As the fashion world continues to adjust to a new way of working — and showing collections — in a Covid world, fashion campaigns have proven to be an essential tool to help brands relay their vision for the season to their customers around the world. Many have embraced the futuristic thinking that virtual shows and remote working have conjured, as exhibited by Prada’s series of images overlaid with questions designed to spark a digital dialogue. Meanwhile, Michael Kors Collection looked at nature through a city lens and Dior took inspiration from Baroque artists for a collection of museum-worthy portraits. Here, we’ve rounded up the most captivating Spring/Summer 2021 fashion campaigns for the season ahead.
Inspired by 17th century Italian painter Michelangelo Caravaggio’s portrait style, Dior’s Spring/Summer 2021 fashion campaign images are a modern renaissance dream. Dramatically lit and infused with Baroque style, the portraits continue the theme of connecting fashion to art that has been central to Dior fashion campaigns since Maria Grazia Chiuri took the helm as creative director.
Captured by Elina Kechicheva, the intricate embroidery, modern floral motifs and sensual draping of Chiuri’s designs are shown in their full glory. While romantic, the images also play on the contrast of classic references with modern styling, picking up on the SS21 show’s mission to make the desirable more wearable by adapting the traditional Dior tailoring into a more relaxed, deconstructed assortment.
To celebrate the launch of a special selection of pieces for the Epilogue collection that incorporates the work of American fashion designer Ken Scott, Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michelle has created a rich, spring-appropriate campaign.
The collection of clothing and accessories, which use the colourful floral fabrics that Scott created while living in Milan in the Sixties and Seventies, are captured by photographer Mark Peckmezian in a matching background bursting with floral designs. In fact, Scott’s patterns were taken from the products and used to create custom wallpaper, curtains and cushions to transform the photographed rooms into a dramatic setting of intense colours and clashing prints.
For the collection, Michelle has given Scott’s designs the Gucci treatment, transferring the archival patterns onto an extensive, Seventies-esque assortment of silk headbands, evening gowns, GG Marmont bags and more. In addition to the romantic images, the collection launch will also be marked with a special episode of the Gucci Podcast all about Scott’s career and impact on the fashion world.
Michael Kors Collection
Set in the leafy surrounds of the New York Restoration Project Bronx Community Garden, the new Michael Kors Collection fashion campaign highlights that nature can bring a welcome reprieve from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan living.
Shot by Dutch photography duo Inez and Vinoodh, the images not only showcase the designer’s relaxed silhouettes and artisanal textures, but also perfectly encapsulate how green space prompts stillness and reflection. The American designer, who celebrates his 40th anniversary in April, explained, “In these times, versatility, flexibility and longevity are key – these are clothes and accessories that can work in relaxed situations in the city, the country and the beach.”
After years of doing Instagram-first fashion campaigns, this season the brand decided to go the old-fashioned route, disappearing from Instagram and releasing the images to WWD first before they organically spread online. Shot in Milan by British photographer Tyrone Lebon, the images match the mood of the Bottega’s Salon 01 show in London, with vibrant colours, experimental silhouettes and rich textures.
The dramatic, hyper-realistic shots feature the likes of actress Sheila Atim, model Nora Svenson and artist Rosemarie Trockel — who created a book of photographs and reflections on clothing to accompany the show — in a variety of locations, from remote lakes to sofas covered in fabric to match the clothes.
Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons’ debut joint collection was undoubtedly one of the stars of SS21 virtual shows, debuting a new Prada uniform, statement outerwear and plenty of references to the Italian House’s archive. For his first campaign as co-creative director, Simons took inspiration from the Q&A he did with Prada at the start of their show, and had stripped-back portraits of models dressed in SS21 looks overlaid with a series of questions.
Ranging from the philosophical to the practical, each question prompts fashion audiences to head to the Prada website to share their answers and their own questions, which may be used in upcoming images. Already going viral, the campaign is a clear nod to the dialogue that will now shape Prada’s future.
For creative director Matthew M. Williams’ debut Givenchy fashion campaign for SS21, the designer invited a crew of his most in-demand celebrity friends to model his ultra-modern designs. Rapper Playboi Carti is joined by models Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Anok Yai and Liam Powers, each wearing styles that represent the individual star’s personal aesthetic.
The entire campaign is infused with Williams’ rebellious, cool spirit — a style that is echoed in the accompanying social media campaign that saw Julianne Moore, Kim Kardashian West, Naomi Campbell and more capturing themselves in the new collection at home.
Hot off the heels of her acclaimed turn as Princess Diana in The Crown, actress Emma Corrin has landed her first fashion campaign with Miu Miu. Shot by Steven Meisel, the campaign sees Corrin swap the palace for more modest surroundings — a minimal, slightly Seventies home that lets the clothes take centre stage. A youthful uniform of embellished tops, printed track jackets and sporty pencil skirts are also modelled by Canadian artist Allison Katz and American singer Kelsey Lu. Fun, vibrant and with the perfect hint of glamour, Meisel’s images perfectly capture the lockdown-appropriate mood of “all dressed up with nowhere to go” — yet.
Shot by one of fashion’s favourite duos, Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, Versace’s Medusa campaign extends the underwater theme of the SS21 catwalk show. Titled Versacepolis, the show transported audiences to an underwater utopia with aquatic symbolism and sensual silhouettes.
The Spring/Summer 2021 fashion campaign, starring Hailey Bieber, Kendall Jenner and Precious Lee, who made her debut in the Versacepolis show, is focused on the new handbag, La Medusa, a colourful assortment of leather bags with a Medusa-head motif, designed after the plaque above the doors of the brand’s first headquarters in Milan. Bold, confident and characteristically sexy, the campaign blends Italian glamour and mythical symbolism to brilliant effect.
Youth culture-obsessed Heidi Slimane puts the spotlight on 19-year-old model Kaia Gerber for his latest Celine campaign. Photographed by Slimane in Monaco, the images capture Gerber in off-duty It-girl style, as she poses by a palm-tree lined pool wearing dark sunglasses and a C-embossed baseball cap. The campaign has a nonchalant streetwear cool aesthetic, and features new season wishlist accessories including the Patapan and the medium chain Sulky bags. A blending of establishment and new wave — structured blazers over Celine-trimmed sports bras — the visuals take the model’s California style to new, high-fashion levels.
Nicolas Ghesquière’s muses are the stars of Louis Vuitton’s latest fashion campaign, with famous faces including Emma Stone, Sophie Turner, Jaden Smith and Naomi Osaka — the House’s latest global ambassador — all captured in relaxed poses by Ghesquière himself. The shots let the exuberance of the designs shine through, with the brand’s ambassadors modelling the graphic looks face on, surrounded by a neon coloured border.