Who is the new Valentino woman? Take a look at the new ads and see if you can answer that question. I'm not sure that I can....yet.
Valentino F/W 10.11 Ad Campaign
Ph: David Sims
Other models (not pictured): Monika Jagaciak, Tati Cotliar
I know that Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli have taken the house in a decidedly more modern direction, but do these ads reflect that? They do when it comes to model choice, because never, ever would Freja have been a Valentino woman if Mr. Valentino was still in charge. But the choice of using black and white photography to convey this new modernity is a bit too antagonistic and old fashioned to me. Although, now that I think about it, perhaps this is the perfect way to express the conflict and uncertainty bound to rear up whenever a new generation takes over an established entity.
You'll always have those longing for the past, happy to live in their idealization of the glory days. Then you'll have those happy in the onslaught of technology and progress, thrilled to see the inevitable ebb and flow of change that the passage of time brings. The more I look at this campaign, the more I can see both sides of that coin there-within. A certain deference and allusion to the past with the photography and even the setting (gilded mirrors and crystal chandeliers of the actual historic Parisian headquarters of Valentino); yet at the same time, a nod to the present and the future with unconventional model choices who have their bodies on display in such a way only permissible by today's much more relaxed standards of propriety.
Do I like this? I'm not sure yet. Ask me again at the end of the season. Do I think this is interesting? Most definitely. Am I over analyzing as usual? Probably. But it's what I do best. I still don't know who the new Valentino woman is. I can't figure out who Maria and Pier are trying to target with these ads and who they're trying to get to buy their clothing. So instead I'll just sit back and enjoy the fact that Freja is a Valentino woman, tattoos and all.
Ten years ago it was so rare to see visible tattoos on the runway. Now Freja's are being displayed in nationwide ad campaigns. Amazing indeed, and yet another signifier for the changing times and generations. Her tattoos are now inseparable from her image as a model, as well as being inseparable from the surface of her skin. Kind of like her trademark, and in that respect I feel she's a larger model personality than most people give her credit for.
They say the era of the supermodel is over. But they say nothing about the era of the cult personality model. So we'll see who people will remember in 20 years time when they look back on this decade.
Image Credits: valentino.com via tFS member Carla-A