September’s fashion weeks are set to look a little different this year, with London being the first to announce that they will be hosting all shows digitally until April 2021. In turn, the visuals of a luxury fashion house have never been more important, remaining one of the only ways they can communicate their visions to their customers and followers around the world.
Luckily, many of the top fashion houses have more than risen to the challenge, creating striking new fashion campaigns to showcase their latest collections. Here we’ve rounded up the most eye-catching visuals for the autumn season.
Following on from the reversal of perspective that characterised Gucci’s Autumn/Winter 2020 show, where the audience was invited to peek behind the curtain and see what really goes on behind the scenes, the Italian brand’s latest fashion campaign asked the models to take the reins, turning them into both photographers and muses, with the brief for them to simply wear the looks as they would in their regular daily lives and record themselves doing so.
Creative Director: Alessandro Michele; Art Director: Christopher Simmonds; Photographer/Director: models; Hair stylist: models; Make up: models
“Alright” Supergrass (Gareth Coombes, Daniel Goffey, Michael Quinn), © 1995 EMI Music Publishing Italia Srl on behalf of EMI Music Publishing LTD (P) 1995 The Echo Label Limited, a BMG Company, courtesy of BMG Rights Management (Italy) srl
Entitled ‘The Ritual’, the hyper-real, deeply personal self-portraits – shot on everything from smart phones to disposable cameras – depict the models as they exercise, knit, sunbathe, jump on beds and even brush their teeth. “I decided to let the clothes travel towards the houses of the cast of models – the characters that have embodied my stories for years; individuals I chose precisely, over time, for their uniqueness that usually brings my campaigns to life,” explained Creative Director Alessandro Michele. “I asked them to represent the idea they have of themselves, to go public with it, shaping the poetry that accompanies them. I encouraged them to play, improvising with their life.”
Shot in Wales, the country which inspired Sarah Burton’s most recent collection for Alexander McQueen, the British fashion house’s AW campaign champions a series of romantic silhouettes – think billowing dresses and cascading hems. Starring models Anok Yai, Sora Choi and Jill Kortleve, the collection celebrates the artistic and poetic heritage of Wales, from its folklore to its crafts. Check abounds, evoking the sense of safety and comfort associated with the warmth of Welsh blankets.
Yet much of the collection was also designed to be a ‘love letter to women’. This is channelled via a distinct ‘Queen of Hearts’ vibe thanks to the line’s ruby tones and rippled sleeves. But a heart symbol also makes an appearance through the collection’s jewellery, in pieces inspired by Welsh Love Spoons – a traditional token of endearment. “The hearts are a symbol of togetherness, of being there for others,” explains Sarah Burton. Clearly a message we need right now.
Dior’s latest autumn/winter collection from creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri is influenced by Italian feminist art. Indeed, one of the major inspirations for the collection was the introduction to Carla Lonzi’s 1971 manifesto La presenza dell’uomo nel femminismo (The presence of man in feminism). In it, she writes “Io dico io” (meaning “I say I”) – a slogan which echoes across Chiuri’s collection and symbolises the power of women. Captured through the lens of Italian photographer Paola Mattioli, Dior’s AW20 fashion campaign therefore provides a series of intimate portraits which both celebrate femininity and diversity, and capture the ethos of Carla Lonzi’s writing.
In it, the collection’s key pieces are showcased, from autumnal checks to slick monochrome trouser suits and the knitted version of Dior’s Bar jacket, created by Christian Dior himself 73 years ago. While many of the fashion house’s previous creative directors – such as John Galliano, Marc Bohan and Raf Simons – have put their own spin on ‘the Bar’, Chiuri’s version is eminently more wearable. Designed to be more accessible in terms of comfort and movement, this new knitted version took four prototypes to become a reality. Pair it with the likes of the maison’s best-selling Book Tote and emblematic scarves for an authentic Dior look.
As the global pandemic interrupts travel and prohibits shoots, fashion houses are being increasingly forced to get creative. Leading the charge is Italian fashion house Valentino, which is basing its Autumn/Winter 2020 fashion campaign on the idea of empathy – an emotion which social distancing can’t contain. According to creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli, this is a feeling which connects us all, even when we can’t physically connect through the medium of human touch.
Featuring a cast of internationally acclaimed artists, models and friends of the fashion house, #ValentinoEmpathy includes a series of portraits, each taken by someone sharing this difficult moment with the talent in question. Adut Akech, Anwar Hadid, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laura Dern, Tali Lennox, Rafferty Law, Naomi Campbell, Liu Wen, Christy Turlington and Shu Qi are just some of the names who will be appearing in the campaign, each wearing a look from the Autumn/Winter 2020 collection. Every one of them has donated their fee to participate in this project, so that one million euros can be given to the Lazzaro Spallanzani Hospital in Rome, a hub in the Italian fight against COVID-19.
When Rosé made her front row debut at the Saint Laurent runway show last September, and then reappeared there this spring, the rumours began circulating about whether we could expect her to be fronting a Saint Lauren campaign as well very soon. Now, the star of K-Pop quartet BLACKPINK has been revealed as the face of the label’s global Autumn/Winter 2020 fashion campaign, a move which solidifies K-Pop’s transition into the mainstream.
In the series of black and white photos and videos shot by British fashion photographer David Sims, Rosé wears a black lace mini dress and a signature pussy bow blouse in a contemporary leopard print. The latter was a look echoed in the season’s menswear campaign, which was fronted by rocker Lenny Kravitz. Together, these two singers helped Saint Laurent unite the worlds of fashion and music – a combination which is increasingly seeing the influence of K-Pop.
Tyler Mitchell made history when he became the first black photographer to shoot the cover of US Vogue, with his ground-breaking image of Beyoncé gracing the front of the title’s prestigious September issue in 2018. Now the 25-year-old Brooklyn-based photographer has collaborated with his friend Jonathan Anderson on the designer’s new Autumn/Winter 2020 fashion campaign. And while the two have worked together before, both on Loewe and Anderson’s own label, most notably with a series of whimsical images featuring models towering high on stilts and riding giant tricycles, this is the first time Mitchell has appeared both behind and in front of the camera.
Styled by the brand’s long-time collaborator Benjamin Bruno, the images are centred around a vintage playground roundabout, where Mitchell poses alongside Jamaican-born musician and model Toni Smith in an array of outfits, from Mitchell’s beige culottes and unisex chain loafers to Smith’s flowing silk gowns. Refreshingly understated and pared back, in the campaign notes the brand reveals that the photographs were created with the intention of bringing “a fun, young and carefree spirit, aligning perfectly with JW Anderson’s playful aesthetic and Mitchell’s signature style.”
In February it was revealed that the Italian fashion house’s Autumn/Winter 2020 show would be the last womenswear collection created solely by the legendary Miuccia Prada – going forward, she will be collaborating with the brand’s new co-Creative Director, Raf Simons, with Spring/Summer 2021 set to be their first joint collection. So it’s no surprise that the brand has decided to do something a little different to mark her final solo offering, creating a fashion campaign like no other to showcase it.
Instead of the usual ad visuals, Prada has set up a special auction in partnership with Sotheby’s, entitled ‘Tools of Memory’, due to take place in October, with all proceeds generated from the sale donated to Unesco’s educational projects, expanding education for vulnerable populations across the globe. Lots range from show invitations and items of the runway décor to photographic prints and one-off garments worn by models on the catwalk itself. As Prada states: “Clothes are objects of desire that remind us of emotion and experience: tools of memory of a precise moment within fashion and time, that on this occasion can help the future.”
The auction will run from 2 to 15 October 2020
With an ecological focus, Etro’s Autumn/Winter 2020 campaign is an ode to nature and the harmony and beauty of our planet. Starting with the principle that we are not alone, but co-inhabitants along with the world’s flora and fauna, the campaign named “We Are All One” portrays the concept of shared unity between man and beast. This ethos is an echo of the house’s Autumn/Winter 97/98 advertising campaign, named Animen, which depicted a conversation between animals of different species.
In the shots, a collection of eight models and actors, alongside founder Gimmo Etro, pose with 28 animal friends including a toad, a snail, a goat, a swan, a lamb and a peacock. The images, lensed by photographer Dario Catellani, reflect Etro’s commitment to not only the spirit of universal connection, but also to sustainability, which has always been at the centre of the Maison’s ethos and values. As such, some of the pieces featured in the campaign are from Etro’s archives – a message that this luxury label is the opposite of fast fashion, producing fashion to be handed down through the generations.
Tender fleeting moments are the focus for Balenciaga’s new fashion campaign, which showcases love in all its forms via a collection of heart-warming vignettes. Created by Munich-based director Maurus vom Schiedt in Berlin earlier this year, and set to music by composer Tom Hodge, the campaign represents a complete 180 on Balenciaga’s previous show, which was inspired by darkness. For Autumn/Winter 2020, the fashion house has stepped into the light, bringing a new sense of hope via its message of love.
Entitled “Live to Love”, the fashion campaign showcases Balenciaga’s latest ready-to-wear collection, encompassing pieces which reflect an active modern lifestyle. An older couple dancing, a group of friends travelling across the German capital, loved ones reunited – the pieces are perfectly matched to these extraordinary everyday occurrences. Much of Balenciaga’s recent success has been attributed to creative director Demna Gvasalia’s ability to uniquely communicate the themes of our time via his creative narratives. The message with this campaign is clear: the most powerful weapon we have to fight the long-term effects of this global pandemic is love.
For their latest fashion campaign, Louis Vuitton invited some of their most famous friends to showcase the Autumn/Winter 2020 collection. Directed and photographed by Nicolas Ghesquière, Artistic Director of Women’s Collections, the minimal portraits feature 20 of the French fashion house’s favourite muses, including Léa Seydoux, Stacy Martin and British world champion sprinter Dina Asher-Smith.
Shot in Ghesquière’s personal photography studio on the Quai Voltaire in Paris, the looks are accompanied by some of the brand’s most iconic bags, including the Capucines, the Twist, the Pont 9 and the Dauphine, as well as incorporating the new line ‘SINCE 1854’, which is characterised with a new jacquard pattern inscribed with 1854 in a nod to the year the house was created. “I thought it would be interesting to extend my work to photography, to follow through to the end of the creative process and give the collection its final punctuation,” said Ghesquière. “In this portrait gallery, everyone is there for my own personal reasons, and I liked discovering new connections with people I knew already. I also wanted to bring unity to different aspects of the house, a circular vision of what happens here.”