Peep The 5 FW16 Campaigns Everyone's Talking About
Fashion campaigns today just aren’t what they used to be. What we want is something new, something challenging, something provocative in a Gucci-2003-shave-a-G-into-my-pubes kind of way. What we get? More times than not, it’s an ad featuring a statuesque Gigi Hadid, a dolled up Kendall Jenner, or an iconic ‘90s model. Sometimes, a brand will try to be contrarian, to go the quirky route with an unknown grandma and perhaps something “low”—something like McDonald’s French fries—thrown in for good measure. But typically, it’s just a bunch of lifeless, whitewashed models, usually captured in slow motion on a conveyor belt.
It’s all very much vanilla, and just more of the same. Which is why, when a campaign is released that actually makes us look twice, we don’t take it lightly. Below are five FW16 campaigns that made us (and we’re going to assume, most other fashion editors) do just that.
Ever since Arnaud Vaillant and Sébastien Meyer took over as artistic directors at Courrèges about a year ago, the French fashion house has made a deliberate effort to establish a new, more clean and modern aesthetic, and a reputation for extremely well-crafted clothes. You could see it in their SS16 campaign, which was conspicuously lacking any clothes or people, and instead pictured an open book, with “JACKET,” “SKIRT,” or “DRESS” spelled out in clean letters over two pages. And you can see it again in their FW16 campaign—which, again, is markedly devoid of any people or clothes. Consisting of three videos, with each one spotlighting a different garment—again, “jacket,” “dress,” and “skirt—the campaign takes you on a 3D tour of Vaillant and Meyer’s design process that’s equally (if not more) stark than their last campaign, and kind of reminiscent of the white TV room in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
For something that’s intended to entice people into buying the featured clothes, there are a remarkable number of campaigns that depict models in virtually impossible and frankly unrealistic situations and poses. We’d love to be able to try our hand at a look from Chanel’s SS12 collection, for instance. But there’s just something about the image of two women balancing on a gymnastics vault in the middle of a body of water that makes us reluctant to even try.
Ditto Hermès’ FW14 campaign; we know horses are technically a mode of transportation—and we know how coveted most Hermès bags are—but somehow that doesn’t make us feel any more comfortable with the prospect of being lost in the middle of a desert with only a horse and an Hermès bag to our name.
But the human pile in Jacquemus’ FW16 campaign? Now that’s something we can get on board with. Not only does it look fun—except if you’re the blonde in that Burberry plaid top; that doesn’t look fun at all—but it actually looks like a position we could realistically find ourselves in too. Granted, it would probably have to be 1992, before we’ve fully grasped the meaning of object permanence, and during a particularly extreme game of hide-and-seek. But realistic nonetheless. And it’s nice to know that, should we find ourselves in a similar people pile anytime soon, Jacquemus’ new thigh-high boots (yes, you) would hold up.
3. Faustine Steinmetz
Part of the reason why we’re so smitten with Faustine Steinmetz’s FW16 campaign is because of its wholly anti-campaign sentiment. Always one to skirt typical fashion etiquette, Steinmetz said, “I have never really been interested by fashion campaigns… I have never understood what they were really for, and have always thought they looked very staged and not natural… I want my campaigns to be like a window to my studio, my process, my friends, and the people who inspire me.” Which we fully support. And so for “Faustine Steinmetz Collection #007”—which is what she’s calling her FW16 campaign—she enlisted two-time collaborator Arnaud Lajeunie to capture her garments, Novembre Magazine’s fashion director Georgia Pendlebury to style the looks, and Aude Debout to art direct the shoot. The result is at once dreamy and slightly ghostly, in all the right ways.
Like Courrèges’ SS16 campaign, Jonathan Anderson opted for the meta, open-book format for the J.W.Anderson FW16 campaign. On the left is a black-and-white image of a boy who’s gazing into the camera in a thoughtful, slightly confused, Loewe kind of way, paying no heed to the spine-chilling puppet dancing around right in front of him. And on the right, a stoic, if slightly stressed, Bella Hadid, in a full J.W.Anderson getup. Sanding amidst what looks sort of like foggy marshes, Hadid isn’t exactly the obvious choice for the star of a J.W.Anderson ad—and, to be honest, that’s what makes it so appealing. That, and the fact that she looks like she’s on the verge of a panic attack. Any effort to help normalize mental illness is a win in our book.
5. Claire Barrow
For her FW16 campaign, “Move On,” London-based artist-slash-designer Claire Barrow made a short, vaguely ominous, yet very funny little video. Scanning what could very well be an incredibly bored crowd at a funeral—all in Claire Barrow threads, of course—the video is viscerally confrontational, probably due to the fact that everyone in the crowd is staring intently (if not tiredly) at the camera. Gradually, we zoom in on the different characters in the crowd—one blonde girl matter-of-factly wolfing down a flower; another girl wearing animated, clown-like blush who’s licking her lips in a crassly come-hither kind of way; and yet another on her merry way to masturbating. It’s all very weird, very much in line with Barrow’s aesthetic, and very much what we needed.
Images via Pinterest, Oyster Magazine, Yahoo, The Dapifer, and YouTube.
Stay tuned to Milk for more FW16 news.