Lanvin's real models take the stage

DAISY DUMAS
Last updated 09:40 27/08/2012

Lanvin has released its campaign video for the forthcoming season, featuring all of its brilliantly 'real' models in trademark inimitable, art-heavy style.

The campaign made waves last month when it was revealed that the Paris-based fashion house would not use any professional models in its new ads, instead featuring women and men from a variety of backgrounds, aged between 18 and 82.

True to form, the luxurious artwork saw the young and old come together in finessed style, with not a pro to be seen. The accompanying film pitches those unknown stars into centre stage, filming them in the opulent clothes - peplum dresses, fur, pencil skirts and woollen jackets in taupes, reds and black - while they reveal a little about their lives.

There's the albino-like blonde with his Abe Lincoln beard and the tall African-American who self-diagnoses his "phone misplacia" disease while looking stunning in a fur-collared coat. Then there is the young man who loves frozen blueberries and the woman who has more than 200 salt and pepper shakers - an eccentric collecting habit that seems utterly at odds with her sleek pencil skirt, fishnet stockings and vertiginous heels.

A young man with long hair, hi-top trainers and a shiny puffer jacket channels street insouciance into the proceedings. "The guy was trying to sell me the bike was like, 'Dude you don't want to buy this;" he regales.

But it's the oldest member of the motley crue who seems to dominate the sartorial limelight, 82-year-old Jacquie "Tajah" Murdock. She says, with a thick New York drawl, that she is a "dancer, legendary dancer, from the Apollo theatre ... born in New York City, in the village of Harlem." Strikingly poised, her hair is scraped back, her strong, lithe figure a tell-tale sign of a life in movement. She speaks of wanting to have gone to Paris since she was 18. We hear creative lead of the brand, Alber Elbaz, completing her dream: "Paris is coming to you" he says, followed by a kiss.  

They're certainly an off-the-wall bunch - as the Lincoln character says, "off-kilter" - refreshingly unaware of their beauty and uncontrived poses. A ditty that is more than the sum of its parts, the video is altogether charming.

It is the latest in the label's series of bi-annual collection videos, which has garnered something of a whimsical reputation.

Last year's version saw model-turned-singer (not to mention erstwhile wife of Jack White), Karen Elson perform a dance routine with model Raquel Zimmerman in a sensationally sweet and comic clip - which featured a cameo from ever-avuncular Elbaz, no less.

The latest Lanvin move is a nod to the growing trend of using real and mature models in marketing. American Apparel last month used a silver-haired woman in her 60s to advertise its LA-made streetwear, while Lexus chose to use a woman in her 70s in a recent ad. Earlier this year, Mac cosmetics championed the great Iris Apfel, designing a range of make-up and accompanying advertisements inspired by the 90-year-old's dazzling fashion sense.

- Sydney Morning Herald

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