Raquel Zimmermann, a midtown Manhattan high-rise window and 14 looks from the Yves Saint Laurent autumn/winter 2011 collection. Simple components which, through the eyes of photography and filmmaking duo Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin and Stefano Pilati, set to a pulsating soundtrack courtesy of LCD Soundsystem, become a mesmerising film that sums up the mood for the season ahead, premiered here in this worlwide AnOther exclusive.
"The myth of Paris – New York, at the heart of this campaign, is one that belongs uniquely to the still-developing story of the house of Saint Laurent", says Pilati. The "story of the season" plays on the dynamic between Paris and New York’s idiosyncratic energies – a juxtaposition between the modern aesthetics of industrial New York and the romance and heritage of Paris. Remaining loyal to the longstanding codes of the heart of the house, the campaign and Zimmerman's performance are sexy. Not the full-frontal nudity kind, but just enough subtle references do the job – the voyeuristic nature of Zimmerman's performance, which has echoes of Hitchcock's Rear Window and the inclusion of a cream sheepskin rug, perfect for a nearly naked beautiful girl (save for the metallic bow belt and wedge heels) to lie on.
Yves Saint Laurent is a forerunner of brands creating film shorts each season, understanding that a two to three minute combination of visuals, audio and movement is what the digital savvy, fashion hungry audience wants. Following on from previous season's films (Claudia next to the 45-foot-tall HOLLYWOOD landmark and Arizona in the surrounds of the 1930s Villa Bled Roknine in Marrakech's Palmeraie), Raquel takes the campaign baton. Dynamic and captivating, Zimmermann is as comfortable posing for stills as she is performing for camera (remember her writhing naked with live snakes for Nick Knight's film for Alexander McQueen S/S10? For the YSL A/W11 film, she works through a striking catalogue of poses, the graphic position of her body an elegant tribute to the iconic interlocking YSL logo designed in 1963 by Ukrainian-French painter, commercial poster artist and typeface designer, Adolphe Mouron Cassandre.
Pilati's A/W11 collection incorporates an urban silhouette that highlights the dualities of the YSL universe: feminine and masculine; and the demands of contemporary life. "Raquel moves in a self-assured manner, encapsulating the essence of considered energy that is New York and the passion of the Parisian woman", the house of Yves Saint Laurent revealed to AnOther. Mirroring LCD Soundsystem's "I Can Change" lyrics, Zimmerman alluringly works her way through the collection's key looks – the new low-waisted, two-button, double-breasted jacket, in double-face Prince of Wales check, a pleated skirt suit and a graphic black jumpsuit.
Text by Laura Bradley
Yves Saint Laurent A/W11 Film Exclusive
Premiered exclusively on AnOther, Yves Saint Laurent's mesmerising A/W11 film features the dynamic Raquel Zimmerman working through a catalogue of poses in the window of a midtown Manhattan high-rise...
- Text Laura Bradley