The month of January is usually the one where the will to approach newness is at its peak, especially in the world of fashion. Every year, a number of young and handsome models are chosen as new faces by several brands, with the hope that a glimpse of diversity and freshness will make it stand out.
This year, things are a little more different. The new faces which are taking fashion by storm, are, in fact, the ones of the oldest generation. The introduction of a series of ads presenting Joan Didion for Céline generated an uproar on the web, especially considering the fact that the 80-year-old author fits the brand like a glove. With a simplicity that strikes the viewer, an effortlessly cool Didion fills the frame almost entirely sporting sleek silver hair and a pair of big black sunglasses.
But it’s not just Céline’s successful campaign to open the doors to a new and, as some hope, more real corner of life which had rarely before found the doors of fashion open. Seemingly picking symbols of wisdom and celebrating graceful ageing, choices such as Charlotte Rampling for an editorial shooting for Grey Magazine, Iris Apfel for a documentary about herself and musician Joni Mitchell for Saint Laurent just to cite some, appear to be halfway between a new trend and a new sort of awareness.
There could probably be no better times for such models to be not as much of an odd choice as they could have been a few years ago. This industry, once exclusive of the thin, has been recently relaxing and gradually opening its arms towards more diverse sizes and characteristics, welcoming not just the so-called plus size but also the impaired (see transsexual model Lea T. and Chantelle Brown-Young, model with skin condition). 2014 seems to have toned down the traditional concept of beauty in order to make room for the very diversity of it. This, at times, may also mean taking down some standards, as the latest Givenchy campaign shows through the smileless face of Julia Roberts.
With the recent tensions concerning body image and women’s rights, opening up to the new and different and letting the outsiders speak is almost inevitable for the fashion industry. It sure is some good sign for whoever is eager to see a change in the game; however, we are left to hope that this is not just a transitional trend. If Joan Didion for Céline isn’t the beginning of something, we may hope it is not its end, either.
photo courtesy: Pinterest