Appointing Jonathan Saunders as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg might have struck industry players as unexpected, but the fashion legend’s decision was based on her appreciation of his work from years back.
Saunders has sought to elevate the DVF aesthetics of sensuality and effortlessness. For F/W 2017, he dug deeply into its roots, that is, New York city, to draw on its modern style, creative energy, and understated glamour. And how better to give his collection an excellent head-start than with a film campaign that captures the essence of the clothes and the cosmopolitan style capital?
Saunders worked with photographer Oliver Hadlee Pearch, art directors at the Jonny Lu Studio and director of photography Julian Kapadia to highlight the multifaceted hypnotic aspects of New York, with particular focus on its contrasts and its contradictions.
The narrative follows four girls – Luna Bijl (the Netherlands), Yoon Yong Bae (Korea), Angok Mayen (Sudan) and Cara Taylor (US) – on their own journeys of self-discovery and expression, echoing tropes similar to those in global TV hits such as Sex and The City and Girls. Along the way, they also discover and fall in love with the city.
Custom verses, written especially by Brooklyn-based poet Rachel Kang, serve as a voiceover to further dramatise the premise, while real-life residents help recreate the intoxicating vibe and creative energy of the cityscape.
The quartet also showcases Saunders’ fabulous creations in variegated colours and, of course, his metier’s prints. The array of prints includes abstract hand-drawn Elsden, the fierce Belmont leopard and vivid Benton floral. The ladies also sport the Soiree Crossbody bag in silver sequins and cerise velvet, as well as the Saddle evening clutch. The DVF insignia, of course, comes into play as a reminder of what is quintessentially New York City.
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