The Gossip front-woman joins the ranks of Naomi Campbell, Bella Hadid, Odell Beckham Jr and more, in a suitably sexy AW19 campaign.
‘What does sexy look like?’ is the question posed by Calvin Klein’s AW19 shoot.
The Answer: Beth Ditto, of course!
As part of the photo series released this week, the musician-turned-model is shot in the studio in black and white. In another image, she poses on a lounge in a black lace bra. Here, she is shown more candidly, or “IRL”, if you will.
#MYCALVINS IRL intends to show us different ways of being sexy. A short film directed by Bardia Zeinali and a photograph series shot by photographer Daniel Jackson showcase the subjects both inside the black and white world of a CK campaign and at home.
CK asks us to “remove the filter and watch what happens #IRL”. It begins with the shoots we are familiar with – models shot in black and white in front of a white background. In a step outside a typical Calvins campaign, the models are then depicted in more domestic scenes. They are shown in their bedrooms, eating doughnuts, and lounging on the floor while someone vacuums beside them.
Beth Ditto is in her natural habitat backstage at a gig. She sings in the dressing room mirror, holding a hair brush. She is playful, free, and enjoying herself.
Unfortunately, there is only one, second-long full body shot of Ditto. We are predominantly shown flashes of her from the waist up, while the other models have their whole bodies on display. This is disappointing, and is a missed opportunity for Calvin Klein to properly showcase diversity in body types.
However, it’s still a step forward in body positivity for the brand. Hopefully it is more than just a tokenistic gesture, and will inspire other major fashion labels to expand the scope of the body shapes they include in campaigns.
Chinese singer-songwriter Lay Zhang, formerly of K-pop group Exo, also features in the campaign and is CK’s first Chinese global spokesperson. The move comes after Zhang cemented his fashion icon status as a Valentino ambassador at the 2019 Met Gala.
In the last shot, Naomi Campbell casually paints her toenails. In the film, all of the models transition from their CK shoots to the comfort of their fun-loving, “real world” selves.
The campaign navigates the line between the public and the personal. Albeit, in a very choreographed and aesthetically-perfect way.
The full cast includes Beth Ditto, Naomi Campbell, Bella Hadid, Odell Beckham Jr, Jacob Elordi, Diplo, Lay Zhang, Jelly Lin, Hayley Foster, Abby Champion, Cara Taylor and Matthew Noszka.
The accompanying photoshoot includes both a studio shot, and an “IRL” shot. The domestic photographs include Naomi Campbell reclining on purple carpet and Australian actor Jacob Elordi stripping off in a changeroom.
Do you prefer the iconic studio shots, or the more unpolished moments of the IRL shoots?
Let us know in the comments below.