Ads, Beautiful Ads

Since it's well and truly the Christmas season now, I thought it would be topical to do a post on advertising and consumption (haha). But actually, advertising in fashion magazines is an interesting and contentious subject. We've all been there haven't we? Someone has picked up one of our magazines and scoffed, scorned us at the amount of advertising in its pages, something along the lines of "I've counted, and it's 167 pages before the masthead!". Now I ain't gonna defend that! It's true! There are a lot of ads in fashion magazines. But what these people (these people) don't understand is that unlike, say, an ad for Neutrogena, the ads that labels put in fashion magazines are much, much more than just ads. To put it simply, they are campaigns. 
There. In that one word they are declared as different. Because while these images from the new Heidi Slimane helmed Saint Laurent Paris are of course trying to sell us something, they are also a creative outlet for a fashion house to further express exactly what they are all about.

In these images, creatives have even more control over their image, or aesthetic ("aesthetic" sounds far more creatively driven than the commercial "image" doesn't it?) than they do at shows. They help show what the collection is all about, what the designer was thinking, what his influences were. This Saint Laurent campaign in particular is an excellent example of the power of fashion's campaign image. Sent down the runway, the clothes looked like above average examples of a stylish LA lady. To be honest I was a bit embarrased for Slimane. But here, here I get it. It's about being androngynous and slinky, and pared back but not minimal as we know the term, and about clean lines and black and white. The images also convey, very succinctly, that Slimane is making huge changes at this house, that he is placing Saint Laurent at the front of the new change towards the new-minimalism, simplified-but-not-simple luxury aesthetic. Just compare this latest campaign to Winter 2012, when Stefano Pilati was head designer - anyone could tell that with Slimane, something's afoot.

And it is absolutely no mistake that he released campaign images before he even showed his first full collection. Art and design isn't just about objects guys, it's also about feeling. 

Miu Miu have also just released their Spring Summer 2013 campaign, and as with Saint Laurent, they have made everything make so much sense. Crinkly denim pencil skirts look so much more appealing now.

Still lifes! Or accessories advertising. Whatever.

Saint Laurent images from The Cut
Miu Miu images from Fashion Gone Rogue

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