Ads can be a million times better than the best editorial, or a trillion times worse. The way I see it, ads are the place for a brand to tell its version of a story for fall. It's like viewing a collection in its natural habitat...so it better be good. (Like this Givenchy ad at left.)
This bunch of fall ads includes Tom Ford, Alexander Wang, Armani, and Proenza Schouler among others, so click through to see who we think succeeded and who didn't fare so well.
As for those Ceryth Wyn Evans Marc Jacobs men's ads... A++. If you wanna send a framed one to our office, that would be totally fine. Our Céline manifesto was looking a little lonely, anyway.
1. Giorgio Armani
Giorgio Armani's fall campaign stopped me in my tracks. The Mert and Marcus-lensed image demonstrates an elegant and refined sexiness that perfectly fits with Armani's nouveau luxury. It's a very Swinton-like proposal, and we're buying it.
2. Alexander Wang (tie)
This is exactly how you'd picture someone wearing Alexander Wang, isn't it? Kind of tough, wet, and unafraid to get dirty. Good work, Fabien Baron.
2. Stella McCartney (tie)
Juxtaposition has always been a theme in Stella's ads, but this season's campaign seems to have struck the perfect balance. Playing on the idea of creating structure out of softness, the ads place sculpted shrubs as a partner for a sculpted sweater. The trompe l'oeil label adds just enough humor to make the campaign great.
3. Alexander McQueen
The epic lines at Savage Beauty and the commission for the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress have shown the McQueen brand to be more powerful than ever. These ads by David Sims starring Raquel Zimmerman are testaments to that power. With strength and lightness McQueen will continue to win over our hearts.
4. Calvin Klein Gorgeous photo, gorgeous Lara, gorgeous clothes. I'm pretty sure that every soul under the sun would agree with me on this one. Sure, it's a safe bet for Calvin Klein, but when you have Lara Stone you don't need to be crazy.
5. Tom Ford
Historically, Tom Ford ads have oscillated between naked, partially naked, and dramatic glamour. We're excited to see that for Fall 2011 Ford has gone for a more severe look, starring Candice Swanepoel photographed by Mert and Marcus. Candice looks hot in the images, and the photography is quite alluring, but the clothes are looking a little meh.
6. Nina Ricci
This is a really pretty image and it fits with Peter Coppings' Nina Ricci customer--a smart, reflective, and graceful woman. It's not just a model in an evening dress, the image has a cinematic quality that makes the viewer wonder exactly what or who she's turning around to.
Screen sirens, anyone? Gucci takes cinematic very literally, referencing the plight of the movie star. We kind of love it. I mean you can never have too much Abbey Lee can you? It's a strong, fashion-motivated image that will get people into Gucci stores. The feature on Gucci in the new LOVE will probably help, too.
8. Proenza Schouler
Proenza Schouler is really into geometrics for fall, from the patterns on the clothes, to the arrangement of the seats at their runway show, to the background of their ad campaign. The optical quality is certainly eye-catching, but doesn't the 3D shadowing on model Zuzanna Bijoch and the red seamless background feel kind of weird? Like it should be all flattened or all shadowed? Color us confused.
9. BCBG Max Azaria
On first sight of this image I was a little taken aback. Gone are the sexy models jumping around in a photo studio that often grace the BCBG Max Azaria campaigns. Instead Theres Alexandersson is relaxing in a moody blue set with her yellow dress and pink hair. The color contrasts are catchy, and the dress itself looks gorgeous. But isn't this a little Dree Hemingway for Valentino?
Balmain lost Christophe Decarnin and Emmanuelle Alt in one seaon, but they gained Olivier Rousteing and Melanie Ward, so things ended up great for them. The ads, however, just seem a little bland for Balmain's over-the-top collection. The person who looks at these ads and loves them is not the same person who is going to wear a $1,000 ripped tee shirt.
12. Donna Karan
Donna Karan's campaign was focused on the principle that a powerful woman could wear Donna Karan everyday. Great. So then why are the other two women in this shot dressed in blasé all black? If you want to make a powerful woman campaign, it should probably start by empowering all women, not just the 5'9" skinny one. Plus, you know Donna Karan's clothes look amazing on every body type, so they really missed an opportunity on this one.
This is exactly like the Gucci AW04 campaign, except without the fur carpet, Daria Werbowy, and Tom Ford magic. Mango should be celebrating what makes it unique on the market (lower prices, cute stuff) instead of trying to go for a serious "fashion" image.