At a whim(sy) of male imagination

Alexander Wang recently launched his denim line with a print campaign above on the right. Apparently, Tom Ford’s spirit of 9 years ago is alive and well in the fashion circles, since the desire to shock with the naked female body still seems to be a thing. Unlike Wang, Tom Ford earns some serious cred for putting both female and male nude bodies (including his own) in his then-shocking fragrance campaign.

But Wang doesn’t shock. He elicits an eye roll and the question of how we portray women in advertising.

The team working on Alexander Wang’s denim campaign was all-men, from creative director to photographer. The creative sensibility of the campaign reflects this casting. Objectification of female body, anyone? Just look at that darkened room, unconscious-looking-woman, and her rolled-down pants.

She looks like a victim from a Scandinavian crime drama.

For comparison, see Jurgen Teller’s photo of Stella Tenant to the left, displayed at Art Basel just now and put on the cover of the latest issue of the System magazine. Her unblinking, deadly stare straight at the camera, her boxer garb and alert yet relaxed posture all communicate power.

But that’s art. In advertising, male fancy is still something to be endured.