The Art of… Advertising

Dior Fall/Winter 2013

August is underway meaning that any day now September fashion issues the size of telephone books will be hitting newsstands. Last year I shed light on editorial content vs. ad pages and, while I can imagine 2013 will be much of the same, something excites me about what I have seen thus far on the fall/winter ad circuit. More designers have taken inspiration from art for their latest set of campaigns.

For starters, Inez and Vinoodh captured Raf Simmons’ fall 2013 collection for Dior and one image in particular (pictured above) was a direct reference to Edouard Manet’s 1863 masterpiece, Luncheon on the Grass (below).

Edouard Manet, Luncheon on the Grass, 1863

While Dior took inspiration from the past, at KENZO, Carol Lim and Huberto Leon enlisted the help of present-day artist Maurizio Cattelan to think up a fantastic, surrealist-inspired campaign.

Left: Maurizio Cattelan’s highline billboard and Right: KENZO Fall/Winter 2013

KENZO Fall/Winter 2013

Left: Robert Longo image and Right: McQ Fall/Winter 2013

Similarly, one of fashion’s ‘go-to’ artists, Robert Longo, is once again invading fashion magazines by way of the McQ campaign (above). In the past, Lanvin showed Longo-inspired images for spring/summer 2010 while the following season the entire Bottega Veneta campaign was shot Longo-style.

Lanvin Spring/Summer 2010

Bottega Veneta Fall/Winter 2010

In the past, fashion houses have partnered with artists to produce original editorial content. Cindy Sherman is always the premier example of the intersection of art and fashion; take her post card series for Comme des Garçons in 1994 or her Marc Jacobs advertisements in 2006. Rather than a brand using an artist to promote a collaboration between the two creative forces, it is most intriguing when designers seek out artists to highlight their existing products.

Tom Ford Fall/Winter 2007 by Marilyn Minter

Taking this philosophy and looking back at past year’s fashion advertisements, Tom Ford’s fall/winter 2007 campaign by Marilyn Minter immediately comes to mind. The images represented the Tom Ford brand through the eyes of Marilyn Minter – pure genius.

Tom Ford Fall/Winter 2007 by Marilyn Minter

Left: Rene Magritte, The False Mirror, 1928 and Right: Diane Von Furstenberg

Just last year Diane Von Furstenberg showed a series of surrealist ads for spring/summer 2012 with countless references to the work of Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte (above).

All work by Martin Munkacsi

Last but not least, my favorite ode to an artist was Prada’s spring/summer 2001 ad campaign inspired by the amazing Martin Munkacsi (the same man who captured the puddle jumper in 1934, well before Avadon). Munkacsi was famous for his high-energy, identifiable images when, at the time, almost all fashion photographs were being shot on a large format camera inside a studio. His series of beach photographs from the late 1920’s to early 1930’s are still some of his most celebrated to date and served as the inspiration behind Ms.Prada’s spring/summer campaign.

Prada Spring/Summer 2001

Prada Spring/Summer 2001

Prada Spring/Summer 2001

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  1. [...] new batch of campaigns has hit print which means its time for The Art of… Advertising – Spring/Summer 2014 edition. Last season top honors went to Dior for recreating Edouard [...]



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