Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mrs. Draper, you're trying to seduce me...

I have somewhat mixed feelings about the intersection between Hollywood and fashion. On the one hand I understand it and have come to accept that most American fashion magazine covers feature celebrities instead of models, that red-carpet watching has become a national pastime, and that celebs are considered integral to a designer's success. On the other I wish the boundaries between Hollywood and fashion were more clearly defined because the open border between the two nations makes it far too easy for things like Lindsay Lohan to happen to perfectly innocent couture houses. But in all honesty things like celebrities gracing our covers or showing up in a campaign isn't something that pisses me off on principle. As long as the result is good I'm fine with it. Unfortunately the list of quality ad campaigns with celebrity faces is a short one, so in general I don't look forward to the news that a celebrity has been cast. I think so many of them fail to impress because the designer and their team and/or the photographer and theirs seem to think that having so-and-so with the famous face in the campaign is enough to make the campaign. Every so often though there's an anomaly, a case where all of the chips - celebrity, design house, photographer, photographic elements - fall into place and you're left completely shocked that the end result doesn't suck. Such is the case with the hot-off-the-presses S/S 2011 Versace accessories campaign staring Mrs. Draper-Francis herself, January Jones.
There's no mixed feelings about this. Stunning, stunning, stunning. It is without a doubt the best campaign Testino has done for Versace, one that really reminds us of exactly what it is that he's capable of. The choice of celebrity should come as no surprise to anyone since Jones is often seen wearing Versace to events. She's gorgeous to begin with, but she looks absolutely incredible in the shots that have been released so far. I love that the hair and makeup so clearly recalls January's look as Betty, not to mention that her expressions, from wan detachment to icy determination, seem right out of the ex-Mrs. Draper's handbook. But let's be honest here, there's a sexuality to these images that I doubt anyone would associate with Betty Draper. The pin-up poses and teases of nudity are more sex bomb than ice queen. It's a great contrast, and it makes for images that are both aloof and alluring, kind of look but don't touch unless I tell you to. These accessory shots really have me wishing that January was cast for the entire campaign. Clearly she knows how to model, and honestly I'd go so far as to say that she's putting a lot of today's models to shame. Call it sacrilege if you must, but I think that photos like these could even give some of the greats a run for their money. Oh and January, consider your sins at the Met Gala absolved.

images from wwd, telegraph.co.uk and twitter/styledotcom


Oda said...

God, those photographs are amazing. I can't stop looking at them.

Darryl said...

She was a model before becoming Mrs. Draper, so JJ's ease in front of the camera is no surprise. Gorgeous photos. Straight-up, old-school, Avedon-esque glamour.