We’re used to seeing Malgosia Bela with long flowing hair, and a natural-colored skin tone (most of the time), but leave it to Alexander Wang to subvert the model’s image for his Spring 2013 ad campaign. Steven Klein was brought in to shoot the campaign, which was art directed by Pascal Dangin – the campaign marks the first time they have worked with the label. The stark images feature an alternately blonde and brunette Malgosia with skin painted white to achieve a ghostly pallor; though perhaps the intended effect was something more along the lines of a resemblance to a marble statue?
“The mop on Malgosia's head is an absolute disaster but aside from that it's a great [campaign],” Elfinkova posted. “Wang is one of those designers who, because of their insane popularity, have the privilege to produce a stark, artsy ad like this. I really appreciate campaigns that don't blatantly try to shove a lifestyle down my throat and instead produce interesting, eye-catching photos.”
“I am speechless this is so good, Malgosia is amazing,” elle_gb shared. “This is unique and intriguing.”
Other forum members couldn’t get past the hair, the skin, or the overly editorial feel of the campaign, but I appreciate the effort to not rest on convention and present images that make us think and maybe even make us feel uncomfortable (aggressive crotch shots, I’m looking at you). Alexander Wang is innovative, provocative, and not afraid to try something different in his quest to outfit the urban warrior woman. Those are all traits that should serve him well now that he’s added Balenciaga to his résumé.