Models on top once again

28 April 2010

The world of fashion has hosted a kind of battle between models and celebrities over who gets to star in the campaigns. (Its also the most lucrative form of modelling) Now, it looks as though the models have fought back. Rather than the tidal wave of recognisable faces from the screen world selling us fashion, it now seems that professional models, with their more ‘generic’ looks are back in fash.

So it’s auf vierdersehn actresses like Angelina, Scarlett and Charlize and welcome back catwalk mannequins. WWD carefully took the temperature of numerous designers and industry figures on the subject and this is what they said

Stefano Pilati of Yves Saint Laurent; “What I need to focus on is an attitude, and this comes from a great, experienced model,”

He’s shooting Daria Werbowy right now, for the next campaign. “[Models] can feel the clothes and make them relevant from a fashion point of view.”

Frida Giannini of Gucci says “I think it’s a very contemporary approach,” Frida has signed Raquel Zimmermann for the Italian brand’s AW campaign. “The other issue with celebrities is that they are characters who are often associated with a certain film. I prefer a strong, generic face that’s not related to any world — whether that be music or Hollywood.”


Karl Lagerfeld, king of Chanel replied “Why? Because I love them: They have the right look and class,” 

He employed a whole gang of them for his latest Chanel shoot. (Freja Beha Erichsen, (above) Abbey Lee Kershaw and Brad Kroenig) Curvy lingerie girl Erichsen, has become a new favourite at Chanel, including for next season’s eyewear campaign. “I just think she is the most modern girl and the most elegant person,” Lagerfeld enthused. “

Karl thinks that lately, there are “not so many” celebrities around from which to choose.
“A change was needed,” he continued. “Celebrities want to do their own lines, their fragrances, which sometimes works for a short time.” Hmm. One of his recent muses, the redoubtable Lily Allen has recently promised to do just that. Is this a sly dig at La Allen, perhaps? He is retaining Vanessa Paradis, however and she doesn't have her own business. (We understand how gazing at Jonny Depp could be a full time occupation, though).

And what sayeth the ad experts on the subject? “Celebrities have been used so much without reason. Today it’s no longer relevant to use a celebrity just to endorse a product,” said [top NY ad agency] Ogilvy & Mather Paris art director Antoaneta Metchanova.

 “Fashion brands are starting to realize that in order for a product to make an impact, a model would better suit the task. Leave the modelling to the models and work with celebrities when the idea makes sense or when there’s a story that a particular celebrity could help tell.”

Perhaps Roberto Cavalli, a world renowned expert on both models AND celebrities, (after all he’s grappled enough of them at his aftershow parties over the years) has plumped for Giselle, shot by Mert Alas and Marcus PiggottEva Cavalli, his wife and business partner said;

“We chose to use her again because she is part model, part celebrity and she is very special,” 

Truly the best of both worlds. But an interesting development, wouldn’t you agree?

-Naomi Attwood


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