ForProenza Schouler's national magazine ad debut, Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough brought in photographerDavid Sims to photograph models Irina Nikolaeva and Julia Nobis in the brand's Spring 2013 collection.
This campaign is very likely a crucial piece of some larger overall business strategy: set to run in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and W (advertising in big-name glossies is a first for the New York label), the ads feature an updated (and rather unfortunate-looking) logo. Also, the initial image (above) was teased to WWD, signaling an unambiguous play for press.
It seems like there's a lot riding on this campaign, but if the other images follow the one above, I don't think it can bear the weight. Any weight. Good thing scrutiny is weightless, or it couldn't even bear that.
Let's list all the elements that make up this lumpy soup of an ad:
The modernist blob of a collage on the left
The decontextualized graffiti on the walls in the main image
The very traditional waterscape seen through the window
Model Irina Nikolaeva's robotic pose (is that a pocket or is she rubbing her lower belly?) and faded, wilting expression
The scaley-stiff red leather skirt suit with black geometric embellishment which, who would ever wear that?
Everything about the font, from the font itself to the spacing.
This is like a scene out of a very sad novel that ends with the main character huddled in a corner of her hovel, feeding bread crumbs to her pet rat. But on another planet, after the end of the Earth.
If you, like me, didn't watch the Golden Globes last night, then you've probably spent the morning catching up on all the exciting entertainment you missed. My New York Times iPhone app said it best with this push notification: "'Argo,' 'Les Miserables,' 'Homeland' and 'Girls' Win Big at the Golden Globes."
Just kidding, that's probably the most useless Golden Globes headline imaginable. What about the dresses, the crying, the Twittering?
Here, I'll fill you in: Last year, everyone watched Angelina Jolie try to screw her leg out of its socket to show off her thigh-high-high slit on the Oscars red carpet and then in the Fall, they also read that WSJ article about how oxblood is the best color you could possibly wear this season, and so last night's red carpet was a procession of dangling upper thighs and dresses that resembled (can we please just call it) burgundy candy wrappers.
Oh, and also Tina Fey and Amy Poehler delivered a legitimately funny opening monologue, and even though I KNOW Poehler's wearing an (okay, I'll say it) oxblood dress in the clip below, she looks original and fantastic.
Love that Raf Simons' Dior design team wears lab coats so crisp and white, they could restore a mystic's faith in science. Also, love Simons' Dior Pre-Fall collection. The silhouettes here build on what he introduced at his couture debut last summer and then developed for Spring 2013.
With the Pre-Fall range, Simons introduces a new Dior denim, pictured here as a skinny jean but available in four different styles — presumably to flatter a wider range of body types — in the same dark wash, made with Japanese fabric.
Anyway, this looks great — and as I learned today, apparently we have Marc Jacobs' psychiatristto thank for Raf Simons' tenure at Dior, at least in part.
Earlier today, Kate Middleton and her husband William attended a private viewing of the first official royal portrait of the Duchess commisioned by the National Portrait Gallery, prior the public unveiling. Painted by artist Paul Emsley, the picture's already made rounds on the Internet this morning, and no one likes it — except reportedly, the Duchess of Cambridge herself, who publically called it "amazing." Tell us what you really think, Kate.
On Twitter, Susie Bubble quipped that it was "like a dodgy car boot sale 70s job lot painting," which sounds like it could be a really biting and sharp observation, except the reference is a bit over my head.
Also on Twitter, Liberty London Girl asks, "Is it just me or does the Duchess of Cambridge look like she has the devil peering out of her eyes in the new NPG official portrait?" Yeah, it's a pretty bad painting but no, I think the Satan thing is a stretch.
Art critic David Lee wrote up a scathing little review of the picture for theDaily Mail: "This is an intelligent, thoughtful and educated sitter with no less than a degree in art history. She deserves better." Yeah, poor Kate Middleton put in all this work to get a degree in art history, and then her first official portrait for the National Portrait Gallery was a big dumb flop. Oh what a cruel, cruel world we live in.
In the end, the painting does look like a joke — or at the very least, well below the standards set by Emsley's previous work, which includes a painting of Nelson Mandela. Still, I'm not sure what people were expecting. Official portraits are rarely the stuff of real beauty, and it's not like Kate Middleton can't afford to have one bad picture floating around, misrepresenting her glowy face and shiny hair. People just want something to be mad about, I think. Why? It's Friday.
The Duke and Duchess have posted the picture online here. You can also watch a behind-the-scenes video below.
Image of Kate Middleton with portrait artist Paul Emsley, via Getty