Bye Joan Didion, Fashion Turns to Teens this Season
I’ve been sitting on this post since the 16 year-old Lily-Rose Depp (yes, she of the superior genetics) was unveiled as the face of Chanel Fall 2015 eyewear two weeks ago, posed in a very Lolita-esque manner. Of course Vanessa Friedman from NY Times beat me to it, and did so much more eloquently.
Fashion moves so quickly that last season’s surprising abundance of mature faces (Joan Didion for Céline and Joni Mitchell for Saint Laurent) already seems like ancient history. The faces of Fall 2015 are young. Very much so.
This season, Céline opted for Irina Djuranovic, 16, and Agnes Nieske, 17 — a huge generational drop from the 80 year-old icon Joan Didion. Balmain, features Kylie Jenner, 17 (but looking about 30), accompanied by her older sister Kendall, 19. These teenagers look like picture of sophistication in comparison to the nine year-old Betty Lowe, who appears as one of the many faces of Marc Jacobs this season. Yes, Jacobs does have a kids line, but Lowe is curiously styled in adult clothing. At least she’s not sexed up like Cindy Crawford’s mini me Kaia Gerber, 13, giving off Pretty Baby vibes in the current issue of the CR Fashion Book. (In contrast, 12 year-old Maddie Ziegler of the Sia video fame was featured in a recent Elle editorial looking like an actual pre-teen.)
Dior’s singular type casting (read: white and very young) has been well-discused, and the brand faced controversy again when Sofia Mechetner, 14, opened its Fall 2015 Haute Couture show. Emilie Evander, 15, walked for Gucci (both women’s and men’s) and Alexander Wang. The fact that young teens selected to sell extremely expensive clothing meant for adults has always been baffling. It’s not that children shouldn’t model, it’s the fact that they are made up to look like adults. As Model Alliance founder Sarah Ziff tells Vanessa Friedman, “when you dress children up in makeup and high heels, the implication is that they are sexual objects, and more often than not, that is how the images are read by the public.” Fashion’s obsession with youth is still very much prevalent.
Thankfully there are a few Fall 2015 ads featuring women that may have a fine line or two. Supermodels Liisa Winkler, 34, and Liya Kebede, 37, lead the Proenza Schouler campaign. The always-cool Saskia de Brauw, 34, is the face of Missoni, while Lara Stone, 31, and Kate Moss, 41, team up for Balenciaga. In a surprising turn of events, Cher, 69, and Donatella Versace, 60, are this season’s token oldies (for Marc Jacobs and Givenchy, respectively), although they’ve each had so many faces, they may as well be ageless.