Monday, June 29, 2009
The first images for the Chanel campaign have arrived. A very large thank you is owed to tFS member Northern Star for scanning and posting the images. (If you're a member of tFS please remember to give him karma and/or say thanks.)
I literally gasped from surprise when I first saw the images. They're not what I was expecting at all after seeing the runway collection, but that isn't a bad thing. In fact, I'm happy to be caught off guard by Karl. I usually find his photography and concepts somewhat predictable and staid. But I think this concept is a departure for him.
It's quite difficult to determine what an entire campaign will end up looking like based on two images, but I think we have a good feel for things to come. What I'm most surprised about is the way the images appear to be from very old albums. There is a sepia tone effect; and that combined with the outdoor setting makes the images seem like snapshots of the American Old West.
Consequently, this causes a very interesting juxtaposition. If you can recall, the collection had many aspects of modernity and technology front and center. Most notably, these bags designed with compartments for your iPod, earphones and anything else you would need as a modern woman. The bag addresses the needs of today, yet the campaign images hark back to an bygone era. I don't really know what this means if anything but it's intriguing nonetheless.
I also wonder if there will be narrative development throughout the rest of the images? What's the story behind these two women? Why are they in such an embrace? Is Heidi exhibiting signs of Puritan restraint by keeping her hands in her pockets? I also get that Puritan vibe from the high, buttoned up collars and long skirts. And since we're dealing with two women I get a Children's Hour vibe as well. The Children's Hour is a famous play set at an all-girls boarding school in the 1930s. Two of the headmistresses are accused of having a lesbian affair and a lot of drama and tragedy ensue.
Goodness, as I think about it more there seem to be so many references contributing to these images. So far, I get the American Old West, Puritanism and the Children's Hour. But that could just be me and my tendency to over analyze. I really hope we get some sounds bytes or quotes from Karl citing his inspirations for this campaign. Any other thoughts out there? Do you see some obvious references that I miss?
One last thing I noticed right off the bat....this is the first ad campaign to so strikingly address the speculation around Freja's sexuality. She's locked in an embrace of questionable nature with another woman, and this is at the forefront of the image in a major label campaign. Are the other images going to address this as well? Is this why Karl went back to Freja for this campaign? Or maybe this reading is too colored by my prior assumptions so I'm seeing something that isn't necessarily there?
So many questions. I'll be able to edit down my thoughts as more images are released, which will hopefully be soon!
Image Credits: Scanned by tFS member Northern Star, style.com