There has been a distinctly anthropological flavour running through fashion in recent years. From images of the tribal and primitive to nods to the traditional dress of indigenous peoples, many a magazine has offered its version of this trend in one form or another. In fact, the odd exception has even devoted an entire issue to the theme.
But, whereas much of what we have already seen has focussed on Africa, India or even the peoples of Polynesia, ‘The Tales of Genghis Khan’ in the Winter issue of VMAN sets its sites on the most famous Mongolian that ever lived. With a definite tongue-in-cheek take on things, the mighty warrior emperor who subdued all of the squabbling Chinese factions to make himself one of the most revered and feared rulers of the ancient world is paid fealty in this particular fashion story.
Taking poetic licence with brands as diverse as Lanvin, Calvin Klein, Deisel and Roberto Cavalli, the story shot by Paul Rowland and styled by Lester Garcia, offers us a latter day take on what the mighty Khan’s wardrobe might have looked like had he still been rampaging through the twenty-first century. Draping, wrapping, folding and twisting, a little creativity of the craft class variety goes a long way to giving an essence of the garments without a literal illustration. Instead, it’s the seasonal palettes, the signature textiles and the height-of-fashion looks (fur, fur and more fur) that are brought to the fore. Camper than a row of yurts, the light-hearted spirit is kept consistent throughout with nice little art direction touches such as the text adornments (though one always worries what these might actually say!)
All of this is presented without the necessity of elaborate sets or moody locations, relying more on the silhouettes and fabrics to carry through the thematic. It’s most definitely a shining example of what a little imagination, spot-on photography and excellent communication with brand PRs can achieve.