There are probably a lot of things that can be said about this ad for Lanvin's Spring/Summer 2010 campaign, but my head feels empty.
For now that's fine: fashion ads are under no obligation to mean anything while provoking. Plus, Copyranter and ChatteringGem have already mounted their theories: Undead as the new dead? Homage to Generation Gaga?
If you dig deeply enough behind an ad's labyrinth of logic, however, there's usually a charming if forgettable story that means nothing to people outside the industry. In this particular case, Lanvin wanted to shoot coupled-up photographers with epic professional backgrounds.
The above are Inez Van Laamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. Commenter "Anonymous Content" tells Copyranter:
This is actually a version of a portrait by Inez Van Laamsweerde shot many years ago. She is kissing her partner Vinoodh Matadin. In the original he is removed from the shot and it looks like she is kissing nothing.Here's the muse:
They are a fashion photo team and have shot everything from Dior to Chloe to Uniqlo [sic]
Could you have guessed the one referenced the other? I suppose if you know the couple's body of work. As for why she's covered in paint ... I figure that's the part that's supposed to sell pretty little sheaths and ballet flats.
Previous Lanvin campaigns have included debutante boys and flustered cats.