This week, I chose to examine the message and gender representation of the Net-a-Porter Spring 2018 Ad Campaign. A quote that I believe captures the essence of this campaign comes from an excerpt from: Susan B. Kaiser’s “Fashion and cultural Studies”:
“Yet in the case of males, it is a certain kind of clothing, rather than fashion as a social process, that is what makes him a man. “Fashion” seems to imply femininity as a process of frivolous change, colorful details and unnecessary flounces, and superficiality.”
To explain: under examination, it became clear to me that this advertisement is playing on both sides of this role. On one hand you have what is a three piece collective of garments that look traditionally feminine, from the “colorful details and unnecessary flounces” The models also have a soft stance as they lean against the couch. But in stark contradiction, you also have two images with models wearing what would be seen as a very masculine form of traditional tailoring. These models stand in a power stance. While there are still elements of what is thought of as feminine dress (low neckline, skirts) there are definitely key adaptations (tailoring style) that bend it out of the realm of what is traditionally feminine. The advertisement tells a story of the combination of traditional femininity mixed with a new look and way of thinking that breaks gender norms and opens up new possibilities.