THE FORECAST FROM MILANO

Byline: Samantha Conti

MILAN — Get out the umbrella. No, make that the sunscreen. Better yet, can you toss me a fur coat? It takes a weather vane to read Milan’s fall 2000 ads, where swimming pools and desert brush are as common as umbrellas and snowdrifts. Never before have this city’s designers been so weather obsessed; with Gucci, Versace and Valentino basking in the dry Los Angeles sunshine, and Prada and Giorgio Armani facing down dark skies and storms.
Among the season’s highlights:
Gucci’s campaign was shot by Alexei Hay on location in Los Angeles: on beaches, near highways and in the desert. “The locations were chosen to give the pictures a dream-like background…I wanted the campaign to be sexy, but more subversive than in past seasons,” Gucci Group creative director Tom Ford told WWD. Gucci’s communications budget for 2000 has been pumped up to $94 million compared with $86.7 million last year. The budget represents between 7 and 7.5 percent of annual turnover. The models featured are Caroline Ribeiro, Mini Anden, Bryan Burns and Axel Hermann.
Versace chose Dorothy Chandler’s home for its glamour a la Jacqueline Susann campaign that is also shot under the Los Angeles sun.
“I loved the idea of using the residence that belonged to Chandler, an icon of taste and of Hollywood glam,” said Donatella Versace. The color campaign, photographed by Steven Meisel, stars Amber Valletta and Georgina Grenville, as ladies who lunch — with blue eye shadow and blond bouffants.
Versace said the campaign, in addition to appearing in fashion magazines, will be projected on electronic billboards in the United States.
Valentino chose the glass Stahl House in Hollywood — and Meisel — for its super-luxe fall campaign that features young, fur-clad Hollywood moguls, aspiring actors reading scripts and leading ladies in red dresses and flower-embroidered bikinis by the pool.
The budget this season shot up 40 percent compared with the corresponding period last year.
Trussardi and Missoni favored hot climes too, and both travelled to the Mediterranean for their shoots. Trussardi’s campaign, with its vibrant, surreal colors, was shot in Monte Carlo, at the beach, and has a lavish feel to it. The campaign was shot by Steve Hiett. Trussardi said the company’s ad budget increased 10 percent this year.
Missoni travelled farther south — to the port city of Naples — for its campaign, which was shot by Mario Sorrenti.
Gianfranco Ferre stayed in the city this season — and is crying out his ad message from the rooftops. Peter Lindbergh shot the black-and-white campaign with model Esther de Yong on the roof of the Musee Galliera in Paris.
Not all designers opted for the sunny outdoors: Prada chose a snowstorm and Robert Wyatt shot the campaign. In typical Prada form, the women run around bare-legged in their open-toe shoes. And while Gucci and Trussardi girls may opt for fur coats — even in the southern sunshine — Prada’s ladies prefer to prance through the snow in sleeveless dresses with a little fur collar knotted at the neck.
Armani selected rainy skies as a backdrop for Armani Collezioni, formerly known as Le Collezioni. Its Armani Collezioni campaign, shot by Peter Lindbergh, is a continuation of last season’s theme of “real people going about their lives,” said communications chief Robert Triefus.
Armani’s Borgonuovo and Emporio Armani campaigns, instead, are shot indoors. Borgonuovo, which was also photographed by Lindbergh, shows model Erin O’Connor draped languidly over stark, angular wooden furniture. Fabien Baron collaborated on all the Armani campaigns.
Emporio Armani, shot by Tom Munro, shows young, urban professionals — complete with all their Armani accessories, including belts, bags and sunglasses — socializing at a cocktail party. Triefus said the company’s advertising budget increased 5 to 10 percent over last year’s due chiefly to events linked to the designer’s 25th anniversary celebrations. He said Wallpaper will carry a special, 12-page supplement in the October issue that will be the complete guide to Armani’s new via Manzoni store. The store, which will sell Emporio Armani and include a Nobu restaurant, is set to open Oct. 4.
Jil Sander and Alberta Ferretti show a solitary woman this season, one who doesn’t necessarily like being observed. Ferretti chose Paolo Roversi to shoot the black-and-white campaign.
Sander’s campaign, shot by Sorrenti, shows model Anne Catherine dressed in a skirt with oversize polkadots, peeking from behind a wall of wooden planks.
Romeo Gigli and Fendi focused on accessories in their campaigns. The images in the Gigli campaign were initially filmed on video and were later fed into a computer, where the details were highlighted, such as a fabric handbag or a ruffle on a jacket. A company spokesman said the budget was flat against last year’s.
Fendi’s campaign was shot by Karl Lagerfeld and has a Seventies, young-wild-and-free feel to it. Models Maggie Rizer and Daniel Aguiar hang out in fur coats against a backdrop of trees. Rizer carries a double-F tote in one image, and a shocking blue shoulder-bag in another.
Krizia and Moschino both broke from tradition this season, focusing on color images rather than black-and-white ones. Krizia’s images look as though they’ve been painted. The campaign was shot by young French photographer David Ferrua. Moschino’s campaign was photographed by Bruno Dayan in a studio and shows a series of models, in boxes with their outfits on the page next to them.

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