SAINT LAURENT: SUMMER OF ’21 BY GASPAR NOE

Review of Saint Laurent ‘Summer of ’21’ Ad Campaign Film by Director Gaspar Noé & Saint Laurent Creative Director Anthony Vaccarello.

By Balthzar Malevolent

SAINT LAURENT: SUMMER OF ’21 BY GASPAR NOE

For a new campaign that is so chic and frightening, Saint Laurent taps iconic modern filmmaker Gaspar Noé. Noé creates a work that is at once an artistically elevated fashion film and a moving portrait of the mysteries of modern femininity, merging an aesthetic sensibility with his obsession for the technological elements of cinema.

The style of the film feels inspired by both Noé's own work and the psychological horror classic Suspiria by Dario Argento. In the color grading and the theme of cult, ritualized womanhood, the influence of the latter can be felt.

But Noé is still firmly present in his penchant for avant-garde surrealism and contemporary technical elements, and we can see several technical and thematic parallels to Lux Aeterna, his most recent film project. The film, a kind of mockumentary-cum-essay-on-cinema focusing on Béatrice Dalle, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and witchcraft, actually evolved from his work for a Saint Laurent commission.

The movie begins with classic horror vibes: a lone woman screams in a dark forest as she runs away from some unknown fear. She soon finds a stately but ominous mansion, and takes shelter inside. She finds the house to be shared by other young women who, appearing to possess some hidden wisdom, lounge about in silent opulence. The legendary and infinitely talented Charlotte Rampling plays the domineering and self-obsessed mistress of the building, who assembles her girls for the odd one-woman performance that ends the film in a velvet-seated theater.

There is a feeling of foreboding and enigmatic suspense mixed with scintillating visuals, much like a long dream or an awkward acid trip.

Through the rich colour scheme of deep red, black, and gold, the feeling takes on a fascinating expression. The sense of morbid decadence is deepened by extravagant interior decorating.

The film does not attempt to send any overt message, but subtly points out similarities between femininity expectations and the concept of social success. Although it doesn't quite deliver the climax it seems to be working towards, the short film is a masterpiece in style and sound. Is Saint Laurent giving us a nightmare, or a dream? We don't want to wake up either way.

Saint Laurent: Summer of ’21 by Gaspar Noe

Saint Laurent Creative Director | Anthony Vaccarello
Director | Gaspar Noe
Models | Anok Yai, Antonia Przedpelski, Assa Baradji, Aylah Mae Peterson, Charlotte Rampling, Clara Deshayes, Grace Hartzel, Kim Schell, Mica Arganaraz, Miriam Sanchez, Sora Choi, & Stefania Cristian
Music |« I Feel Love » by SebastiAn, Lyrics and music from Pete Bellotte, Giorgio Moroder & Donna Summer © Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp., Rick’s Music Inc. & Sweet Summer Night Music
Production | Saint Laurent

In other news, Versace Pre-Fall 2021. “The collection is dedicated to all those men and women who are self-confident, aware of who they are, authentic."

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