WINTER TRIP: Cinema has always been a strong source of inspiration for Prada, from the men’s fall 2012 runway show featuring a squad of movie stars including Willem Dafoe and Adrien Brody to the film noir-tinged 2020 holiday ad campaign.
For its latest ad dedicated to the 2021 holiday season, the luxury brand is reprising its fascination with cinema and taking it to a whole new level by conscripting screenwriter and director Mary Harron of “American Psycho” and “Daliland” fame for a short movie directed by Glen Luchford, a longtime Prada collaborator.
There’s little of the festive mood — save for the sparkling and crystal encrusted garb — and more of a bewildering atmosphere running through the short clip, titled “A Midwinter’s Night Dream.”
The film features up-and-coming actress Julia Garner, who’s been revealed as the lead role in “Inventing Anna,” the upcoming Shonda Rhimes-written and produced Netflix series about convicted fraudster Anna Sorokin, who pretended to be a German heiress named Anna Delvey, alongside Prada darling and front rower at last September’s Milan show Shira Haas of Netflix’s cult series “Unorthodox.”
They are flanked by Gen Zer Louis Partridge, the British actor best known for his lead role in Netflix’s period drama “Enola Holmes,” and Canadian actress Taylor Russell, who costars in Luca Guadagnino’s upcoming movie “Bones & All” alongside Timothée Chalamet due out in 2022.
The young crowd is portrayed wandering through a wintery, snow-filled landscape, getting lost amid woods and clefts clad in festive attire from the fall 2021 collection, including a silver mirrored version of the brand’s Cleo hit bag. After questioning why and how they ended up together in such a secluded land, they approach a city sign reading Los Angeles and the view opens on the city’s panorama filled with skyscrapers and a couple of unexpected flying objects, suggesting the squad was transported to the future.
There’s no shortage of cinematic tricks involved, as the two-minute movie was created employing the Volume virtual effects tool, borrowed from the production of Disney’s hit series “The Mandalorian,” to recreate the immersive environment thanks to curved walls and LED screens.
Signaling a strong focus on the movie component, campaign imagery includes stills from the clip capturing the cinematic and suspended landscape.
The Italian luxury brand has experimented with short movie-like clips for its campaigns in the past and has proven its knack for scouting breakthrough talent.
Earlier this year for its first ads focused on a handbag and a single product, its statement Galleria bag, the brand tapped American actress and artist Hunter Schafer, best known for her role as Jules in the 2019 HBO series “Euphoria.”
In 2018, Hollywood actress Sarah Paulson featured in a cameo role in Prada’s “Neon Dream” clip for the brand’s women’s fall advertising campaign, while in 2012 a Prada-produced Roman Polanski-helmed shortie called “A Therapy” and starring British actors Ben Kingsley and Helena Bonham Carter was selected for and premiered at the Cannes International Film Festival.