BAPTISTE GIABICONI FOR DIOR HOMME, SPRING

under the guidance of karl lagerfeld, male model baptiste giabiconi has easily been considered one of the most visible male models of the last five years. noticeable for his presence in all things lagerfeld associated, giabiconi’s presence is one that has become quite an annoyance to me in high fashion. while im not ignoring the fact that baptiste is incredibly handsome, my irritation with most of his bookings is that they were all afforded by his affiliation with karl. a master & living legend, karl lagerfeld is the creative director of chanel as well as his own namesake line, karl lagerfeld. he is also creatively involved with fendi & is a pronounced photographer & author. through all of karl’s brand affiliations, baptiste appears, each season. this not only creates a landslide of missed opportunities for other male models who actually put in the work with brands, casting agents & photographers; but the shit that baptiste puts our in terms of product or quality of modeling skill ain’t shit compared to others in the industry. the same bland, side profile, arched eyebrow, zoolander look is seen in every shot- which explains why i felt it necessary to only include one image from this campaign. all the other images appear no different than this one. karl lagerfeld has shot campaigns for chanel, dior homme & for his other sister collections within the karl lagerfeld brand umbrella. in baptiste’s portfolio, he boasts 11 chanel campaigns, 5 fendi campaigns & 6 karl lagerfeld campaigns. even more annoying is the fact that baptiste was cast for chanel campaigns- while chanel is more widely regarded as a womenswear brand that shows occasional menswear looks that are not produced for retail.

im down to support & acknowledge male model that showcase actual range & skill through bookings, editorial cameos & dope covers but the presence of baptiste in modeling has made a joke of fashion in many ways. with the less than thrilling collections that have been presented under the chanel label, under the direction of karl lagerfeld, over the past several seasons- not to mention the spurts of disrespectful remarks that karl spews to the press about other models, labels & such; it’s clear that karl is becoming more & more careless with what ‘fashion’ is as a creative industry. while i respect his contributions to fashion, through consistent design work with majorly iconic houses; i do find it necessary to voice an opinion when it hinders opportunities for other models in the industry. even beyond that, it’s just become this ridiculous circus; you start to approach other brands with a lack of enthusiasm, considering that you can bet that baptiste will reappear with the same fucking look on his face the next season following. the same minimal campaign theme is seen in karl’s less than stellar photography skills appear as baptiste adds yet another campaign to his resume. with rumors of a relationship & rumors of an engagement between lagerfeld & baptiste circling the internet over the past few years, one has to wonder what it really takes for models with actual skill to enter fashion. i assure you, fucking for campaigns isn’t as respectable as the work that is done by other male models who represent varied skill through diversification of men through advertising imagery. beyond his poorly executed pop singing career, another venture in which baptiste has been able to take on due to his involvement with karl, and the work that karl has scored for him- what is baptiste actually contributing to fashion? my sentiments exactly. before karl was connected to baptiste, he was sitting on a men’s board collecting dust- after he meets karl? he rises through the ranks as the #1 male model in fashion. one has to question; who is more foolish? the individuals who think that it’s okay to unfairly afford individuals coveted opportunities without having to work for them? or are the individuals who falsely praise these shoe-ins & give them these rankings the real idiots? it’s these elements that push me to question fashion & how it should be perceived or communicated to the masses. whether people see it or not, the images that portray labels, the models that are cast- the designs we see each season, those have an effect on our world & the culture we live in. i would hope that individuals who’ve been in the game as long as grandpa karl, would understand that & acknowledge that with some form of responsibility. fashion does have an affect.

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my fascination with editorial

GISELE BÜNDCHEN & RYAN BARRETT FOR VERSACE

currently making a campaign killing for the spring, gisele bündchen appears for the house of versace in lieu of the house making a major comeback in a number of avenues of fashion. shot in borrego springs, california; giovanni bianco lead as creative director for the campaign with joe mckenna & david bradshaw styling the advertisment image set. what i love of the collection, was it’s aquatic inspiration. those same beautiful elements of inspiration were well represented in the campaigns blue-blazed images. donatella versace was quoted explaing the inspiration of  the collection being the old versace meeting the new. the collection was filled with short hem lines, studded leather dresses & minimal designs with just the right amount of flash. donatella has definitely taken a juggernaut approach with the versace label over the course of the last few months. considering versace’s collaborations with H&M, the first locations of versace young opening, the casting of supermodel icon, cindy crawford’s daughter for the versace young campaign, the launch of an eyewear capsule collection, versace’s return to haute couture & the return of versace denim- the brand is clearly not playing any games. the casting of gisele for the brand’s latest campaign makes a bold statement. while the house has been known to favor the brazilian supermodel, this collection couldn’t have looked any better. the accessories, the dresses- all look sensational on gisele as ryan provides the right touch of masculinity, opposite of gisele. obsessed with the direction of this collection, as it relates to the collection.

there is a bit of photographic magic when gisele is seen. here, especially, her lean physique compliments the clothes perfectly as do barrett’s. the images from the campaign exude an inconspicuous sense of sexual appeal, what has historically been associated with the house of versace since it’s creation of 1978. furthermore, since the death of gianni versace during the 90’s, the house has become much more closely associated with exaggerated & flashy forms of femininity. as the fashion house that gave birth to the iconic supermodel era of the 90’s, the house of versace continues to flourish despite their being modern challenges in the now globalized industry that fashion has become. that said, i feel like they will rise to an all new level this year. never fearful of being over the top or too flashy, the house of versace stays true to their history.

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NATASHA POLY FOR PROENZA SCHOULER, SPRING

shot by willy vanderperre, with styling by marie chaix, russian runway queen natasha poly is cast for the fourth advertising campaign for ultra-hip, new york based label, proenza schouler. as a campaign & editorial regular, i had expected a model like natasha poly to be cast for this campaign. her photographic presence, her effortless cool- i feel, mirrors that of proenza schouler, exactly. with production stacee roberts, the campaign takes on minimalist form against a woven backdrop, bamboo furnishings & is framed by a thick black border. as a collection the clothes presented on the runways of new york fashion week were inspired by mid-century road-stop architecture. also referred to as googie architecture, more specifially the architecture mentioned as inspiration is often cited as futuristic & inspired by space, car culture & the atomic ages. commonly used for motels, coffee houses & gas stations- this type of architecture was more commonly used during the 1940’s through the mid-1960’s. seattle’s space needle is considered a form of googie architecture, as is los angeles international airport & the iconic welcome to las vegas sign.

googie (gooh-ghee) inspiration understood, the collection embodies the essence of that form of architecture rather impressively. diversified through use of bold prints, color blocking & structured design lines- all the elements that stood out in the collection’s runway show are well conceptualized throughout the campaign. described as intended to be “luscious, refined…and not appearing to be what it really is” by the design duo, jack mccollough & lazaro hernandez have mastered the art of multi-dimensional design that merges thoughtful inspiration into a spree of other elements that are well represented from clothing, footwear & accessories. all those elements were beautifully captured for the spring season & the use of print fits well for the spring. stylistically, i love the campaign direction & can clearly feel the representation of that 50’s vibe in the images. strong execution & beautifully concepts from design to advertising.

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THE SPRING GUCCI CAMPAIGN

starring abbey lee kershaw, karmen pedaru & male model, greg newrat; mert + marcus return to serve up the spring gucci campaign. under the creative direction of frida giannini, the gucci brand has remained on point in it’s modern branding image. during tom ford’s reign, the image revitalization was seen as all things brown were turned black & all round design elements were transformed to square. this small instance of transformation for the brand drew the greatest form of reinvigoration for the label & allowed it to rise to a new tier in high fashion. after ford’s departure, i had wondered how giannini would transform the vision & overall presence of the company. now, with a few seasons successfully under her belt, i appreciate what she has done in allowing the brand to remain commercially visible in a sophisticated & modern form. the campaign conveys a powerful image of women in a beautiful setting, amdist glamourous furnishings & golden fixtures. each season, im always excited to see which gucci girl would make a cameo & this season, the label opted for two of their faves in the form of pedaru & kershaw.

kershaw has long been a favorite for the label, as a longtime contracted face for the label’s flora fragrance. her ability to draw a sense of familiarity among consumers with her image is what, i feel, is a secret to success for the label. amidst her range as a model, abbey has changed her appearance in going from her natural of brunette to a platinum blonde; which adds a sense of new to her involvement with the italian based label. kershaw has appeared for gucci, every season since the fall/winter campaign season of 2008- which totals to 10 campaigns in the last four years for one brand. an impressive feat for a model as campaigns are among the most coveted of contracts in the business. an evident favorite alongside her, though still a bit more recent in comparison to kershaw, is karmen pedaru- who makes her fourth season appearance for the label’s campaign. what i love of karmen is her intense gaze- both kershaw & karmen prove to be a powerful duo appearing as the only two females this season, sharing the same intense gaze in a number of the campaigns striking images. for the past couple of years & several seasons, gucci has choosen to go with multi-model casts & im happy to see them scaling that concept back a bit. the constant use of too many faces seems to overwhelm me, it almost filters out any individualized shine the models cast can get. heavily accented by gold & natural light with the same powerful eye’s we seen for their runway show, consistent vision is well represented for this season’s campaign. as the collection which marked gucci’s 90th anniversary, the collection hosted a range of architecturally inspired, art deco design elements which are beautifully represented in the campaigns own set. modern & refined, the campaign & collection are advertised beautifully for the spring & im sure that gucci will remain on top of their game in the high end market.

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