Tag Archives: Ad

Michael Kors, 1984

Saint Laurent, 1978

J.Crew, 1989

In its attempt to garner some of the Good Life via Ralph Lauren-esque historicist antics, J.Crew ‘s makeshift Americana time machine bizarrely finds itself not in the romantic farming towns of New England or the hustle and bustle of The Ranch, but instead in the quaint, though joyfully so, Western United states, coming by way of Conestoga wagon in flight from political enemies, in tow with the gospel of Moroni. The images of their 1989 campaign ooze an earnest prudishness, the kind only had from zealous religious piousness ala the Orthodox Jewish value of Tzniut, or, and more similar in their rural context, Amish Mennonites. Yet this rendition carries with it such a specific meme, or some weird  attempt at developing one; an American ideal that reads more like a retro recruitment poster for the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints than it does as an ad for contemporary, heritage inspired sportswear. No frills, to-the-point and down-to-earth, rosy cheeked and youthful; it’s a celebration of a unique American experience that does not easily lend itself for fashion reference. Scandalous in a union suit, expressive in plaid, and outright élan in dour shades of gray, it is just as sobering as an icy water rinse  of the face on a brisk autumn morning on the plains .

Andy Warhol, 1993

Khakis reimagined with imitable cool –‘ such was this Gap advertisement which was one part of a larger campaign featuring various icons (though none as subversively charming as Warhol) wearing their classic khakis. You see, tan colored twill chinos are actually cool. They are timeless, unassuming, and by being so they can ensure your own identity and perhaps a future of fame, to come through unfettered by strains of fashion. This would be a value. And so the Gap would begin its transformation of the generic and mundane into a feverish universal desire: the greatest common denominator of cool, just in time for the upswing of ’90s minimalism.

Colorblocking, 1988

…need we say more?