Fall 2019 saw branded fashion films fully transition from a secondary to a primary medium for many a fashion house. As fashion houses’ own communication networks have become both more meaningful and lower in promotional cost, the return on investment for film has increased and The Impression predicts its continued rise. A number of houses have leveraged the medium in short series which we will speak to later this season. Here Chief Impressionist touches on a few of his favorite campaigns Best Fashion Ad Campaign Films of Fall 2019 and why.
Balenciaga turns common daily activities into a canvas for individual artisanal expression. Creative Director Demna Gvasalia and artist/photographer Jean-Pierre Attal’s work in Balenciaga’s fall 2019 ad campaign transforms an individual’s daily work commute into their own everyday performance.
With Attal’s previous work capturing the essence of urban life, his artistic development in the ad campaign film fits perfectly to the spotlight of suits and prominent work fittings. Jean-Pierre Attal previously released a similar work conveying the solitary act of commuting that masses of people do together everyday in 2012. With no interaction between models in the fall ad campaign, each walk is solely based on the individual’s intention. For such a multitude of people performing the same act, the immensity of self-isolation is a striking juxtaposition.
Balenciaga Creative Director | Demna Gvasalia
Photographer | Jean-Pierre Attal
Models | Lei Qin, Samuel Wilken, Takato Harashima, Une Jonynaite
Stylist | Lotta Volkova
Hair | Holli Smith
Makeup | Inge Grognard
Manicurist | Fanny Santarita
Museums, much like an outfit are curated. They both encompass thoughtfulness and beauty. Fabien Baron’s recent fall 2019 ad campaign for Boss demonstrates the intention of the artist in both the fine arts and fashion. Utilizing a mysterious soundtrack by Nils Frahm entitled Mi (Soul Channel Rework) three gallery viewers witness themselves frozen as black and white portraits, as installations in the gallery. The more the viewer engages with their twin, it awakens, and the body inside finds movement and color. Scores in the audio indicate when there is a passage from the physical world into the world inside the frame as Baron wisely leverages one of films most underutilized aspects, sound. The piece brings the artwork of Robert Longo as well as Jordan Peele’s 2017 directorial debut Get Out to mind. As creative director, Fabien Baron has created a campaign that is worthy of analysis as an art installation in itself.
Agency | Baron+Baron
Creative Director & Film Director | Fabien Baron
Photographer | Craig McDean
Models | Alpha Dia, Finnlay Davis, & Saskia de Brauw
Stylist | Ludivine Poiblanc
Hair | Duffy
Makeup | Diane Kendal
Casting Director | Michelle Lee
Music | Mi (Soul Channel Rework) by Nils Frahm
“Incanto” is like a visual poem, meditative and entrancing. The ad campaign’s short films entice the viewer into an alternate reality. They go willingly, giving up their time like an offering – and in this day and age, it is time that is the greatest of luxuries.
Creative Director | Robert Vattilana
Photographer/Director | Sølve Sundsbø
Model | Elena Sudakova
Stylist | Elisabetta Massari
Hair | Laurent Philippine
Makeup | Sam Bryant
Music | Adam Langston Credits
GCDS – Dinner’s Ready
GCDS creative director Giuliano Calza and film director/photographer Nadia Lee Cohen joined forces with the Italian pasta company Barilla to create an ad campaign that’s campy take on 1960’s technicolor extravaganzas. Simultaneously featuring film icon Sophia Loren, the GCDS capsule collection, and a pop-art-like rebranding of pasta firm Barilla, the ad campaign confection is delightfully irresistible.
Unfolding like glamorous European version of a John Water’s film, with hints of Twin Peaks tossed in for good measure, the film moves through red brick streets, gritty subways, dark jazz clubs, and paradise beach highways.
Cohen has imbued the film with cheeky visual references, such as two models driving a convertible in front of a grainy film projection of the streets of Naples circa 1960, and a salon whose walls are adorned with vintage photos of Sophia Loren at the peak of her silver screen glamour. Cumulating with an oversized bowl of spaghetti, tomato sauce, and fresh basil, the film portrays a day in the life of a cornucopia cast members all on their way to a once in a lifetime meal. Buon Appetito!
GCDS Creative Director | Giuliano Calza
Director/Photographer | Nadia Lee Cohen
Talent | Sophia Loren
Talent Brick Wall Scene | Daisy Donohoe, Geron McKinley, Josh Landau, Melissa Gilbert, Phil Ursino, Ruth Banks, Terrylee Hill, Alexander Lizotte, Marlee Ingle, Amy Sue Fall, Libby Smith, Harrison Kiernan, & Michael Farmer
Talent Subway Scene | Anna Cleveland, West Dakota, Nikita & John Robish
Talent Hair Dresser Scene | Violet Chachki, Carole Wells, Tess McMillan, Ruby Millsap & Gale Bershon
Talent Jaxx Club Scene | Lindsey Wixon & Paul Edward Ford, Michel Wilson, Andre Henry & Rahn Sargent
Talent Car Scene | Aweng Chuol & Hana Cross
Executive Producer | Carlota Ruiz de Velasco
Producers | Malcolm Duncan & Fabien Colas
Director of Photography | Simon Duggan
Stylist | Anna Trevelyan
Hair | Sami Knight
Makeup | Adam Burrell
Manicurist | Yoko Sakakura
Production Designer | Brittany Porter
Editor | Greg Scruton
VFX Supervisor | Julien Brami
Colour | Ricky Gausis
Music | Ali Helnwein
Gucci – Prêt-À-Porter
Marrying decades the story is a flashback to the time where lab coats, big hair, and large glasses were the assets to create the perfect collection from concept to runway.
Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele, in collaboration with Art Director Christopher Simmonds and photographer Glen Luchford, has constructed a time capsule of the fashion industry bringing to life a collection in Paris circa 1970. Despite centralized viewpoints from the past, Michele and his team send a message: Gucci is paramount in fashion, now, then, and always.
Noted for his obsession with history, it is no shock that Alessandro Michele is utilizing an antecedent reality to promote his foresight of fashion now. While some may believe referencing the past adheres to being stuck in it, this campaign is not to be confused or slighted. Michele is cunningly using the legacy and romanticization of cliche’s in Paris fashion to further market their clothing to both those who have this experience and the younger generation who idolize it. With this ode to the fashion industry, Michele convinces us that, in his and Gucci’s case, no longer do the times dictate and create the man (and his wardrobe), but it is indeed the man creating the times.
Gucci Creative Director | Alessandro Michele
Agency | Simmonds ltd.
Creative Director | Christopher Simmonds
Photographer/Director | Glen Luchford
Model | Alan Solonchuk, Darron Clarke, Gustave Khaghani, Hayett McCarthy, Ibrahim Kamara, Otto Zinzou, Sara Robaszkiewicz
Stylist | Jonathan Kaye
Hair | Paul Hanlon
Makeup | Thomas De Kluyver
Location | Paris
Set Designer | Gideon Ponte
Casting Directors | Rachel Chandler, Walter Pearce
Lacoste – Crocodile Inside
Featuring a couple whose argument causes the physical collapse of their apartment building, Lacoste’s film’s minute and a half run time hardly belies the astonishing amount of emotion Megaforce have managed to craft. The opening argument’s tension is palpable, heightened by visual details such as actor Kévin Azaïs violently yanking a polo over his head and ample employment of shaky camera. This craftsmanship does not diminish during the visually gripping action sequence, which culminates in homage to silent film star Buster Keaton’s most legendary stunt and a return to intimacy as the rubble transforms into the room in which the film began. Edith Piaf’s “L’Hymne à l’amour” fits perfectly with the duality of the film, soaring as the building collapses but resolving into more gentle sustained notes as the couple embrace in the film’s final seconds.
Agency | BETC
Agency Management | Bertille Toledano, Gaëlle Gicqueau, Fanny Buisseret
Executive Creative Director | Rémi Babinet
Creative Directors | Aurélie Scalabre, Olivier Aumard, Damien Bellon
Art Director | Aurélie Scalabre
Copywriter | Olivier Aumard
Assistant Art Director | Jessica Fecteau
Music Creative Director | Christophe Caurret
Strategic Planning | Philippe Martin-Davies
Directors | Megaforce
Sound Production | Iconoclast Publishing
Music | Edith Piaf’s “L’Hymne à l’amour”
Loewe – Either Way
Success often makes those who attain it seem more than human, individuals whose talents are so awesome that they must have been acquired by some divine grace and not mere practice. Either Way, the short film produced for Loewe by Jonathan Anderson with collaborators Steven Meisel, M/M (Paris) and director Benn Northover, rejects this notion with its intimate portrayal of Emmy and BAFTA-winning Killing Eve actor Jodie Comer. Hovering just behind Comer and panning from mirror to mirror, the camera captures scenes of the actor warming up before a performance. Comer shuffles through a plethora of emotions with an intensity that belies both her talent as a performer and the dedication with which even she must practice. Although each emotion she portrays is unique, there is a commonality between them in the single word she utters with each performance, “LOEWE.”
Creative Director | Jonathan Anderson
Agency | M/M Paris
Director| Benn Northover
Photographer | Steven Meisel
Talent | Jodie Comer
Stylist | Benjamin Bruno
Hair | Guido Palau
Makeup | Pat McGrath
Set Design | Mary Howard
Film Editing | Sam Cahill
Production | Prod N
The campaign shares Marni’s Creative Director Francesco Risso’s vision of the season full of rich coloration, texture, and kinetic energy. Stephen Galloway is perfectly suited behind the lens, understanding how to translate a dynamic collection into a short narrative that captures the spirit of the collection and the engagement of the audience. For his first outing as director, Galloway leverages a tool few in fashion have yet to master, that of a fisheye lens.
Marni Creative Director | Francesco Risso
Director/Editor | Stephen Galloway
Models | Hanne Gaby Odiele & Zhony Liye
Stylist | Camilla Nickerson
Hair/Makeup | Barbra Ciccognani
Polo Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren is a romantic and here that romance is reflected in the opening statement itself, “Tell me the story about that pair of jeans you will never forget.” The request is that of a romantic seeking to learn more from a soulmate. “Tell me about the person, the moment, the feeling you will never forget.” These are questions only a storyteller probes with, pulling back the veneer to build stronger bonds.
Polo Ralph Lauren Creative Director | Ralph Lauren
Photographers | Tim Hill & James Finnigan
Director | Steven Brahms
Models | Jegor Venned, Teresa Lourenco, George Okeny, Leila Dee Thomas, Altyn Simpson & Jeenu Mahadevan
Hair | Adlena Dingham
Makeup | Ciara O’Shea
Casting Director | Mark Aguilar/East Tenth Casting
Valentino x Undercover
The decision to frame the Valentino x Undercover collection in a world of retro-futurist art feels important. Tetsuya Nagato’s use of painting and collage, rather than scientific photography, situates the campaign in a world of the imagination, an alien fantasy of abduction and exploration. Its scope is not merely limited to the earthly and human; it reaches across the cosmos, encompassing both what is and what could be. But the fantasy is still humanly seductive: there is a certain allure as we see a man’s head slowly disappear as he rises upward into an alien spacecraft, a sense of empathetic longing as he takes his eyes off us and fixes them on the night sky.
Valentino Creative Director | Pierpaolo Piccioli
Art Direction & Digital Collage | Tetsuya Nagato
Photographers | Katsuhide Morimoto, Taro Mizutani
Director | Tomokazu Yamada
Models | Azuri Enomoto, Cheikh Kebe, Yuki Kawahara, Keiju Furuya, Ids Van Den Booren
Stylist | Tsuyoshi Nimura
Hair | Kenshin Asano
Makeup | Uda
Art | Enzo
Producer | Takashi Sugai
Director of Photography | Yuki Hori
Lighting Director | Koshiro Ueno
Grip | Keiichi Sagawa
DIT | Seiji Kogami
The art direction and cinematic direction of the Zara Fall Men’s film is stellar. Fabien Baron is at the top of his game, building dynamic drama with hints of the Mods getting ready to rumble in Quadrophenia. The pacing, camerawork, editing, and music combine to present a menacing thriller. The leveraging of the memory of film strips, but updated in a modernist take for the viewer to fly through is straight out of the strongest of Hollywood productions and speaks to his gift as a storyteller.
Agency | Baron & Baron
Creative Director | Fabien Baron
Photographer | Craig McDean
Director | Fabien Baron
Director of Photography | Benoit Delhomme Art Director | Christophe Derigon
Executive Producer | Mina Viehl, Jacques del Conte
Production | Seeker Productions, Nina Shiffman, One Thirty-Eight Productions
Models | Benno Bulang, Diacaria Kreminta, Erik van Gils, Henry Kitcher, Jeremiah Berko Fourdjour, Josef Ptacek, Jun Young Hwang, Mamadou Kebe, Paul Hameline
Stylist | Karl Templer
Hair | Eugene Souleiman
Makeup | Susie Sobol
Manicurist | Megumi Yamamoto
Set Designer | Stefan Beckman Casting Director | Ashley Brokaw Colorist | Tim Masick, Company 3 Music | Future Perfect Music