The Best Fashion Campaigns of the Year so Far

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Prada Spring/Summer 2019Photography by Willy Vanderperre

From Gucci-branded piglets to a major wind machine moment, we round up the best fashion ads 2019 has offered up yet

1. Prada (above)

Consider Gigi Hadid Prada-approved: this past Sunday, the model made her debut at the house’s menswear show in Milan, days before, she was revealed as one of the faces of their S/S19 campaign. Starring alongside fellow models Liu Wen, Anok Yai, Freja Beha Erichsen and Maike Inga, and photographed by AnOther contributor Willy Vanderperre, the campaign consists as a series of “film posters” and accompanying short films, where each face “auditions” under the pseudonym of one of Prada’s handbags. Hadid’s Prada-fication required the most dramatic makeover of the lot, trading her usual full and flaxen locks for a boyish pixie crop and bleaching both her eyebrows, to near unrecognisable effect. JM

2. Gucci

As I’ve previously expressed, it is my firm conviction that any fashion image is inordinately improved by the presence of animals. To my great pleasure, Alessandro Michele and his collaborators at Gucci seem to share in this belief, casting, in the last year or two, cats, dogs, chickens and lambs and, in the case of Cruise 2019, a literal ark-load of creatures great and small in their campaigns. Their most recent visuals, released earlier this month to coincide with Chinese New Year, featured a litter of adorable little piglets. To use the colloquialism of the “yoof” of today: I stan. TS

3. Saint Laurent

“I’m legendary, all legs, no dairy.” For those of you familiar with RuPaul’s Drag Race and its notoriously leggy two-time contestant Naomi Smalls, it’ll be no surprise why this song came to mind when I saw Saint Laurent’s Juergen Teller-shot, Helmut Newton-esque new campaign. Here, models Freja Beha Erichsen and Mica Arganaraz serve pure, unadulterated leggy glamour in sky-high stilettos and YSL-embossed tights. Legs, legs, that’s what’s on the menu. TS

4. Balenciaga 

In line with the set design for its S/S19 show, which featured an LED-panelled tunnel courtesy of visual artist Jon Rafman, Balenciaga turned to CGI once again to bring to life its latest campaign – this time, collaborating with Copenhagen-based artist Yilmaz Sen. Directed by Sen himself and styled by Demna Gvasalia’s frequent collaborator Lotta Volkova, the campaign consists of a series of disorientating videos that see 3D-rendered Balenciaga-clad models being contorted into unnatural proportions. EP

5. Kenzo

Longtime fans of the legendary photographer’s work, Kenzo creative directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim expressed their delight at working with David LaChapelle on their latest campaign. In typical LaChapelle style, the photographs are delightfully surreal, expressing his take on utopia – or, as the campaign is titled, Kenzotopia. A special appearance among the more seasoned models – here, hanging off poles against Hawaiian-inspired backdrops – is Leon’s own mother, cast by LaChapelle when she visited the set. EP

6. Giorgio Armani

The aquatic pastels of Giorgio Armani S/S19 are lensed by American photographer Kurt Markus, in a season that sees a renewed creative partnership between the Armani designer and his sister, Rosanna (they have worked together in the past on several memorable images). Soothing shades of blue, pink and silver take centre stage here – notably in the broad organza hat worn by Shu Pei – as the collection is photographed among crystal waters and blue skies. A welcome dose of escapism in the depths of winter. BH

7. Jil Sander

A journey along the coast of Japan – from fishing villages and ryokans to scenic train rides – forms the backdrop of Jil Sander’s S/S19 campaign. Presented as a series of images and a film, both shot by Mario Sorrenti, Ansley and Myles’s Japanese adventure is captured as a series of mementoes, with the resulting photographs showcasing Japan’s mesmerising landscapes as well as Jil Sander’s easy, utilitarian elegance for S/S19. BH

8. Versace

Our final entry is Versace’s new ad featuring Shalom Harlow – the Canadian modelling legend of McQueen spray paint and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days fame. Following her stunning appearance in the house’s S/S19 show, the campaign features Harlow showcasing a blowy, flowy and showy jumpsuit made all the more fantastic by a wind machine. To refer to Drag Race for the second time in one article, it’s like the music video for The Realness starring Naomi, Kim and Bob. Right, I’m off to get some better references. Bye! TS