Sunday, July 6, 2008

One of These Models Is Not Like The Others

Did you grow up watching Sesame Street? Remember the singing game “One of these things is not like the other,” which invited you to pick out the thing “that just doesn’t belong”?

Let’s play this game with Estée Lauder’s advertising campaign for Sensuous, the company’s new perfume.

My pick for the model “that just doesn’t belong” is Gwyneth. While Estée Lauder has typically picked women with expressive faces (though I prefer Liz Hurley in her earliest shots for Beautiful, before she lost twenty pounds and plucked her eyebrows), the company is unfortunately off the mark with Ms. Paltrow.

Gwyneth’s beauty is in movement, not stills, as I think is evident from every single photo campaign she’s done for Lauder’s Pleasures. In both of the Pleasures photos below she looks strained, waxy, and, for a Lauder face, exceptionally Photoshopped. In fact, I’d say that these images are all about her hair.

While the Sensuous photos are more flattering, they still reveal a certain discomfort. Gwyneth is not like the others for a reason: she’s an actress first, model as afterthought. Interestingly, she’s the only model who’s NOT speaking in Bloomingdale’s “Sensuous video lounge” on the NYT web site, though there is a video of her on the Lauder site.

And speaking of models that just don’t belong, we might also consider the quadruple punch of the four Sensuous spokesmodels securing prime real estate (40 editorial pages!) in July’s Harper’s Bazaar. Indeed, fashion and commerce have a necessary relationship; fashion for fashion’s sake doesn’t sell ad pages, but if I had my druthers, I’d do my best to keep separate advertising and editorial, if only to maintain the illusion that magazines have integrity.

In my perfect world, then, I’d have models representing perfume, and magazines that didn’t so blatantly cow to their major advertiser. And let’s leave that singing game for Ernie and Bert.

Sensuous images by Craig McDean, via The Fashion Spot.


enc said...

I'm with you on this one. I can't add anything to what you already said.

Oh, wait, yes I can. I read the interview with Gwyneth in HB. I still don't have much of a sense of her. I usually feel that way after reading interviews with her. I think she stays guarded.

WendyB said...

I've met Gwyneth a couple of times and must say she is very charming!

Mary-Laure said...

Paltrow is pretty alright but she is always soooooooo bland and booooooring...

riz said...

Yes it really is all about paltrow's hair