Best Fall Fashion Ads… So Far

To some, the outlandish tactics used to garner attention within the fashion industry may seem like ridiculous attempts to either shock or put out confusing jumbles and present them as art. And though that may be true to a certain extent, there is one area where designers, film makers, photographers, and artists all agree: that bigger and bolder is always better. Fashion ad campaigns are one of the most important things that brands put out throughout the year, second only to the products made by the brand itself. They showcase the created message that may not have reached its audience during the initial runway show. Here, the entire creative team can create a fantasy world based on the collection, fragrance, cosmetic, or accessory that the ad is based on, taking whatever unanswered questions the collection left behind and filling in the blank spots on the canvas.

Christian Dior Fall 2017-18

Although some may say that Maria Grazia Chiuri’s work at the iconic house of Dior is lacklustre, it’s undeniable that this ad campaign injects brute strength that may have been missing during the show. With Dior favourites like Ruth Bell and Fernanda Ly, the original idea of outfitting a strong and unapologetic woman in Dior is completely evident in this campaign. The pulsing, industrial music and stark black and white create an air of strength that follows each model as they twirl, stomp, and pose in their black leather berets.

Valentino Menswear Fall 2017-18

Menswear sometimes gets a bad rep of being the less inspired and completely out of touch brother to high fashion womenswear. However, many brands are starting to take notice on how important the men’s fashion has become. Valentino is definitely one of those brands. In recent years, Valentino has made amazing strides in taking their brand from luxury tailoring to here and now men’s fashion. Valentino is no longer your rich grandfather’s go-to suit, and their campaign for fall proves just that. Placing their models in a modernized version of punk London, the ad pushes the idea that Valentino is a brand that’s as fresh and as new as the millennials it wants to attract.

Gucci Fall 2017-18

Gucci‘s creative head, Alessandro Michelle, is no stranger to transforming a brand into a contemporary go-to. Not long after joining the brand, Michelle was able to turn the ever increasingly forgettable brand into the most talked about and coveted Italian name in the fashion industry today. For their Fall campaign, Gucci not only channelled the same cacophonic parade of colour and texture that’s brought it back to life, but also channelled something that’s become a staple in millennial style; nostalgia for times far before their childhood. The ad features the all too familiar setting of a psychedelic ’70s like space adventure that mirrors the bright rainbow of colour, texture, and inspiration that Gucci is all about.

Oscar De La Renta Fall 2018-17

Since taking the helm at Oscar De La Renta almost a year ago, Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia have thrust the brand into an interesting place. Hovering delicately between modern edge and old world glamour, the brand that has dressed the likes of Laura Bush and Sarah Jessica Parker is eagerly awaiting to see whether the fashion world buys into its new image. One key element in helping its audience understand the new De La Renta image is fashion icon Mariacarla Boscono who was the face of Renta’s fall campaign. Her strikingly alien face and sharp gaze helped sew together the contemporary edge that Kim and Garcia wish to bring to the brand with the grace and glamour that Oscar established years ago.

Miu Miu Fall 2017-18

Miuccia Prada is a fashion genius. No one is able to reinvent two brands simultaneously every season and keep the look and the ideas of the brands fresh and exciting the way she does. So it comes as no surprise that her brilliant collection for Miu Miu now comes with a brilliant ad campaign. Borrowing heavily from the collections fuzzy bubblegum-60s mod fusion, the ad takes its viewer through a pastel coloured journey that takes place in an old movie theatre where models (including Kate Moss!) all sit and watch a grainy Lousiana Bayou short film featuring the models themselves. And if seeing Kate Moss decked out it groovy Miu Miu is not enough, then seeing Adwoah Aboah and other stunning models of colour dominate the ad should be more than enough incentive to fall in love with this light hearted ad!

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The Best Ad Campaigns of 2016

Ad campaigns have long been a brand’s first line of offence when it comes to exposure. Unlike social media advertising and TV spots, print campaigns aim at catching the attention of specific groups of people, usually fashion lovers or potential clientele. This strategy is called the rifle strategy. Rather than using a shotgun strategy to shoot out your content for everyone to see, like social media media advertising does. Rifle strategies aim at eliminating wasted resources by targeting people who are more likely to buy what they see in the magazines they’ve bought or skimmed through.

But enough about the technical about the technical side fashion ads. Let’s get to the part we all love; the fashion! Now brands, their designers, and their holding companies don’t spend a ridiculous amount of money, time, and effort to just for fun. There’s an artistic vision behind every photo that’s taken. It isn’t just about slapping something pretty on a pretty model. It’s about telling a story, painting a complete picture of the collection that will make you want it so much, you’ll buy it! With that said, not all campaigns end up being works of advertising art. Sure they make get the job done, but in the end, they just end up being ads. However, there are some ads that do much more than just sell a brand’s product. They transcend traditional print ads and become works of art on their own. Here’s a list of some of 2016’s greatest print campaigns.

Photo: Missoni

Missoni Fall/ Winter 2016

Have you ever wondered what a modern day water sprite would look like? Missoni must have wondered the same thing too. In their fall 2016 campaign, model Frederikke Sofie stars as a delicate, yet completely intimidating free spirit that seems to just rise out of the water like pure magic. Sofie’s curly hair blowing in the wind, mixed with the easiness of Missoni’s iconic knits, only helped add a sense of ethereal beauty to the campaign.

Photo: Salvatore Ferragamo

Salvatore Ferragamo Fall/ Winter 2016

Who knew a static portrait could be so alluring? Model Ming Xi is accompanied by Ine Neefs and Valery Kaufman in this photo by photographer Craig McDean. The photo depicts all three women posed towards the camera in a stately photograph. What’s special about the photo is it’s simplicity. It manages to ease the uptight-rich-European woman vibe that Ferragamo is known, with an airy lightness that creates a sense  of timeless elegance. Like a dominant, yet caring matriarch watching over her high fashion family.

Photo: Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton Les Parfums

Luxury leather goods giant Louis Vuitton is probably the most recognisable brand when one thinks of luxury travel wares. So it came as no surprise that Louis Vuitton wanted to showcase its perfume as being “beyond perfume.” The Vuitton team chose to create a personal paradise for its fans. The campaign, shot by photography legend Patrick Demarchalier and starring top actress Lea Seydoux, encompasses everything that Louis Vuitton is about. Travel, the destination, and the invocation of luxury that goes beyond what traditional fashion brands can do. The tropical setting, with its dark – cascading stone waterfalls set against Lea’s ethereal perfection, create a fairy tale of a princess set free in the untamed wild.

Photo: Jacquemus

Jacquemus Fall/ Winter 2016

Simon Porte Jacquemus has been an innovator. Since it’s debut, Jacquemus has been able to push the boundaries of what’s expected in the fashion industry. His designs are exactly the type of high fashion avant garde clothing young women want and they’re also surprisingly affordable compared to his competitors designs. And it’s in this surprisingly fresh take on design where everything else falls into place perfectly. For its fall campaign. Jacquemus sought the help of artist Willi Dorner to create a quirky and striking ad campaign that completely encompasses what Jacquemus as a brand is. The setting is simple, a park bench located somewhere is Paris or a in a small French town maybe. The backdrop looks very pedestrian, until you see what’s on the bench. Just like Jacquemus itself, the seemingly normal is made abnormal. A jumble of models wearing Simon’s designs are seen huddled together to create a human ball. And that’s the fun of it. That’s what Jacquemus stands for. Understanding the love people have for things that are beautiful, yet slightly off.

Photo: Gucci

Gucci  (All of them)

It seems that Alessandro Michele’s influence at Gucci extends far beyond the clothing and accessories. This year, fashion lovers were treated to a surprise at Gucci. The iconic brand, once known for its mature and distinctly Italian flare, underwent a total overhaul. Designers were changed and brand images were reworked, resulting in a fresh and whimsical take on the brand that’s won over the hearts of young luxury enthusiasts around the world. But it didn’t stop there, if Gucci had to change order image, it had to change everything about its image. In turn, the fashion world was treated to a year long ad campaign that fused 70s style camera work with the sugary perfection of a Sofia Coppola movie. Models posed alongside slot machines and Japanese geishas with the words “relentless buzzing sound” and “whispers lost in wind” as subtitles, while other models danced among a sea of bubbles (“pop”) and a pair of Gucci pumps on a motorcycle (“sirens in distance”). Which created the perfect atmosphere for Alessandro Michele’s Gucci. Like a daydream that may have been reality. Gucci encompasses the dreams of the here and now.

H&M Holiday

Although not a print ad, there really wasn’t any other option than adding this gem of a campaign from H&M. What do a lot of people do during the holiday season? They travel of course. And H&M and director Wes Anderson want you know that they get that. They understand the dread of driving hours on end to see your parents or having to hop on a train to visit loved ones. So why not make the dreaded holiday commute a fashion wonderland. Like a quirky polar express, fans of the Swedish fashion giant are treated to candy coloured locomotive paradise. The walls look like candied chocolate; the outfits, like sparkly little cake toppers. The beauty of this campaign is it not only feed into shoppers need for holiday outfits, but it also subconsciously feeds into our need to want the cutest and sparkliest things we can buy for the holidays, and all for H&M’s famous affordable prices.

Photo: Prada

Prada Candy Kiss

Leave it to Prada to pick one of the most in demand models of the moment to be the face of one of their best selling fragrances. Lexi Boling stars in this year’s Prada Candy Kiss campaign, which started off as an adorable take on femininity in its first run of ad and quickly blossomed into and ad made perfectly for a modern vixen. She’s sweet, yet intimidating, alluring, yet distant. She’s the woman you want, but will never have. The campaign, which was shot by famed photographer Steven Meisel, conjures up a quote from one of the greatest female poets ever, Sylvia Plath. “If the moon smiled, she would resemble you. You leave the same impression of something beautiful, but annihilating.” Which who the Prada Candy Kiss woman is, beautiful, but annihilating.

Photo: Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton / Square Enix

Louis Vuitton appears a second time on the list with their Square Enix collaboration for Louis Vuitton’s SERIES of ads. Which aim at involving multiple artists to show their personal take on the brand in Louis Vuitton’s marketing strategy. For the Louis Vuitton SERIES 4 ad campaign. Tetsuya Nomura of Square Enix used Final Fantasy 13’s protagonist Lightning as his model. The ad campaign aimed at embracing the growing relationship between fashion and technology, while also helping further showcase the new face of Louis Vuitton. Rather using a traditional print ad, Nicolas Ghesquiere incorporates his love of technology  into the global market by presenting his designs as digital renderings. Showing the global where luxury fashion may be heading.

Photo: Raf Simons

Raf Simons Spring/ Summer 2016

Sometimes fashion isn’t always fun and games. Sometimes bright colours and energetic photoshoots can’t encompass the story that’s being told. That must have been what Willy Vandeperre and Raf Simons had in had in mind when creating the brands spring ad campaign. The overly bleak atmosphere of the ad felt melancholic. But as many artists know, some of the most beautiful moments in art aren’t happy ones. The ads, which feature an emotionless Luca Lemaire staring off into the distance, accompanied by three different dark and brooding backdrops that seem surreal, yet eerily present throughout the campaign. There’s also a sense of freedom (or escape) within the photos themselves. The barefoot model seems animalistic, like a man who’s run from everything that the world forced him to be, but he’s far from that now. He’s one with nature and no one can take him back now.

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Style Profile: Ryan Wohlgemut

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Ryan Wohlgemut is a Canadian-German aspiring fashion editor who graduated from The University of Guelph and studied Sociology and Business. After university Ryan moved to Toronto, Ontario to begin pursuing his dreams of becoming part of the international fashion industry. We had the pleasure of chatting with Ryan and discussed all things fashion, and also found out what he could not live without.

1. How would you describe your personal style?

RW: As we are in sort of a transitional period right now with the weather finally beginning to become a bit warmer, the same is happening with fashion. Specific to my own style, winter brings out a more sophisticated character. It tends to involve darker colours and larger garments (jackets, boots, cardigans etc.). This past winter I went for the “sporty-grandpa” look. I wore a lot of dress pants, usually pinstriped, oversized or cropped and crew neck sweaters, and also turtle necks paired with a sporty or more casual footwear such as my personalized Stan Smiths or my all white Nike Air Max sneakers.

I think that menswear is really at a turning point right now and with summer approaching I am really beginning to see myself take a more exciting approach to my style. One of my biggest goals right now is to always strive to present some sort of loudness within my outfits and I think colour is a subtle way to do so.Though out winter I was – and still am – really into the colour red. I think it is a bold and a strong shade that can make a statement but as summer approaches I want to incorporate more yellow and possibly green.

Another way to incorporate loudness is through print. A trend I personally am excited to indulge into this season is animal print. As we saw in many Spring/Summer 2016 shows – Saint Laurent and Burberry to name a few – men are finally beginning to support this trend. Animal print is often a seen within the womenswear sector of fashion but now we are finally seeing it on the runway for males.

This brings me to the next aspect of my personal, femininity. I think one of the most subversive actions as a male that you can play with in terms of style, is simply paying attention to womenswear trends. Throughout the Spring/Summer 2016 show season we were seeing femininity all over the menswear runways. With Gucci mastering the pussy bow and the flared pant, Louis Vuitton making the Japanese souvenir sukajan jacket and neck tie omni present, and Burberry redefining classic menswear pieces with typically feminine fabrics such as lace, it’s pretty clear this season that the menswear industry is beginning to soften gender lines. I think mixing femininity and masculinity is something I have recently started to enjoy playing with. This past season of Toronto Men’s Fashion Week I sported a pussy bow, a neck tie and an Asian-inspired souvenir style bomber jacket.

Finally, the last aspect of would like to speak about is mixing kitsch with “high fashion”. I think since the streetwear trend is finally beginning to diminish on the runways, designers are moving back towards more “high fashion” risk taking yet still looking for ways to present themselves in a less serious way. Demma Gvasalia of Vetement is an absolute expert of this. As I am always interested in incorporating an exciting “fun” aspect to a “serious” outfit, this is also something I am beginning to experiment with. For example, to the Novella Magazine Launch Party I wore my Thrasher Magazine flame font t-shirt – one of my favourite tee’s right now – paired with a black blazer, oversized Polo Ralph Lauren caramel corduroy pants and my Stan Smiths. Mixing both the fun sort of joke Thrasher flames tee with a classic black blazer known for being serious and sophisticated, is a clever approach to incorporate a sense of confusion amongst ones audience which is ultimately the best thing you can do.

2. What is your favourite item in your closet and why?

RW: It would definitely have to be my AMI crewneck sweater. When in doubt this sweater is just perfect as it can be dressed up or down and is extremely comfortable!

3. Have you ever had a “What was I thinking” moment about something you have worn?

RW: Yes of course! I have had many “What was I thinking” moments. I look back on my past wardrobe in general and the word “plain” comes to mind. I am not sure if that is just a result of my current desire to present a sense of “loudness” or what has inspired me to spice things up but I definitely look back on my elementary school days and often wonder “what I was thinking?”. Specifically, in grade six I was really into the shiny “soccer shorts” as they used to call them. I had them in almost every colour.

4. What is your first fashion memory?

RW: On my first day of kindergarten, I believe I was 5 years old my brother and I had matching beige polo’s from The Gap. Before I went to school that day I went to my aunt and told her that I needed to come home at lunch and change my outfit for the afternoon. I was insisting that an outfit change was necessary on my first day of school! Looking back on that memory I have realized that was the moment I knew fashion was something really special to me.

5. What is your favourite fashion era and why?

RW: The 70’s, I like to reference this era within my wardrobe. I think this is due to the fact that through out the 90’s, 70’s clothing was widely referenced, so growing up being a 90’s baby the 70’s brings back memories and has that nostalgic feel to it that we all love!

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6. Where do you shop?

RW: I would say most of my clothing is from Hudson’s Bay. Its become one of my favourite spots for sure. I think The Bay does well at providing the consumer with many different brands and an array of styles as well as price.

7. What would be your theme song and why?

RW: I think it would have to be Confessions Part Two by Usher. It was my favourite song growing up and still to this day would consider it one of my favourites. The song is about how Usher cheated on his lover and is now having a baby with someone he barely knows. The song is basically his message to his lover about finally being honest and letting her know what has been happening while he had been away “for work”. This is my theme song because honesty is something I take very seriously and something that I really value.

8. What are you currently coveting?

RW: I have been on the hunt for month’s now to find the perfect pair of silk pyjama’s. I think this trend tends to confuse people because they aren’t being worn in their literal context but I think that is what makes them so interesting and I think it was very clever of fashion houses such as Dolce & Gabbana to embrace this trend. I’m also on the hunt for a Japanese inspired souvenir sukajan silk bomber. I have been searching for a while now but have yet to come across the perfect one.

9. Whose closet would you want to raid?

RW: For sure fashion icon Simone Marchetti. He is the Fashion editor for La Repubblica, an Italian newspaper. His style and bravery is something that really inspires me. Simone is someone that is not afraid to take risks with his wardrobe,which I find really admirable. Simone loves to experiment with neck ties, lace, colour, femininity and his most recent obsession pyjama’s.

10. What fashion trend would you like to see go away?

RW: I think the “streetwear” trend has had its time. Long or round hemlines, Joggers, skinny jeans – most of the time involving some sort of knee detailing such as a single tear or padding – , Chelsea boots, brim hats have all become huge fashion trends over the past couple years and I personally think it’s time for something knew to take its place. Thankfully, we are seeing it slowly diminish on the runway and big house brands are steering back towards more serious fashion but still attempting to make it enjoyable for everyone.

11. Who are a few of your fashion icons?

RW: Simone Marchetti, Alex Badia, Anna Wintour, Alessandro Michele and Grace Coddington.

12. Fill in the Blank: I could not live without _________________

RW: Friendship.

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13. What is your secret obsession?

RW: Lately, I think its been the colour red. I am not sure thats a secret though.

14. What is your fashion mantra?

RW: “First they laugh, then they copy”

15. Who are a few of your favourite designers?

Ricardo Tisici – Givenchy
Alexandre Mattiussi – AMI
Alessandro Michele – Gucci
Demma Gvasalia – Vetement / Balenciaga
Nicola Formichetti – Diesel / Nico Panda

16. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

RW: Always be honest.