Sunday, November 13, 2011

The World Tied in the Palm of Her Hand

Never let the doubt get you down friends. It was only a matter of days ago when everyone was proclaiming the end of Freja's professional relationship with Karl Lagerfeld, but to say such preconceived notions of demise were premature were obviously, well, premature. I think it's time we all surrendered ourselves to the fact that in the Kaiserchief's band, Freja is the metaphorical cowbell, and we just can't get enough (re: we just can't get enough).

All of this is a roundabout way of retelling you all how the Great Dane is now featured in the newest Karl-shot campaign for French luxury department store, Printemps. I'm sure you will all be pleased to hear that Freja is bedecked in the glory of Chanel for the campaign, so that connection seems to remain semi-stable as well.

The Christmas campaign, which is visible even now on Printemps' website, depicts Karl's eternal muse holding the world, like every other heavily-depended-upon individual, in the palms of her hands. If you didn't catch the subliminal message I projected there, the moral of the story is that Karl thinks Freja's awesome, Printemps thinks Freja's awesome, and the advertising world thinks Freja's awesome, so I still have a job, and you lot still have orgasms. What seems to have been lost along the way are Freja's pants, but that's okay, because it means I can mention Lady Gaga in what is becoming a stream of pop music/culture references.

If any of you are interested, Karl is also designing the store windows for la grand magasin. You can have a peek at the frightful results (I'm not going to be judgmental, but there are dolls. So I judge "psychologically disturbed".) and Vanessa Paradis (who is there for no apparent reason, beyond being a pretty, French lady, or a pretty French lady) over at the linked website, or by clicking here. You can also rock on over and check out the windows for previous seasons, which were more fun, and will inspire less mental distress.

But for those of you only here for Freja, here's the making of for her side of the campaign. It is documented proof of everything I have said in this post. It's also always interesting to see the interactions between model and photographer. Personally, I was expecting Karl's instructions to be much more descriptive, as opposed to whistling and to-the-pointedness, but the man is German, after all.

So given the theme of the campaign (globe-trotting and stuff), what are you all doing for Christmas/the holidays? Any big plans? Please keep in mind that if you are leaving your present location for the tropics in order to avoid the snow, I will have no choice but to think of you as less than a person. Even Karl's evil little clone dolls like snow.

Peace, love, and floating,
Gill Ford

*"Spirit" is a totes brill song from Eric Burdon & War. It is one of the few songs in history that should never be criticized for a lack of cowbell. Incidentally, if you haven't heard of War, it will be declared upon you. Here's a Copenhagen performance from 1971, because we love Denmark so much.

Photos courtesy of

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Via, Via, Vieni Via Con Me

I've received a few requests to review Freja's spot for Valentino's Valentina fragrance, so I suppose that is what I'll do now in this spare minute. Directed by the incomparable Johan Renck, it's totes brill. But first of all, you lot should watch it, seeing as you probably haven't already. If you like, you can interpret that as a generalized slight at your collective inability to find shit on your own without my help. Now SHUT YOUR WHORE MOUTHS, Paolo is singing:

I especially like the 49-second segment where they shout "VALENTINA!" with varying amounts of vocal and auditory strain. Not only did they save money on script writers, they ensured that viewers went away with a solid memory of what the product was called, which is more than I can say for those various commercials concerning erectile dysfunction. Now, we can split hairs about how I can probably relate more strongly to an admirably rebellious birthday girl than I can to a depressed man with a broken penis, but in the grand scheme of things, we're talking about good advertising here, not semantics.

Sorry for the crude language, I haven't met my Sunday quota.

What I think is particularly interesting about this commercial is that as opposed to selling just a product, Valentino is clearly marketing a lifestyle, or personality, if you will. With many brands, we see the discrimination between the product and the individual who is selling it to us; in this case, Freja is playing the role of a girl named "Valentina". So what we learn from the commercial is that buying the Valentina fragrance is like buying the essence of this girl we see ditching the public celebration of her birthday for a night out with friends. She's wealthy and glamorous, but she's not phased by running about through Roma in her heels. She's fun, she knows what she wants, and she will bloody well get what she wants when she wants it. Even if she has to leap out a window.

But I'm not too snazzy when it comes to advertising. The blatant stuff, anyhow. Preferring the more artistic side of things, I have always been a little dismissive of campaigns, with the exception of the odd one that is just beauteous. This one is wonderfully shot, with the dark tones vibrant with a warmth that you feel with the elevation of yellow tones as opposed to blues (which would provide a much darker atmosphere.

Camera views are dynamic, which allow the viewer to feel like they are trotting along through the entire sequence. But this is an important thing: We are always following Valentina, always viewing things from the perspective of someone who isn't quite on her level, whether it be tracking her from above on a terrace, or from across the street. We see her progress, but we are not a part of her world. And what does this do to us? It makes us want to be (I use "us" loosely, because most of the people reading this already wanted that anyway. But I'm just saying, Valentino covered their bases excellently.).

You wanted my opinion. Well that's all I have to say. So I'll throw in Freja's as well. She probably says something about it being "rock 'n roll" (because honestly, doesn't she always?), but I'm sure you will appreciate her perspective as well.

Yeah, so what she said, and what I said, that's all that's been said. So what are you lot saying?

Peace, love, and floating,
Gill Ford

"Via Con Me" is a song by an Italian fellow name Paolo Conte. We like him.