We all know ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ saying. It might seems a bit silly using that one when it come to talking about fashion but… let me start with that.
December is not only a month of Christmas, sales, New Year’s Eve fun or New Year’s resolutions. Although it is the last month of the year, it is the first month of spring-summer campaigns presentation. You know already that I’m getting excited when it comes to the advertising campaigns. This time I felt like I was getting late Christmas present when on the 27th December I could see first campaign images from some of the biggest brands. On the same day Chanel, Fendi, Chloe, Gucci, Miu Miu, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Bottega Venetta gave us a sneak peak of what will see in full within the next few weeks. And this is the moment when ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ comes into play. It might be quite unfair to talk about the SS15 campaigns when only 2 or 3 images from each of them are revealed but let’s call it ‘first thoughts’.
Every year there are particular designers whose campaigns fill me with the anticipation. They don’t have to be my favourite brands but they are definitely brands which collections I can’t wait to see on different level of creativity – this time in area of photography, styling and the entire concept behind it. This time wasn’t different and when I was checking campaign images I felt like a child unpacking Christmas presents. But when I finally opened them all I felt like I got… plenty pairs of socks. Nice and practical but totally unsurprising gifts. Something that left me with a bit of disappointment.
My friend used to say ‘No expectations, no disappointment’. I didn’t have expectations but I had hopes. What sort of? I was hoping to see something really interesting, something fresh and something new. I was hoping that some of (in my opinion) great collections will get equally exciting (which means nothing less than great) visual setting. What I saw was quite boring and repetitive. Did I want too much? Maybe.
Prada SS15. I love black and white photography. I love simple portraits. The shoots of Ine Neefs and Gemma Ward by Steven Meisel are nice but in this context nice is not enough. I know these are only two images but they aren’t something I was hoping to see. I really like Prada SS15 collection and it’s one of my favourite of the season. Beautiful fabrics, unfinished and raw edges, visible and contrasting stitching, interesting use of colours and textures, great silhouettes. Collection which almost asks to be presented in colour. I really miss that. Using black and white photography for Resort 2015 campaign was a great choice. That campaign is perfect. Beautiful clothes and images, very good casting and styling, great concept. It’s graphic, it’s simple, it’s intriguing. But in contrast to Prada Resort 2015, the first image from Prada SS15 campaign isn’t strong and appealing enough. It lacks of something.
Louis Vuitton SS15. That’s the difficult one. It’s not a secret that a hold a huge admiration for Nicolas Ghesquière’s designs (he made me to like Louis Vuitton!). If I was falling in love with clothes I would definatelly said that I fell in love with his SS15 collection for the house. It has great number of beautiful looks, some absolutely amazing dresses and great potential for the visual presentation. Juergen Teller’s images released day after the SS15 show were some kind of a teaser of that. Teller’s simple and austere style worked really well with Ghesquière’s designs also this time (he shoot this atypical ‘look book’ for Louis Vuitton AW14 and Cruise 2015 collection too). For AW14 campaign Nicolas Ghesquière invited three photographs: Annie Leibovitz, Bruce Weber and Juergen Teller. The concept was interesting as the way looks were shot was also presenting each photographer’s style. The entire campaign was called ‘Series 1’. The SS15 advertising campaign is based on the same concept. There are the same three photographers although the models cast is different and SS15 campaign is named ‘Series 2’. I like Annie Leibovitz’s image of Freja Beha Erichsen – it looks more like a painted picture than photograph but that’s something that is present in most of Leibovitz’s images. I like Bruce Weber’s photo of Jennifer Connelly – although when I saw it for the first time I was pretty sure that it was shot by Teller. The concept is nice, the images are nice but… I was hoping for something more. Like with Prada SS15, I feel that Louis Vuitton SS15 collection could be shown in a better, much more interesting way.
I’m looking at SS15 campaign images and I feel that for this season (more than usual) brands decided to play safe. What I really miss in these campaigns is an interesting concept, a good story, something that makes you to look beyond, something that will be a bridge between the collections and idea behind them and its representation in the field of photography. Maybe I expect too much. Not only from fashion and photography but also from people who work in both industries. Maybe that’s something very personal, maybe that’s my own, really strong hunger for something that we stay with me, something that I will remember, something that I will not want to forget.
There is more to come. For sure. Not only in terms of advertising campaigns. I’m still waiting for Celine, Valentino, Lanvin, Balenciaga and Alexander Wang (although I don’t expect much from the latter two as their SS15 collections weren’t particularly interesting). And there is only a month and a half until next season (AW15) fashion weeks. Oh, and New Year starts tomorrow! So many things to look forward to! Happy 2015!
(Prada SS15 photo taken by vogue28 from The Fashion Spot, Louis Vuitton SS15 photos from nicolasghesquiereofficial)