The global luxury fashion industry generates revenue of close to one trillion dollars, and capturing the gorgeous movements of high-end fashion is a specialised niche. From veteran trailblazers Mario Testino and Steven Meisel (image above) to Harley Weir, 27, and 20-year-old Gray Sorrenti, some just have the knack. Here are a few advertising campaigns using top photographic talent that have caught our eye.
The daughter of Mario and niece of Davide and Vanina Sorrenti, Gray Sorrenti was born into a well-known photography clan and is now making a name for herself behind the lens. She captures vibrant slices of New Delhi life in this latest iteration of Spanish luxury house LOEWE’s ‘Paula’s Ibiza’ collection, which was created around the young, carefree glamour associated with party island Ibiza.
“The protagonists are captured at private parties in Dilliwalen havelis, riding scooters and tuk-tuks along rarely seen corners of the capital’s streets, BMXing on rooftops, and amongst members of its B-Boy subculture, creating a feeling of bonding that is not imagined, but real,” says creative director Jonathan Anderson.
Sorrenti always aims to integrate herself into the local culture and not just bring ‘fashion’ in, she tells LOVE magazine:
“I want to take a picture of a human being, in their space, feeling who they are. I want them to project their whole self on me so that I can absorb it and give them something that makes them happy. Honestly, I’m traveling around, I’m young, I’m taking pictures of my friends, I’m hanging out, we’re all chilling, we’re all together… it’s something that’s beautiful. I take pictures, we’re dancing, we’re cooking. There’s so much more that comes with photography. It’s making art – everything is blossoming, blooming and exploding.”
(LOEWE will be donating 40 euros for every product sold in the Paula’s Ibiza fashion collection to educational projects for children affected by COVID-19 between April and August 2020 in LOEWE stores and on loewe.com.)
Youth is not just about exuberance, there’s conviction too behind the creativity: Harley Weir, whose film and book work as well as her photography has garnered her acclaim, was behind the camera for this ‘rubbish dump’ catwalk for Stella McCartney, whose campaigns usually highlight environmental issues.
Shift away from reality
In 2020, the COVID-19 coronavirus knocked fashion off the runways and propelled it out into digital Space along with the rest of us.
But shifting realities were already part of fashion photography, as illustrated by French director Fabien Baron in this fresh kind of campaign for upscale German fashion house Hugo Boss, showing models contemplating themselves coming to life in a surrealistic art gallery setting. The 1’12” piece is full of movement and contemplation, putting the models in the frame twice, sometimes floating through the air, and stimulating us to view them in a completely unexpected way.
Speaking of reality, was Italian luxury fashion house Gucci ever really into that as a concept? Valued at over US$12 billion, with annual revenues approaching $300 million, Gucci accounts for about 80% of luxury group Kering’s profits, and is renowned for its creatively surprising ads.
Older women feature among the diverse cast in this psychedelic campaign recreating a Seventies dance floor with fashionistas chasing prime articles – and each other – down, both on and off the floor.
Glitterballs galore in the one-minute funk-fest shot by US-born, London-based Jordan Hemingway, whose photography often reflects fetishistic and gothic layers.
And finally, you might want to keep an eye out for work by married Dutch couple Inez and Vinoodh, still rocking the fashion photography scene. Here, they capture British model Adwoa Aboah in languid leather and lace for Valentino’s ‘#LeNoir’ SS20, and drape their skills around 20-year-old US fashion model, actress, and LGBT rights activist Hunter Schafer for the Spring cover of V magazine: