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Saint Laurent’s Fall 2017 Ad Campaign


Saint Laurent has released their Fall 2017 ad campaign by Inez & Vinoodh amidst a wave of Parisian controversy over a pair of images featured in the campaign. As we all know a little controversy never hurts, especially when it sparks a dialogue from the creators about our new era of Feminism.

The images in question show a model reclining with her legs loosely crossed forming a sort of frame over her barely covered crotch while the other shows a model bent over a stool exposing her backside. Controversy has stemmed from the perceived sexual nature of the images as well as the thinness of the models. Even the usually opened minded Parisians have called for a full on ban of the campaign.

The photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin have come out and wisely defended the images calling for an end to what they perceive as body shaming, sexism and an affront to a woman’s right to choose what she does with her body. In a post on their Instagram Inez states about the first image “I LOVE THAT PICTURE. I want it clear. The first time I saw it, I loved it. It is a strong image, beautiful and weird in a way that has become too uncommon in Fashion.” Later in the same post she explains,

Feminism is a very simple thing: it means that every woman should have choices, make choice without being judged. You want to wear short skirts or pose for Saint Laurent? Great. You choose to wear a hijab? Equally great. Everyone is talking about diversity, it would be great if it applied to female choices.

– Inez van Lamsweerde

This emphasis on choice and bodily freedom feels important to the campaign and we respect the bold and fearless images featured in the ad. The images come from new creative director Anthony Vaccarello’s debut collection with the brand and it is quite interesting to see him put out such daring images so early in his time with the brand.

Furthermore we find the decision to airbrush out certain parts of the model’s bodies in the images of creative merit. Only in the most controversial image is the model’s entire body made visible. In the two less contested images we see entire sections of the model’s faces cropped out and in the bent over images a significant piece of the model’s back is airbrushed out. This creative decision gives the viewers pause and demands the eye to review the image deeper to put in the missing pieces. A smart creative decision that in this age of bombardment demands more time of the audience. And time is the ultimate luxury driving relationships and creating stronger brand equity. Smart.

The Impression believes Saint Laurent hasn’t missed a trick with this campaign between the hotness of those skate heels, the brushed out elements and the timely notion of feminism they are in tune with the times as well as what it takes to stand out from the pack.

This is not the first time YSL has faced controversy and we suspect they will stand their ground and roll with it.

Photographer | Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin
Models | Fernanda Oliveira & Hiandra Martinez
Stylist | Alastair McKimm
Casting Directors | Piergiorgio Del Moro & Samuel Ellis Scheinman
Hair | Akki Shirakawa
Makeup | Tom Pecheux