January 26, 2021

The apocalypse, clowns and cows: an art critic on the autumn fashion campaigns

Gucci pays homage to sci-fi cinema, Kenzo is referencing the faded glamour of La Dolce Vita and Calvin Klein thinks we’re in the middle of the apocalypse. This autumn’s fashion campaign ads are a reflection of a bleak and astounded age

It’s advertising, Jim, but not as we know it. The layers of irony and cultural quotation that are the norm in fashion campaigns are so sophisticated they seem to come from another planet, far beyond mere materialism or glamour – and this autumn/winter campaign images are more bizarrely inventive than ever. Yet there is something uneasy and apocalyptic going on beyond the cleverness. In a world that has lost contact with what it thought it was, the art of high fashion may be peculiarly good at defining our numbed and astounded age.

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