"Imagined communities" are Mario Testino's stock-in-trade. This makes him the ideal choice to shoot Dolce & Gabbana's autumn/winter campaign.
Although artistic and cultural references feature liberally in the Italian designers' work, they are all delivered with high camp and artifice. One shouldn't think for a minute that D&G actually undertook trips to Scotland to research regional dress for this colourful collection; in fact, it was informed by watching Helen Mirren in The Queen.
In a similar manner, Testino – a South American by origin – maintains an outsider position, at one remove from the British aristocratic culture he patently adores. And that is made explicit by the staged theatricality of this supposed family portrait in front of their country pile – another imaginary community, actually comprising new faces and character models. With the overt lighting and stiff, slightly comedic poses, this knowing shot is more reminiscent of tableau vivant, a 19th-century parlour game Queen Victoria herself was said to enjoy.
Verdict: Highland campReuse content