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Anna Ewers for Chanel AW15/Soo Catwoman
Anna Ewers for Chanel AW15/Soo CatwomanPhotography Karl Lagerfeld/Photography Ray Stevenson via showstudio.com

Decoding Chanel’s new campaign

As the house unveils its AW15 visuals shot by Karl Lagerfeld, we unpick possible references for these images

Earlier this week Chanel released a video starring Cara Delevingne (see below), which captures the details of its AW15 collection – one that Karl Lagerfeld wanted to be “very French”. In this two-minute short, Delevingne stars alongside three of Lagerfeld’s other muses: Lindsey Wixson, Sasha Luss, Soo Joo Park. Now the house has unveiled its AW15 campaign images, which are shot (as they often are) by the multi-talented Kaiser himself. Wixson appears again, along with another one of Lagerfeld’s favourites Anna Ewers. Unusually these images are free from the fuss that usually accompanies Chanel’s campaigns: there are no celebrities, no intricate set design, – there’s not even any colour. They are stripped back – honest, even. But while they may be fuss-free, there’s more to these images than meets the eye. Here’s four speculative references for this campaign. 

CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY

The poses performed by Ewers and Wixson look like they have been borrowed from the sculptures of classical antiquity. In this image, Ewers is stood, still as stone, with one hand on her hip and the other outstretched. It’s as if she’s been taking modelling cues from Apollo Belvedere.

EADWARD MUYBRIDGE

In terms of the poses, it’s also possible to draw comparison to the photography of Eadweard Muybridge, who worked throughout the nineteenth century, and whose work was the subject of a recent exhibition at Tate Britain. Muybridge gained notoriety for his photographic studies of motion, like this one from 1887. 

70S PUNK EYE MAKE-UP

For the eye make-up, Chanel’s global creative make-up and colour designer Lucia Pica seems to have drawn reference from 70s punk. It’s reminiscent of Soo Catwoman, an icon of punk or Jordan, who worked in Sex, the boutique run by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood

90S FORMAT

Set against a neutral grey backdrop and taken in black and white, the actual format of this campaign is similar to those that were created in the late 80s and early 90s. An example of this is another one of Chanel’s campaigns, this time from 1986.

See details of Chanel’s AW15 collection starring Cara Delevingne below: