Any art history undergraduate quickly learns that the trick to identifying artworks in "blind" slide-tests lies in the brushstrokes. I often play this game with a fashion magazine, cracking it open at a random page and seeing if I can correctly name the photographer. But there is no mistaking a "Mert and Marcus". The telltale clue to its authors' identity? The absence of "brushstrokes". Major proponents of digital imagery, the Turkish/English photographic duo retouches all photographic grain and surface detail into pictorial oblivion. Look closely at Eva Herzigova's face: can you see a single pore?
The flattened, colour-rich effect is more akin to super-realist paintings than the modernist photographs from which the campaign's dynamic compositions derive. Witness her high salute before the monument; her blank, android expression. One wonders whether rich Russian consumers – at whom the white mink coat is presumable targeted – flinch at seeing communist propaganda repackaged and sold back to them as luxury.
Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott's bankable, fantasy aesthetic is the antithesis of Vuitton's head designer Marc Jacobs' own line campaign.
Verdict: irony for the oligarch crowdReuse content