Amanda Del Duca Surveys Fall’s Fashion Campaigns



With fall around the corner, it’s time to weigh in on the season’s 2012 fashion campaigns. One of my favorite pastimes is creating magazine collages to surround my vanity. I love to get caught up in an image that inspires me.

It’s important to embrace those images, as a reminder of what I love right now and am feeling. Working in fashion and preserving my love for it can be a challenge if I don’t take the time. For years, a big part of my “personal time with fashion” has been spent tearing out pages of current issues to add to my wall. It’s therapeutic. I never understood preserving copies of magazines. There isn’t a single issue in my apartment from which I haven’t torn out or folded a page.

The 2012 fashion advertisements have hit the Internet and are ready to be consumed. Here I choose my favorites, spot trends and give details about the locations, inspirations, photographers and models involved.

Starting with the best, here are my top picks.

Lanvin Fall 2012. Photography by Steven Meisel.

Lanvin’s fall ad campaign is all about range. The clothes themselves go from luxe and regal to muted and punkish. Then there are the images’ arresting subjects. The campaign features “real” men and women (not professional models), ranging in age from 18 to 80. Creative director Alber Elbaz said, “It’s about bringing a sense of reality to fashion to show that the lofty world of high style is not as unattainable as it seems.” Casting agent Zan Ludlum found 82-year-old Jacquie “Tajah” Murdock through the popular blog Advanced Style. Street scouting discovered the other ten models, including one of the older males who was spotted walking out of a basement bar in New York’s East Village. The campaign was shot by Steven Meisel in New York and Ronnie Cooke Newhouse and Stephen Wolstenholme of House + Holme provided creative direction.

This campaign hits a home run ultimately because of the message. In an industry that dotes on the too young and indulges in too much Photoshop, it’s refreshing to look at something relatable that is done with grace.

“In high fashion we’re always accused of doing things that are not very relevant, not the real world. It’s important sometimes to do fantasy, but I felt like touching people and going back to different women and men, especially the idea of different ages and body shapes,” Elbaz told CNN.

Louis Vuitton Fall 2012. Photography by Steven Meisel.

This is the first Louis Vuitton campaign that has maintained the exact ambiance of its corresponding fashion show. On March 8th, creative director Marc Jacobs presented the Fall collection from a custom train car attached to a steam engine that pulled up to the Louvre’s Cour Carrée in Paris. One by one, models deboarded, accompanied by porters, creating an incredibly cinematic and romantic statement about travel and the heritage of Louis Vuitton.

To continue the runway journey, the Louis Vuitton Express was reconstructed in all its exquisite and extravagant detail in a New York studio. Amazing levels of craftsmanship and attention to detail were deployed to re-create such a compelling scene.

“All of these glamorous travelers have an imaginary voyage in their head, which is wonderfully captured by Steven Meisel. I cannot think of anyone who could pack a train with so many beautiful young women and their porters, and still make the ambiance feel light and romantic,” Jacobs said.

With ten models and their porters, it’s a glamorously packed house. Not to mention the collection’s elongated A-line silhouettes that are topped off with Stephen Jones’ squashed hats that add a good six inches of height. Then there is the luggage: Louis Vuitton’s iconic monogram canvas is mixed in with the season’s new sequined Wooly Paillettes, the black-and- white leopard and the spectacular Transsibérien, with its jewel buckle and dip-dyed goat hair.

The decadent campaign takes top honors for the sheer level of skill on display. Merely for the lightness with which photographer Steven Meisel showcases the beautifully ornate and layered collection, this campaign takes the cake.

While narrowing down my favorite 2012 Fall campaigns, certain trends popped up that lend themselves perfectly to categorization.

Mulberry Fall 2012, photography by Tim Walker. Uniqlo x Undercover Fall 2012, photography by Tim Walker. Fendi Fall 2012, photography by Karl Lagerfeld. Roberto Cavalli Fall 2012, photography by Inez and Vinoodh.

The first and most amusing trend I noticed is the use of stuffed animals in heavily nature-driven campaigns—most noteworthy being Mulberry and those adorable monsters. American model Lindsey Wixson fronts the Mulberry F/W 2012 ads, which are inspired by the popular children’s book Where the Wild Things Are. Shot by Tim Walker in England’s Blackheath Forest, the textured campaign conjures lovely fairy-tale visions. Uniqlo x Undercover also tapped Walker for a whimsical portfolio featuring giant insects and instruments.

For 2012 Fendi and Roberto Cavalli, larger-than-life beasts aren’t present, but the fantasy-like surroundings seem worthy of the company. Karl Lagerfeld captured the beautiful Joan Smalls in Chianti, Italy, dressed in long-hair furs and surrounded by olive and cypress trees. Photography duo Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin also chose a stripped-down, natural scene for Cavalli. The campaign features model Daria Werbowy in prints that act as a glamorous camouflage in the trees and brush.

Versace Fall 2012. Dsquared2 Fall 2012. Miu Miu Fall 2102. Emilio Pucci Fall 2012. All photography by Mert and Marcus.

Similar campaign locations and oversized props were big trends this year, but the biggest trend is found behind the lens. Photography team Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott slayed the competition for total industry domination. The wonder team shot many of the biggest brands in the business: Tom Ford Beauty, Stella McCartney, Gucci, Emilio Pucci, Brian Atwood, Miu Miu, Givenchy, Armani, Dsquared2 and Calvin Klein are among those Mert and Marcus captured this season. My standouts are a returning Chloë Sevigny for Miu Miu after fronting her first campaign for the brand ten years ago, and a stunning Amber Valletta for Emilio Pucci. Mert and Marcus’ creativity and use of color is unmatched.

Chanel Fall 2012, photography by Karl Lagerfeld. Akris Fall 2012, photography by Karim Sadli.

Where some fashion trends take me to a place of fantasy and admiration, others just leave me thinking, Huh? One that eludes reason is a certain hairstyle seen in two campaigns. I call it the “off-bob,” because it’s the most off-looking bob I’ve ever seen. Can you imagine this style growing out? Scary.

Salvatore Ferragamo Fall 2012, photography by Michael Jansson. Jill Stuart Fall 2012, photography by Mario Sorrenti.

The last trend is more of a decor sort. In what I’m naming the “best use of a sofa” category, the honors go to Jill Stuart and Ferragamo. Random furniture in campaigns is usually just that—random. But these two paired interior design and the collections flawlessly. In Salvatore Ferragmo’s Fall 2012 ads, which were shot by Mikael Jansson in Berlin’s Russian embassy, Kate Moss is a striking beauty gracefully lounging in a mint leather dormeuse. Jill Stuart’s Fall campaign stars Beegee Margenyte, shot by Mario Sorrenti in a Virgin Suicides, 1970s household vibe. The pale-blue sofa against the feminine collection and smoky makeup is perfect.

So here’s to a fuzzy and fantastical fall season. I’m envisioning mine with vibrant colors à la Mert and Marcus.

Notice any trends of your own? Share your favorite ads and top picks in the comments section below.

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  1. […] 2012Collage StarMy latest article is now up on Vault Magazine! I took these photos in prep for my Survey on Fall’s Fashion Campaigns. Please pop over to Vault and check it out.With fall around the corner, it’s time to weigh in on […]

    Collage Star | Capture Fashion by Amanda Del Duca Aug 14 / 4:20 pm

  2. I always look forward to seeing the Fall ad campaigns and I have to agree, I loved how the Louis Vuitton runway show matched the ad campaign!

    Brittiny Aug 15 / 3:35 am

  3. Love your picks. I almost included LV in mine too… now I feel like I should have. Mulberry has to be my favorite – so beautiful and playful. Thanks for sharing this!

    Megan Marie Aug 21 / 10:39 pm

  4. Hello I am writing a fashion blog for my school and I really would love to use one of your pictures. Would you mind if I used the first one in this blog post for my blog magazine? Thanks

    Lauren Mar 15 / 7:54 pm