By Kenneth Richard | The Impressionist

We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.

Steve Jobs

Fashion is ripe with examples of being shameless, as the recent commercial for Reveal by Calvin Klein proves. There are a number of ‘mirror-mirrors’ to this tale and this one starts with Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film Rear Window. In the film, an injured photographer with a broken leg played by Jimmy Stewart unleashes his inner voyeur and, while recovering, secretly watches and photographs his neighbors. Hitchcock wisely layered in fashion icon Grace Kelly to class up the idea; otherwise, it could have been a really awful film about a Peeping Tom. rear window.001

Thirty years later, Chanel used the film as inspiration for a men’s fragrance spot, depicting a voyeuristic woman who hides behind window sheers to photograph and admire a male neighbor across the way. Fortunately, the male character is fully aware he is being admired in this case and derives pleasure from being turned into an object of admiration.

Chanel for Men
(Spring 1984)


Fast forward another 30 years and we find Yves Saint Laurent leveraging the idea of voyeurism once again, as a woman hides behind window sheers to admire and watch Olivier Martinez get dressed while donning L’Homme fragrance. However, in this case, the result feels more like a violation, as she clearly doesn’t wish to be seen while darting between window columns with her lights off and he appears aware of but not pleased with her peering eyes. The piece lacked an emotional connection between the characters, leading The Impression to wonder if a restraining order wasn’t in order.

L’HOMME Yves Saint Laurent
(Spring 2014)


Fortunately, Doug Lloyd and the team at Lloyd & Co. were wise enough to evolve the idea to make it their own with the recent commercial for Reveal by Calvin Klein. Here, the female character played by Doutzen Kroes is both voyeur as well as object of admiration. Gone are the sheers – as well as nighttime for that matter – as she is more than happy to promote Calvin Klein Underwear while spying and being spied on by ‘Sons of Anarchy’ actor Charlie Hunnam. In this case, the male object of admiration flirts with his prowling counterpart across the skyline, resulting in her coming over for some mutual consent. Now that is the type of window dressing Hitchcock would likely be proud of.

REVEAL Calvin Klein
(Spring 2015)

REVEAL Calvin Klein
Agency | Lloyd & Co
Creative Director | Doug Lloyd
Director | Jonas Akerlund
Talent | Charlie Hunnam & Doutzen Kroes

L’HOMME Yves Saint Laurent
Agency | BETC
Director | Romain Gavras
Production | Iconoclast
Talent | Olivier Martinez
Editor | Walter Mauriot
Colorist | Bertrand Duval
VFX | Mathematics