1 September 2009

A Winter Display

The month of September is finally upon us, and for me it marks the inevitable change into autumn. Whilst we try to tease out those last few good days of summer, and with back-to-school shopping suddenly sounding like quite the good idea, a magical wintry fashion campaign is perhaps the suitable port of call. Indeed autumn has to be the most wonderful of all the seasons for me, for whilst New Year's may lie in the dead of winter, it is autumn where the feel of the new year begins.

The trees slowly burn and brown at their edges just as the summer winds seem to leave our shores with promises to soon come back from their long journey south. Wisps of cloud congregate and gather at the fringes of the sky in a smudge of grey, soon to pass above with their inevitable rain and sleet.

Summer seems to slip away far too quickly as, returning from our holidays, we realise that work still remains. Life begins once again, and although the pending days seem dark and cold from where we sit, they are actually full of wonderful opportunities and chances. Summer is but a extended dream in our lives, for the rest of the year is where our waking hours lie. Autumn is like waking from a dream and stepping out into the world once again, refreshed and ready to live.

Images courtesy of The Fashionisto.

Some of you may remember my short review of the Fall 09 collection by Nom de Guerre back in March, and I must say that I have been patiently and eagerly waiting to see how the campaign would materialise. As you may have guessed, I have a particular love for autumnal and winter clothing, feeling it to be beautifully cosy and so very inviting.

The collection itself took my imagination on a journey to the very top of the Earth, with an imagined exploration of the magical frozen tundra. The shaggy furs and thick wools put me in mind of a old ship's crew at the turn of the previous century, set out to explore what mysteries lay in the snow and ice.

Whether they came across some great beast or a mythical race of warring snow peoples, the crew would say, but their crates of ammunition brought back empty, and the wounded men and ship spoke volumes. The long exploration had tired them, and yet they seemed more at peace, often taken to staying awake all night in silence simply to see the sun rise.

I find the Nom de Guerre campaign quite fascinating in concept. The obviously photographed backdrop creates a wonderful atmosphere for many of the shots, and it seems as if it were taken from an early cinematic film or museum display case. The clothing is presented in the theme of a wintry exploration, with the men in the background clearly having to work for their survival. One would be forgiven for assuming a bleakness to the picture, yet the thick furs, chunky knits and woolen outerwear pieces negate such an idea, and give it a certain warmth.

Coupled alongside these more thematic shots are the simple singular and group portraits. I believe that the singular portraits have quite a power to them, for the characters played by the models appear to have a story to tell. I find that story and meaning is important in a photograph, for it allows one to truly engage with the subject, and there is nothing better than a portrait in doing such. I suppose that all faces have their own story to tell, and that is perhaps why portraiture is an art form as great and timeless as it is.

The group portraits are equally intriguing, for there seems to be a certain indescribable strength to the images. There is a hazy sense of camaraderie, more an inevitable falling in together. Indeed I feel that there seems to be a silent hush over the group. This silence provides a strength, and I believe strength is what the collection is about. The campaign displays the elements of survival, of the need for strength, yet more importantly, a raw sense of life.

Currently playing: Coffee and Cigarettes - Augustana

xxxx

34 comments:

  1. i immediately whispered 'captain ahab' upon viewing the first photo. but a handsome captain ahab and his dashingly rugged crew... i love the collection! we are at the start of our indian summer, so i will have to wait to dress as a sea dog. xo s

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  2. Oh the first pic is too good...i have always liked snow...oh yeah the fun in making snow man is out of world, your fingers are chilled but you don't stop making it...


    joolliieees:-)

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  3. I love winter

    and I want to live in Reykjavik when I grow up

    and these remind me of a film I have called Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner). It is a good film.

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  4. Back in March...oh yes, this feels like ages ago. Where did the year go?

    These portraits are captivating. I'm drawn to their expressions then notice their clothes...

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  5. Such an intriguing group of images. I love how they really seem to be telling a story behind the clothes.

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  6. Ack! I'm not ready for the change in weather. I'll live in denial for as long as I possibly can.

    I do love their looks, though.

    * Kelsey

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  7. Two things I'm so excited about! Menswear for fall and Fall itself!

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  8. I agree, I feel much more renewed at the start of September than January.. It feels like I've been in shorts and summer dresses for an age... I have recently bought my winter coats and am knitting this years winter scarves. The temperature now needs to drop so that I can wear them!

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  9. I was reading this after recently having to shut off my air conditioning because it was too cold in my dorm. Seeing these pictures with the layers and hats gave me instant warmth. I love Autumn as well.

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  10. What a magical season autumn is, and you really do sum up the best parts of it...Allthough I'd like summer to stay a bit longer, I'm kinda looking forward to wrap up in cosy knitwear and drink hot tea while looking out the window, at all the pretty colours.

    xx

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  11. I think those photos make the clothes more practical and alluring. It makes me feel like I need a chunky pair of sweater! xxoxoxoxo

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  12. shivers..its getting cool here...already. freaky. I like vastness of this campaign.

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  13. I love the winter exploration theme here. I actually did work with clients who came from Siberia and it's interesting to see how clothing from colder regions actually looks the way it does to serve a purpose. This campaign gives me the feeling it's trying to channel the origins of certain looks. Let's face it - most countries aren't cold enough to justify fur or even sheepskin. It's probably why the pics of the snowy backgrounds are my favorite - because it combines purpose and style. It also shows you can look chic in any climate ;-)

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  14. So eloquent as always. We barely had a Summer but I'm actually looking forward to winter this year. I adore being all wrapped up and stepping outside to a sunny, frosty morning with not a car in sight.

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  15. Your posts are always so poetic!

    :D

    Thanks for your enthusiastic comment, DK. I'm grateful to be in your blogging company.

    ~enc

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  16. cool hats for sure. some of the pics remind me of native american chiefs for some reason. Some went on tour (after beind civilized I guess) just to sign autographs..unlike Crazy Horse who wouldn't dare have his photo taken..and guess who's getting a monument built (on going for like the last 50 years in the mountains of South Dakota) and we don't even know what he looks like. I'm sure he would have been the coolest in one of these hats.

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  17. im going to miss summer so badly .

    i ahd such a good time and i feel bad for wishing for fall the whole time . now that its around the corner im wishing it was still a month away

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  18. i love it that autumn is finally coming, and giving me a rest of thos extremely hot (40°C) summer days!

    also I'd like to see some pictures of you wearing those amazing winklepickers of yours (:

    xx

    www.inspirations.co.nr

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  19. It already feels like fall where I live. I am already layering up outfits. LOVE THIS POST!

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  20. Wonderful, thoughtful review as always... I'm not very knowledgeable about menswear, but I got invited to a slew of interesting menswear shows! I wish I had the time to go! Hope YOU have a wonderful week!

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  21. Darling, your descriptions of winter and fall, and the fading of summer made me reflect on my own feelings towards it - you're absolutely right - the summer fades too fast.
    I love this collection though. You never cease to amaze me with how knowledgeable you are, my dear!

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  22. Some sexy boys in those pics! love the style! it's spring here YAYY... just came out of winter.

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  23. Oh wow your poetic writing made not feel the same dread towards winter that I normally do.

    p.s. this is one of my favorite Mighty Boosh moments
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAbkh4TMRqg

    lol, I'm a dork, I know

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  24. Great photos. I love them all. This is such a wonderful collection. We never get much snow here. It gets cold, but we seldom get snow.

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  25. i love these pictures. i immediately though of a Russian winter. just the atmosphere.

    i agree with what you said about September. i love the feeling of knowing that there's this whole world to go back to after summer. I don't like having too long of a summer...i need to have autumn and winter to balance myself out.

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  26. I like the feel of a man's man in this.

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  27. I love, love, love it. I just finished watching a documentary called "Encounter at the End of the World" by Werner Herzog (the documentarian behind "March of the Penguins") about Antarctica and fell in love with the wanderlust of his subjects. I think you would really enjoy it; the scenery itself is absolutely breathtaking but would've undoubtedly looked so much better with Nom de Guerre as its outfitters.

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  28. beautiful but timeless pieces. for me it is always summer. sometimes i long for seasons, but i know i could never survive a real winter.

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  29. Loving the extreme weather gear!! So intense and severe - and perfect for the A/W season...;-)

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  30. I absolutely love this! Everything is perfect with the pictures, the clothes, the styling, the background. WE DIG!

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  31. each year in winter i find that russia and the way it is depicted in series like this quite amazing and very enchanting...

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