Review of Balmain Summer 2021 ‘Voyage’ Ad Campaign by Creative Director Olivier Rousteing & Creative Director Julien Gallico
Balmain takes comfort in confusion in “Voyage,” a new photography campaign for Spring 2021.
The campaign highlights some of the maison’s more relaxed and lounge-oriented offerings, like cotton and velvet sweat sets. The imagery takes an unexpected approach, however, by putting these casual pieces in the context of a set that embodies a strange tension between interior and exterior.
The imagery situates its models before landscape backgrounds, but intentionally lets us know that these backgrounds are false, that they are photographs. Each image reveals the border of these photographs, and we can see that they are set up in some sort of home interior. Our models lounge on couches or stand on strange concrete floors as they pose before this pseudo-landscape.
What is the meaning behind this strange dual setting? Is the imagery a criticism of fashion photography’s power to deceive, or a celebration of its power to unite disparate worlds? Are we meant to embrace the unknown that lies between two knowns? The imagery draws us further in by continually provoking these questions, but seems to leave them unanswered.
Though we may feel intrigued and unmoored, Balmain – just like their luxurious in-transit designs – are quite comfy in this liminal space between location and destination.
Blamain Creative Director | Olivier Rousteing Agency | Julien Gallico Studio Creative Director | Julien Gallico Models | Amrit Kaur, Braien Vaiksaar, Yilan Hua, & Fien Kloos Stylist | Alba Melendo Hair | Yann Turchi Makeup | Samira Goyette Manicurist | Julie Villanova Production | Louis2