DA MAN Style Spring/Summer 2016 reviews the best menswear campaigns of the season
In no particular order, here are our 15 favorite spring/summer 2016 menswear advertising campaigns.
Dolce & Gabbana
I LOVE ME
Emblazoned with the catchy hashtag of “Italia is Love,” Dolce & Gabbana’s new advertising pictures burst with colors and vivid imagery. And each image—shot by Domenico Dolce himself—is packed with stunning models of various racial backgrounds. This is despite the oriental-inspired collection, not to mention a reference to Chinese tourists poring over a Sicilian guidebook or toting carton shopping bags.
More than about Italy, the campaign intrinsically speaks of self-love, the core principle of capitalism today. But with such good-looking models on display including Alessio Pozzi, Aurelien Muller and Stefano Seminara, this interpretation can easily be missed.
FIELDS OF GOLD
Lush imagery of golden grassy fields attended only by British supermodel Charlie France sets a rather simplistic but effortlessly sublime tone for Hermès this season.
Boasting the short slogan “Hermès by Nature,” the French luxury house made all the right moves by tapping internationally renowned Japanese photographer Yoshihiko Ueda. Most of his portfolio consists of moody pictures highlighting characters that stand out from the background. This one follows the same striking style, albeit elevated with Beat Bolliger’s chic styling.
While the two-page spread campaign puts the spotlight on a stylish patterned suit jacket, the single portrait really takes the label’s refined men’s scarf to the next level.
Cementing his modeling stardom with yet another covetable campaign is Lucky Blue Smith. The young Mormon model is reprising his role as the face of Tom Ford for the second consecutive season. Shot by renowned photographer Nick Knight in Los Angeles, the concept took after a 1970s television show titled “Soul Train.”
There are a bunch of other good-looking models in the shoot, including Mica Argañaraz and Lida Fox, all dressed in sequined dresses, iridescent tuxedos or leather outerwear pieces. Even better, the accompanying video features songstress Lady Gaga doing the catwalk, intercepted by Smith’s smoldering pose.
Canadian twins Dean and Dan Caten of Dsquared2 broke out with a West Coast-inspired styling and surfing fashion collection for their spring/summer 2016 campaign.
Models Kit Butler, Mitchell Slaggert and Ivo Buchta donned tattooed bodysuits underneath well-fitted blazers and shorts and luxury surf gear, which is what this season’s collection is all about. The man behind the whole outfit mix-and-match is Panos Yiapanis, the fashion director-at-large of Love magazine.
What’s more intriguing is how photography duo Mert & Marcus conceptualized the campaign to feel like a neat collage, embedding palm trees and traffic lights, referential images to life in the idyllic American coast in a hot, summer dream.
ONCE UPON A TIME
Leave it to photographer Annie Leibovitz to bring fairy tales to life with her stunning fashion photography, the latest of which is her “Gulliver’s Travels”-inspired shoot for high-end sportswear label Moncler.
Rising Spanish model Ignacio Ondategui is shot lying down at the beach like a gentle, smoldering giant, wearing the brand’s down-filled waistcoat over a classic white shirt. Surrounding him are a troop of Lilliputians, all dressed in Moncler’s signature electric blue Longue Saison jackets.
Some outtakes of the shoot feature closer looks at the incredibly well-crafted Lilliputian characters set in various scenarios and backgrounds.
LUSH IN TRANSLATION
After a photographic affair with the streets of Los Angeles for its fall/winter 2015/16 campaign, Gucci is now back in Europe, roaming the most artistic spheres of Berlin.
A series of wanderlust images depicting models donning lacey and patterned outfits against austere and somber urban backgrounds make for quite an arresting delivery.
A touch of surrealism emerges in the interaction between the svelte protagonists, including Jacob Hugo Goldhoorn, Timothy Dibble, Arnis Cielava and Anton Tofgart, among others, at the most unexpected places: a public toilet, rooftop and metro stairs. Even more surreal is the appearance of a colorful peacock carried by the male models.
A nod to German’s pop culture of the ’80s, the quirky campaign is the proud work of photographer and director Glen Luchford.
Lanvin, the longest-running couturier in Paris, has shockingly rocked the fashion world with the departure of Alber Elbaz last October. But as far as its menswear department goes, the unequivocal Parisian flavor is still alive and kicking. Much of its offerings are a blend of retro styles readied for the future, which explains the futuristic-looking spring/summer 2016 campaign with its liberal use of silvery tones.
Worn by two slim models, Finnlay Davis and Michael Sutton, the sartorial ensembles are sumptuous indeed, encompassing patterned shirts, slim ties tucked inside the pants, slim belts, and slim-lapel suit jackets paired with baggy suit pants.
As far as eye-catching advertising material goes, there’s hardly anything to find at fault with this one.
Dior Homme’s latest campaign played with minimalistic, black-and-white styling soundtracked by Jamie XX’s single “Stranger in a Room.” The video by Willy Vanderperre unveils four young men in their comfort zones: singer Oliver Sim, artist Rinus Van de Velde, actor Alain-Fabien Delon and model Victor Nylander.
Yet a month after the video’s release, model Baptiste Giabiconi posted new Dior Homme campaign photos featuring himself with hair dyed blond on his Instagram account. The soundtrack’s title couldn’t be more apt in picturing this follow-up campaign.
THE XAVIER RETURNS
Young, stylish and undoubtedly talented, Xavier Dolan has taken the European film industry by storm with his fresh cinematic direction and bold modern themes. As he marches forward with great new titles this year, including the star-studded “It’s Only the End of the World,” the 26-year-old also reprised his place in Louis Vuitton’s spring/summer 2016 campaign.
Similar to what he did last season, the Canadian director was shot by former club photographer Alasdair McLellan in black and white, juxtaposed side by side with a Louis Vuitton men’s bag furnished in either Epi or Taïga leather.
A carefree summer breeze might just be what one needs during the warmer seasons, and doing that justice in the name of fashion is Ports 1961. A rustic wagon, surfboards and sunglasses set the mood for the newest campaign, while Venice Beach and a white-planked beach house provides a snug background for the shoot.
Brazilian model Marlon Teixeira lent his dreamy stare, while Californian newcomer Nate Garner pulled off a laid-back yet cheeky attitude for the campaign’s photos. One of the catchiest images depicts both models backing photographer Milan Vukmirovic while sporting T-shirts emblazoned with “Follow Me #”.
WITH GRAINS OF SALT
Wait, is this for spring/summer? Yes, indeed.
The icy-looking setting of Versace’s campaign is none other than California’s Salt Flats. This marks the first collaboration between Donatella Versace and renowned photographer Steven Klein. “In this new campaign, the Versace man is at his most dramatic, fearless and strong. He is a man of his own mind, no matter where he finds himself,” said the designer.
Two male models, Benjamin Benedek and Nathaniel Visser, were joined by mixed martial arts fighter Lukasz Grabowski—who also appears on the women’s campaign alongside Gigi Hadid and other models.
The whole concept took after the military/utilitarian-inspired fashion collection, and was styled by David Bradshaw.
THE FUTURE IS NOW
Under the direction of photographer Steven Klein, the images portray a post-apocalyptic future, juxtaposing well-studded outfits with robot arms and clever use of strip lighting. If any, futuristic punk is said to be the underlining theme of this second Philipp Plein campaign for platinum blond-haired Lucky Blue Smith.
Posing alongside the Smiths were fellow models Ajak Deng and Hailey Baldwin, all rocking the brand’s edgy accessories.
Vivienne Westwood never shies away from controversy. The brand’s current campaign, titled “Mirror the World,” may have harbored a thoughtful message about the effects of waste and neglect on the shipyards, alleys and canals of Venice, but it’s the choice of models that caught global attention; one of which is “lumbersexual” gay porn actor Colby Keller.
Not only was he dressed in a fishnet-like outfit while wearing high heels, Keller also posed fully nude. Befittingly, the man in charge behind the lens was none other than Juergen Teller.
IT’S A WRAP
While Vivienne Westwood’s campaign stands out as the most provocative this season, Raf Simons’ may turn out to be the most haunting. The youthful energy in the brand’s ads used to be dynamic and edgy, but not this time.
The Belgian designer put together top Belgian talents for the shoot: model Luca Lemaire, stylist Olivier Rizzo and photographer Willy Vanderperre. An austere black-and-white tone and unassuming park setting belied the most depressing element in the photos: the other model’s wrapped head. Then, there’s Lemaire hugging the dummy-like model, probably hinting at the interaction of modern youth among strangers in today’s ever-connected world.
Or, maybe not.
No matter what it actually represented, it was eerie and unforgettable.
IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE
There is an unspeakable amount of talent behind the latest campaign of Givenchy. Sixteen of the most sought-after models, from Miranda Kerr to Filip Hrivnak, were called in for the shoot with Mert & Marcus in Brooklyn, New York.
Creative director Riccardo Tisci also had the ex-editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris, Carine Roitfeld, do the styling.
The final touch was a short poem by transgender musician Anohni (previously known as Antony Hegarty). It read: “I am a child on the river and love waits downstream. A waterfall to steal my breath and Change My Mind.” And all these elements somehow came together beautifully.
This article first appeared in DA MAN Style Spring/Summer 2016. Go here to get your copy!