It's impossible to not notice the overwhelming presence of the 90s era Supermodels dominating the Fall/Winter '08 ad campaigns. It must be harder than ever for the up-and-coming modelettes to make a decent living in our current celebrity-obsessed culture.
The awkward cheekbones, gaunt physiques and lifeless expressions of the nameless legion of girls may work for the minimalistic or low-key luxury likes of Calvin Klein Collection or Alberta Ferretti, but only the biggest, most bold-faced names will do for mega-watt luxury labels like Louis Vuitton, YSL and Chanel.
What's in a name? I've compiled a list of the top models in fashion today based on their supermodel status and brand caché. This list takes in to account not only the quantity of campaigns, but the quality. And yes, it is my opinion, not fact.
Top 15 Supermodels of Fall/Winter '08:
1. Kate Moss: Stella McCartney, Donna Karan, David Yurman, Just Cavalli, Longchamp, Rimmel
2. Angela Lindvall: Chloe, Valentino, Jimmy Choo, Roberto Cavalli, Jones New York
3. Claudia Schiffer: Chanel, Salvatore Ferragamo
4. Daria Werbowy: Dior, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Isabel Marant, David Yurman
5. Stella Tennant: Vera Wang, Marc Jacobs
6. Natalia Vodianova: Versace, DVF, Jacob & Co
7. Linda Evangelista: Prada, L'Oreal
8. Kristen Owen: Marc Jacobs, Givenchy
9. Naomi Campbell: Yves Saint Laurent (exclusive contract, perhaps?)
10. Eva Herzigova: Louis Vuitton (another question of exclusivity)
11. Raquel Zimmerman: Fendi, Lavin, Roberto Cavalli
12. Shalom Harlow: Tiffany & Co., Tumi
13. Carolyn Murphy: Lord & Taylor, Banana Republic, Estée Lauder's Sensuous
14. Christy Turlington: Escada
15. Natasha Poly: Jil Sander, Nina Ricci, Blumarine
Ten out of these fifteen "girls" cemented their fame and name in 90s. The vast majority of the ad campaigns they star in are for the large corporate fashion labels, basically the most highly visible (and well-paying) real estate in the business.
In fact, The Supermodels have even edged out the movie star contingent that was so standard a few seasons ago. That is, with exception to Gwyneth Paltrow, who took over for Sienna Miller in the Tod's campaign. Of course, there are a few other minor celeb-endorsed ads (like Hayden Panettiere for Dooney & Burke) but let's not waste any space here.
One of the most compelling ads this season is for Jimmy Choo featuring Angela Lindvall, shot by Terry Richardson. Lindvall disappeared for a few years, got married and had a few kids, then re-emerged quietly a few seasons ago. Season by season she has picked up momentum and bagged a growing roster of contracts. She could be considered a supermodel, she is a name, but more so to the fashion world than the mainstream household. That is to say she is no Claudia or Naomi.
I am drawn to her ads because they are purposeful but don't bank on her image alone to sell us. Each of her ads is artistically driven and beautiful. This chameleon-like quality has made her a front-runner for the most top campaigns this season.
Where does that leave the new names and the no names? Jessica Stam, who was quickly becoming one of the hottest new faces, has dwindled down to co-starring in Giorgio Armani and Dolce & Gabbanna ads. Her fellow Victoria's Secret model, Doutzen Kroes, has also been relegated to ads for the lingerie giant as well as 7 for All Mankind. Either they're shelling out, or she's needing to cash in...
Others are turning to the magazine's editorial fashion spreads. Coco Rocha is sealing her presence with prime pages in September US Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, a Barney's New York and Phi ads, among other things. Sasha Pivovarova has ensemble Lanvin, Tiffany & Co. and GAP ads in addition to being a fashion feature favorite. Amber Valleta has also been heating up the fashion pages as of late.
As much as I love Kate and Claudia, looking at the same faces is growing boring (no matter what kind of wig you throw on them, ahem, Karl). And whereas the ads could have great art direction, setting, and actually highlight the product, it instead relies on a "name" face to carry the brand. I would much rather be bowled over by a intoxicating visual pictorial that reflects the brand's image than be dumbed down by a supermodel.
And dare I ask where Gisele has gone?
Here are a few of my personal favorite F/W'08 ad campaigns:
What are your favorite campaigns for fall/winter?
I am absolutely obsessed with the spread in the 2008 Fashion Rocks supplement featuring Sasha Pivovarova and Dhani Harrison. The illustrious 10-pages of hippie-luxe dreamland was magnificently photographed by Steven Meisel. My only problem with the photos is the overabundance of fur being used. Not quite sure how Papa Beatle, George Harrison, would feel about that, having been a vegetarian during his day.
It is amazing how Dhani is such a dead-ringer for his father. It appears now he is even following in his musical footsteps with his band, thenewno2, releasing their first album titled You Are Here.
Photos courtesy of Fashion Rocks