene Wittstock on Friday were supposed to outshine our very own Royal Wedding, with the festivities in total costing £50 million! But amongst the alleged rumours that the bride tried- three times- to flee back home to South Africa before the wedding after supposedly discovering that Prince Albert fathered another illegitimate child, this wedding will sadly be remembered for all its scandal rather than the beautiful dress.

The bride wore custom-made Giorgio Armani Privé, a svelte-looking satin number hand-embroidered with 40,000 Swarovski crystals, 30,000 gold stones and 20,000 mother of pearl teardrops. Her dramatic dress was finished off with a 5 metre train, also intricately detailed, and off-white veil which complemented her traditional up-do. 

Giorgio Armani, who also dressed the bride's father and brother, told Vogue that he wanted to create a modern dress for Charlene, so that there would be no comparisons to Grace Kelly, the last royal to marry in Monaco. "The idea was to go for a completely modern look, without any obvious sense of nostalgia or revivalism", he said.

Wedding 3: Kate Moss and Jamie Hince
The bride wore: Galliano

The wedding that everyone was waiting for... Not one to do things by halves, Kate Moss's wedding to her rock star fianceé Jamie Hince, lasted three whole days. The spectacular event- described as a wedding festival, rather than just a plain old wedding- was shrouded in mystery, but was said to have included a masked ball, burlesque performers, various party tents and performances from Shirely Bassey, Bryan Ferry and Beth Ditto. It was held at her luxurious manor home in the Cotswolds and reportedly cost over £1 million.

And naturally, the wedding was attended by the glitterati of the fashion and music world- Sir Paul McCartney, Naomi Campbell, Marc Jacobs, Sir Phillip Green, Anna Wintour... everyone who's anyone attended the jubilations. Kate had 16 bridesmaids, cheif bridesmaid being her daughter, Lila Grace. However, the locals in the area who weren't invited were probably rather annoyed with the couple, as security measures meant that all roads were closed off for the day. There was even a reported no-fly zone over her property!

Kate and Jamie met several years ago, when Kate was still with The Libertines' drug-addled frontman, Pete Doherty. He has been by her side ever since they split and has told magazines that he "wanted to marry her almost from day one".  Jamie, of rock band The Kills had his best friend and band member Alison Mosshart acting as best woman on the day, and they both wore YSL suits. 

Kate however, wore a customised, vintage-style dress by John Galliano who is a close friend of hers. It is said to be inspired by the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald, a favourite author of the supermodel. The daisies that were delicately embroidered down her veil were inspired by Daisy Buchanan of The Great Gatsby and her wedding ring was inspired by one which belonged to Zelda Fitzgerald, the troubled wife of the author.  The simple v-neck style gown had gold and cream tones throughout the chiffon material, sparkly gold beading at the bottom and sheer straps. She left her hair in messy waves in typical Kate Moss bohemian style.

Wedding 4: Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig
The bride wore: it's a mystery!

The world didn't even know they were together until six months ago, but this weekend it was revealed that Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig recently got married. The New-York ceremony, in true James Bond style, was kept top-secret with the only attendees being the couple themselves, Rachel's 5-year old son Henry, Daniel's 18-year old daughter Ella and two of the couple's friends. Their relationship and the wedding has still been kept ultra-super-top secret, so we sadly can't expect any pictures of Rachel's dress.

Wedding 5: America Ferrerra and Ryan Piers Williams
The bride wore Amsale's Christos

Our beloved Ugly Betty finally got beautiful on Monday, when she married her long-term boyfriend, Ryan Piers Williams. The star-studded event was held in co-star, Vanessa Williams', home in New York and was attended by her co-stars from The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants movies- Blake Lively, Alexis Bledel and Amber Tamblyn as well as co-stars from Ugly Betty such as Rebecca Romijn and her husband Jerry O'Connell. It was even officiated by her close friend and castmate, Judith Light.

Her engagement ring alone cost an astonishing $70,000- probably a hard act to follow but no word yet on the wedding rings! But the main event- the dress- was the most beautiful. From Amsale's Christos label, it was tiered with ruffled with a fitted bodice and a delicate, detailed veil with a floral pattern. She wore Fred Leighton earrings and carried a crimson bouquet instead of the traditional cream coloured, to add a dramatic element to the dress.

(picture from ET Online)

Which dress do you like best?

Friday, 1 July 2011

Topshop A/W 11 Collection

The King of the High Street has done it again. Topshop have just released their Autumn/Winter collection- check it out (and try to resist buying everything) on their website.

There are four key trends- on the official Topshop Inside-Out blog these are listed as New Mod, Prim & Proper, Bavaria and Glam Rock. However, I've noticed a few other sites include two others- Thrift and Psychobilly. Anyway, name confusion aside, the collection is a delight. Topshop is famed for its trendsetting, quality clothing and worldwide accessibility- every woman has something from Topshop in her wardrobe.

Thanks to this collection, next season will see us wearing faux fur- and lots of it, distinctive boots and noticeable shoes, ankle-grazers, bold prints and lots of colour. Here are some of my favourites from each trend (I'm sticking with the ones listed on Inside-Out).

New Mod
The New Mod look is an edgy, modern twist on boyish dressing, influenced by the Teddyboys of the 1960's. The tailoring is sharp, yet brought up to trend with bright colours and prints. A metallic theme runs subtly through a few items, but the essential metallic piece are the slim-leg ankle-grazers, the latest way to wear trousers for both men and women. The shoes are standout- the leopard print boots and the brothel-creepers. (Personally, I don't think I could pull them off). Hair is heavy on the hairspray, and dark lips are the only makeup needed to create this look.

 Prim & Proper

The complete opposite of the New Mod look is Prim & Proper. This trend is girlish and flirty, with sensible shoes and practical bags. The pleated skirt is a key piece, seen alone and on dresses. Collars are esssential- think the ubiquitous Peter-Pan collar. Lace, clashing colours and mixed textures keep the look fresh and new. The novelty sweater is definitely the piece to watch.

Boho is back! Recycled every year in time for festival season, the bohemian trend is a fashionista favourite. This season its all about fur- fake, of course. Fur coats, fur hats, fur collars and fur gilets- it better be a cold winter to get wear out of all of these. Autumn tones are matched with rich, deep colours like navy and burgundy. Dresses show luxurious brocade prints, and beautiful detailed embroidery.  Hair is left loose and natural-looking to complete the folklore look.

Glam Rock
The ultimate night-time look is Glam Rock. Inspired by, of course, glam rock! Glitter is in abundance and makeup is best when over the top. Sheer dresses and tops are covered by more fur- this time, a slightly more eyecatching shocking pink. Jeans are skin-tight- go leather if you're brave enough. Shoes are, of course, the standout part of the outfit. Spiky, metallic or glittery heels are your Autumn necessities.
 The glittery Chelsea boots are my favourite piece, probably from this whole collection. Whats yours?