Review of Fendi Men’s Fall 2021 Ad Campaign by Artistic Director Silvia Venturini Fendi and Creative Director Nico Vascellari with models Wang Chenming Rebel, Craig Shimirimana, and Jeremy Cox
Fendi invites us to meditate on space, light, and presence with an artful new Fall 2021 men’s campaign by creative director Nico Vascellari.
The campaign’s setting is reminiscent of the surreal architecture of painters such as MC Escher and especially Giorgio de Chirico, the latter of whom lived and worked in Fendi’s home of Rome for many years. In the set’s archways, windows to nowhere, and abstract sense of space, we can feel the metaphysical experimentation of de Chirico’s neoclassical motifs.
But Vascellari also introduces a crisply contemporary sensibility through his excellent use of lighting – if the space is de Chirico, the lighting is distinctly James Turrell. Neon lights positioned just out of sight in the doorways and arches flood the space with swathes of color. Taken with the imagery’s metaphysical purity of space, light, and color, the approach is a thoughtful elevation of the “bisexual lighting” trend.
The use of these colored lights becomes especially strong in the short film, which uses smart cinematography to draw lots of character and dimension out of the set’s single, simple space. Vascellari’s camera pans sideways across the space, his models arranged in a compositional tableau and painted with light.
Then our view will be briefly obscured by a column, only for the camera to reemerge on a new scene illuminated by a new set of colors. It’s a brilliant way to get a lot of visual depth and variance out of the one space, and it invites the viewer to constantly reimagine their perception and perspective.
With a strong visual aesthetic that feels at once immediate and impenetrable, the campaign is an excellent way to embody Fendi’s ethos of craftsmanship and color.
Artistic Director | Silvia Venturini Fendi Creative Director | Nico Vascellari Models | Wang Chenming Rebel, Craig Shimirimana, and Jeremy Cox Stylist | Julian Ganio Location | Rome
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