Thursday, August 20, 2009

Keira shows some breast instead of chest for Coco Mademoiselle

What is Keira up to now? Ooopsie, doopsie, she's baring a breast or two, nicely plumped through Photoshop of course (a repeat actually), if Internet candids are anything to go by, in order to sell a unianimously best-selling fragrance by Chanel, Coco Mademoiselle.

A photo that looks like a spin on an already artistically successful print campaign which we analysed in detail in our "In a Suspender State of Mind" article. Why? I mean...what's the point? The advertising image was plenty sexy without showing any inch of skin before and although I am no prude, it somehow doesn't need it. Did we give them ideas with our Charlotte Rampling in "Night Porter" references in the above article? Let's not "eulogise our beard" just yet. It would be super neat if big companies listened to perfume writers such as myself and many others, but we're a long way from influencing campaigns, alas.

So what's new? That the behind the scenes shot shows more ribcage or that there is the mysterious double standard that reminds me of the duality of European and American versions of the Tom Ford masterminded Paris menage à trois shoot for Yves Saint Laurent some years ago? (contrasted here on this article) And Tom Ford and Keira have conspired on a nude picture before for Vanity Fair. Hmmm....

What do you think? Do you like it? Do you prefer the more covered one? Why/Why not?

Images sent to me by a valued friend, unacredited. They seem to appear on the Examiner (not any more!) , hollywoodgossip and


  1. Alexandra15:34

    I most definitely prefer covered one. There is so much naked photos around that it`s not even interesting anymore. Keira is type for more sofisticated approach, not some porno star. I really don`t understand todays marketing people, like they all went to same school.

  2. That covered one for me, too. It looks pretty plastic (plastic like plastic bucket, say, not sculpted) and photoshopped anyway but within my limits of tolerance for messing with stuff. The almost naked one is overdone. Even if Keira had boobs, such a thin person would have visible lower ribs, for example - and only out of respect for Helg and readers I'm skipping a long diatribe on how being thin is a beauty ideal but showing that one is actually thin by having visible bones and (in the better case) muscles is not ideal and considered unfeminine. Anyway, nope. And, I'm all for No. 5, if I'm to choose from the mainstream line, anyways.

  3. I think it cheapens Keira K. Then does it not cheapen the fragrance? or is that what they are going for.

    I don't find it sexy, just sad.

    I'm no prude either.

  4. Anonymous18:01

    Hi E....

    From your entry: *** The advertising image was plenty sexy without showing any inch of skin before and although I am no prude, it somehow doesn't need it. ***

    Couldn't have said it better myself.


  5. I don't mind naked photos, I just think that this is a bad one. Nothing natural or artistic about it. In fact, I don't much like the other ad either. Sorry Chanel, you can do better.

  6. Elizabeth22:02

    I think it is cheap-looking and unattractive. I'm surprised at Chanel. There are ways to make nakedness sexy (see YSL) but this is just cheesy. And Keira is sexy enough without needing to expose a breast (which must be photoshopped, since she's pretty flat).

  7. JulienFromDijon23:19

    I find the photo itself quite good, in the "garçonne" way. I mean that because of the suspenders, and the black and white aesthetic(maybe the pearl necklace and the long hair lead to misunderstanding).

    But a daring "garçonne" (french for something between the tom boy and the flapper) or even a provocative breast picture has nothing to do with "Coco mademoiselle", which is absolutely not a daring fragrance. It's more a nice common abstract floriental. It's not Jicky.

    Anyway, a little something bothers me with the picture, and it deals with Keyra Knighley. She's the perfect anorexic. First, the photo emphasises her death's-head face and her upper arms the size of a match. Second, there's something fake to pretend to have a generous breast and being that thin.

    The "garçonne" aesthetic underlines your feminity, as well as the main "little breast" strategy is to cleverly suggest you have more breast that one could imagine. You're not supposed to show off a generous breast you don't have (!) like in this photo.

    But for me it remains a quite good picture, a novative daring one.

  8. Margot23:24

    Pathetic pandering!
    Keira doesn't need to do this, nor should she. Unflattering, silly, and to what end? Very bad judgment on the part of the advertising folks at Chanel - no class, no intrigue, no nothing. Cheap and unattractive.
    Come on, people! You need to do better! This is CHANEL!!!

  9. I prefer the non naked one. I actually thought ooh that's quite interesting when I first saw it- so of course they go and change it.

  10. I'd much rather see it sans photoshop.

  11. I think it's pretty gratuitous. Chanel doesn't need to go there. BTW, print ads for Chanel couture this Fall are quite gorgeous (black and white, models in Lagerfeld).

  12. A,

    "like they all went to the same school": you got that right!! It seems so.
    I don't like the "easy" approach either. It's all too easy to show some breast. Give us something more challenging!

  13. L,

    perfectly said and by all means, I welcome longer explanations as you're so eloquent with them, if you're inclined.

    The current ideal of thin with big boobs is somehow a skewed view of femininity and plastic surgery on top: no mature woman of child-bearing ability has a pelvis the size of a very slim teenager boy with boobs that burst forth in DD cups above. I could believe the very thin (as with Keira) but with relative breasts as well.
    It's just non sequitur otherwise! It's a completely manufactured look and therefore marketed to the max disrtorting perceptions.

    I think our society is blurring the lines between slim and thin. When I was learning English as a kid I recall the former had a complimentary, positive sense, while the latter had a rather non-complimentary sense (stating a matter of fact rather than being a postively-charged word you'd say to someone's face in order to please them). There's a difference and that difference is obvious boniness vs. shalely countours and small measurements. If too much bones show, then yeah, it's "thin"! And the same goes ~for me~ with the opposite end of the spectrum (ie.fat vs. pleasantly plump)> I don't really understand why we're hiding behind words and why we're using them to justify things or charge them too much emotionally. You can call me non-PC. ;-)

    The gray area would be if someone actually had a disorder or a disease, but that would be another matter and it would be polite not to discuss their appearence then. A whole different matter and one which I suppose wouldn't be the focus of an adevrtising campaign. Unless something is very wrong...

  14. K,

    it does seem like it's redundant and it alludes to a cheapskate vibe for which Chanel hasn't been known so far. I don't know, after the Tom Ford visuals, anything else seems tame by comparison, but it's not what I was expecting. Nor were you, I see.

  15. D,

    I knew we would see eye to eye on that one. I believe we share a similar aesthetic in many things and also a similar approach in matters of nakedness.

  16. M,

    I think they can do better as well. Their Besson ad with the red riding hood was sooooo resourceful, so sexy, so naughty! It didn't show an inch of skin and it was wonderful. Sadly, I think that era has passed....hope I am proven wrong.

  17. E,

    indeed. Why choose bony Keira if you want to show breast? I mean, why??? She's more sophisticated than that and I like the fact that she's not ashamed of her flatness (it'd be so easy to do implants, but she doesn't).
    Hope the next one will be better!

  18. Julien,

    I think your analysis is the best one correlating the art concept with the juice: as you succinctly put it, Coco Mademoiselle is so safe and the garçonne image (so Chanel-esque) is much more daring and provocative, so why put those two together? It would work better for something more daring.

    Also I agree with your position regarding body aesthetics: a small breast would show much more natural and yes provocative (as in this, last picture to the end), a photoshopped ample one looks ridiculous.

    But there you have it: naked sells, they must be thinking and perhaps an injection of sexiness is considered de rigueur!
    (It does strike me as weird though as I distinctly recall reading a very interesting interview with mr.Polge in which he specified liking the choice of Kate Moss and the ads for Coco Mademoiselle a while back: they weren't racy. I wonder what he has to say now)

  19. M,

    as you say, unimanigative. This is the biggest crime in my books!

  20. K,

    it was a nice one, minus a miniscule detail or two and I thought the suspenders were worthy of several second looks. Now, it's only oggling. Sad...

  21. Prox,

    I thought the same thing. Then again, I am not sure people would actually be enticed to buy perfume. She's very flat indeed. (which begs the question why manipulate her into this concept in the first place, but see above for more of my comments on that)

  22. Mary,

    hello darling! How are you?

    Gratuitous is the right word. No need at all. I agree that the images were stunning and I had marvelled at the Venice shoot as well. I guess the couture is destined for another audiences as contrasted to the mass marketed fragrances :-(

  23. Fernando16:21

    When I first saw the image, my reaction was "what happened to her other breast? It looks like she has had a mastectomy!"

    I appreciate breasts, but they should be on a real woman, not someone who looks like an adolescent boy.

  24. JulienFromDijon17:32

    The red riding hood advertising : oh yes !!! I love this one.
    I must have the video saved somewhere on my computer : all perfect (image, story, music, girl), one that makes you dream.

    A daring advertising for a perfume that is not, it might be a voluntary strategy, to give a quality that lacks to the product. To imagine yourself daring but actually taking no risk !

    Think about the red riding hood : the video present a golden perfume for a young seductive women. But n°5 remains a strong aldéhyde perfume. Aldéhyde perfumes are dated (even if they're wonderfull), contrary to gold wich you can't give age to, because it's unalterable.
    And aldéhyde are known to be a fragrance you appreciate when growing older, and not when you're a young woman.
    So n°5 is neither gold nor for young girl !

    Keyra is a pretty girl, but the photo doesn't fit to her (comtrary to the previous campaign), and she deserved better. The "no breast" photo version is better for her image, even if it doesn't create controversy.
    The way they "created" the shirt with photoshop to hide the breast, reminds me very funny artwork in arab country to hide the flesh of Maria Carey on the CD-cover.
    On one photo, she ends with an angora-white-fur coat because she had a cat on her breast :D

  25. Anonymous12:32

    haha ! excellent Fernando ! Love your answer.
    I would say Chanel should find a new Jacques Helleu… Hurry up guys.

  26. F,

    very good point!! And LOL! (even though mastectomies are no laughing matter)

  27. Julien,

    love your analysis of the Red riding hood Chanel No.5 ad from Besson!! "a golden perfume for a young seductive women. But n°5 remains a strong aldéhyde perfume. Aldéhyde perfumes are dated (even if they're wonderfull), contrary to gold wich you can't give age to, because it's unalterable"> just perfect!

    How odd that the marketing people and art directors are so conscious of the markets to which they publicize these images. I had no idea about the Mariah ones! The one with the pants (the standing one looks very fake...)I tackled her in her upcoming scent Forever, so you might want to check that out.

  28. Anon,

    another Jacques Helleu would be most difficult! I bet they're searching though ;-)

  29. Anonymous18:20

    Girlfriend seriously needs to gain a few pounds, and exercise with hand weights - that skinny, shapeless arm is pathetic. The breast looks fake. She has a pretty face, why not focus on that? Even in the "covered" version of the ad, they sketched in a fake breast outline under the shirt!

  30. Patty,

    welcome! Very true, those arms are like a little boy's, no real meat or muscle in there and although I can understand the "delicate" approach, I don't see it fitting a "sexy" imagery: when something is presented as sexy, there needs to be some flesh. They opted to do that all in the breast. And yes, outline it under the blouse too, even if it was covered in the previous one.
    That thin body, fake breasts thing these days looks so artificial, so plastic-fantastic to me. But I just might be too grumpy! :-)


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