When it comes to high fashion ads, there’s long been a disconnect between the impossibly beautiful, thin and often strangely contorted people modeling the clothes, and, well, pretty much everyone else. Not to mention the disconnect between the age of the typical model and the age of the people who can afford the high-end creations being advertised. But style need not be the domain of the willowy, prepubescent few, a concept that fashion label Lanvin has embraced for its Fall-Winter 2012 campaign.
Taking its cue from popular street fashion blogs like The Sartorialist, and the general anti-photoshop zeitgeist, Lanvin cast real people–albeit gorgeous and stylish real people–to be the faces of its latest collection. Retaining the glossy aesthetic of fashion ads, Lanvin artistic director Alber Elbaz tapped photographer Steven Meisel for the campaign but elected to include a broader range of faces. The models range from an adorable teenage could-be model (who, OK, actually is a model, as well as a radio personality, singer and actress) to the fabulous Jacquie “Tajah” Murdock, an 82-year-old former Apollo showgirl who is striking in a deep turquoise dress. The inclusion of Murdock, as well as 62-year-old Tziporah Salamon echoes a trend that has seen growing recognition of more mature style-setters (see: the blog Advanced Style and American Apparel’s recent, uh, spread featuring non-teenaged model Jacky).
Casting non-models is a shrewd move on behalf of Lanvin that taps into the growing trend of showcasing real-world style, making the label seem at once luxurious and just a little cooler.