Weird liaisons: 18th-century fashions today (updated 2/25/11)

This ad is one of a series sponsored by Christian Dior in 2004, which appears to be aiming to exploit the “Dangerous Liaisons” look for the modern Valmont (perhaps a hedge-fund manager?)  A similarly perverse campaign was promoted three years later by Dolce & Gabbana (see posting of February 25, 2011): it was censored in the UK for the violent content.  According to a report from Reuters (1/10/07), one of the ads showed two men threatening a man in a chair while another lay on the floor with a head wound.  (It was printed in October 2006 next to an article about knife crime; a move that seems particularly tasteless, given the widespread concern over the level of violent assaults in Britain.)  A second advertisement featured two men supporting a wounded woman holding a knife.  The fashion label said the ads, which appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world, were heavily stylized and were meant to mimic early 19th-century art.  The pictures were designed to evoke the Napoleonic period of art, “emphasizing the theatrical effects of that genre.”  Seems like this theatricality should have been tempered by a bit more absorption with good taste…

One thought on “Weird liaisons: 18th-century fashions today (updated 2/25/11)

  1. Hi there! I know this post is really old, but i just wanted to let you know that most of the dresses in the picture are christian dior, not dolce and gabbana, I was searching for the napoleonic era d&g ads and this came up. Maybe this was just a mistake, the d&g ads were very different although similar.

    Thanks for the post!

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