Friday, February 6, 2009

Loren: Smoking mirrors

If you watch psycho movies or horror movies like I do, you'll tend to flinch a little whenever you see a mirror being used in media. Mirrors have an entire list of meanings to them - duality, illusion, twins, vanity, possession, opposite poles, fantasy, modernism, misfortune, abstract expressionism, Snow White, etc. Take your shiny pick. I think that when it comes to people and their reflections - whether it is self-reflection or the how we are reflected through the eyes of people who view them, there's a little psychology to it. 

Of course, everyone knows the most basic one. Someone who loves looking at their own reflection, is someone who has not one, but several vain bones in their bodies. Look at Narcissus. But what about those who don't like looking at mirrors, but are captivated by their images that are thrown off the sheen of a display window, or a metal spoon? What does it say about them? Closet-vanity cases?

In any case, seeing the latest Lanvin campaign for their Spring/Summer 2009 collection makes me wonder what Steven Meisel was aiming for when he had model Iselin Steiro staring at her own reflection in different mirrors. Decadence? Vanity? Two-facedness? In most of the pictures, you can only see the model's face through the reflection. What does it mean? What we see is not real? It is only an image? Its intriguing, especially when you take into account that many designers have chosen to angle their campaigns (and clothes, but Lanvin didn't, fyi) to becoming more appealing to the greater masses.

For certain, it is definitely very different as compared to the previous ad campaigns such as the Fall/Winter 2007 campaign with Olga Sherer using digital retouching and phenomenal Baroque style styling. Pure fantasy. This 2009 campaign uses soft lighting, realism, the model seems to be too captivated with her reflection to pay any heed to her dilapidated surroundings.

If I had to take my guess, maybe dear Elbaz is telling us that even in the gloominess of the R-word (-ecession, for those slower of wit), the important thing to do is to look within yourself and picture yourself in your ideal image. Naturally, that would consist of wearing Lanvin's  incredible creations, but really, whose ideal image doesn't include that?

(This, by the way, is my favourite one.)

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