Fashion in the buff

April 27, 2006

Were you outraged when you saw that Abercrombie & Fitch advertising campaign? Do you hold the same view as the American Decency Association, which used its web site to campaign against Abercrombie & Fitch because of “their use of pornography to appeal to the prurient interests of youth”? With the summer rolling in, nudity in fashion seems to be making a comeback and is stirring up controversy in the process.

In spite of the massive outcry, the fashion industry hasn’t stopped using bare skin as a means of selling its clothing lines. European fashion houses such as Dolce & Gabbana and Armani Jeans often use sexually provocative poses and skimpily clad models to bring attention to the particular piece of clothing or lifestyle image they are trying to promote. The simple adage that sex sells works here, and even conservative brands such as French Connection are jumping on the less-is-more bandwagon this summer season.

What kind of image does the absence of clothes project of a company? For the most part, it depends on the company. Curiously enough, the more prominent the brand, the more accepted nudity is in its advertising campaigns. Imagine a tacky brand putting out a photo of scantily clad models in provocative poses. The first word that comes to mind is trashy. Yet, when D&G recently did this it was considered creative and refined.

Full or even partial nudity hardly ever graces the pages of American glossies and when it does make a brief appearance controversy ensues. Yet it is a great advertising trick often used by European fashion houses, focusing the reader’s eye exactly where the designer wants them to.

Last month’s British Vogue featured a spread of fashion’s favorite pin-up girl, Kate Moss, draped sensuously over various beds. Likewise, earlier in the year Tatler, in its accessories special edition featured black-and-white photographs of beautifully scuplted models wearing only luxurious accessories. This type of fashion photography does not raise a well-groomed eyebrow, it is merely an aesthetically pleasing work of art.

Like most modern artwork, nudity carries a warning with it. No matter how tempting the weather may make it, wearing minimal clothing should be left to the professionals, strictly confined to the glossy pages of our fashion bibles.

Read More

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments