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.
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.
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.
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.
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.