Artist Ed Ruscha for Band Of Outsiders

Simplicity is king with clothing brand Band Of Outsiders, but their model recruitment is far from the norm--and that's what I love most about them. Instead of the tall, willowy models with abnormally symmetrical features, the LA-based brand regularly brings on those whose remarkableness is in what they do, not how they look. Case in point: their latest model for spring is 74-year-old artist Ed Ruscha, shot on simple, raw Polaroids.

I love the stark, subversive, antics-ridden feel to Band of Outsiders' campaigns, rendering fashion models, sets, lights, Photoshop and "looking hot" unnecessary. The addition of Ed Ruscha to their lineup is a perfect fit given the brand's own minimal, sleek, color-blocked styles and Ruscha's sharp, graphical paintings. The campaign was shot in Ruscha's studio in Culver City, CA featuring his own dog, stunning vintage car, and Indian motorcycle (which of course first drew me in). It's basically just Ruscha fucking around--and that's awesome
  The spring campaign doesn't feel like a set of photos that attempts to sell something, but is instead a demonstration of how clothing is meant to accompany the subject's everyday life--not just sit pretty on a human mannequin. It's not quite a documentary, but neither is it meticulously set up. Others that have modeled for Band Of Outsiders are actors Rupert Grint and Tom Felton of Harry Potter fame, James Marsden, Andrew Garfield and Donald Glover, all of their shoots adhering to this spontaneous, "wouldn't it be funny if..." vibe.


See the rest of the campaign and more of their Polaroids at Band Of Outsiders.

Prada Spring 2011 Campaign By Steven Meisel

 When it comes to fashion, it's never too early to start thinking a season ahead. While we're wishing we had the much lauded and ridiculed Chanel fur suit as temperatures drop, take a winter's respite with Prada's sunny, Tim Burton-striped spring 2011 campaign shot by Steven Meisel. Along with Spanish top model Mariacarla Boscono, there's the practically indistinguishable Arizona Muse (she should DEFINITELY start a band), Kinga Razjak, Zuzanna Bijoch and Tati Cotlia.

More after the jump:

Ksubi Eyewear Spring 2011

I'm a glasses wearer. Although I'm at an appropriate age to get laser eye surgery and save myself a boatload of money and hassle for the rest of my life, I'm hesitant because I love glasses so much. I once had a crush on a guy I saw wear glasses at first, then never again. Now he looks like the type to take hostages.

Rebellious Austrian streetwear label Ksubi has grabbed headlines with their hard-partying antics like pushing nude models off the side of a boat fashion show and releasing live rats on the catwalk. Now, I can wax poetic about their Spring 2011 eyewear campaign being influenced by American Gothic and René Magritte, but I love this shoot because it looks like they used whatever they could find in Uncle Chuck's storage shed down at the docks--including the two guys huffing shoe polish inside. 

Shot by Kane Skennar

Levi's "Go Forth" Campaign

I don't watch much TV, so I'm probably far behind on this, but I was blown away by this 2009 Levi's commercial that is part of their current "Go Forth" campaign. Directed by Cary Fukunaga, the TV spot was created by the geniuses at Wieden+Kennedy, the same ad agency responsible for the viral Old Spice Guy videos. The narration is believed to be a recording of poet Walt Whitman himself, reciting his piece, "America" around 1890. 

Levi's is in the unique position to have a significant stake in American history, because they invented the basic jeans design that became essential to the laborers who build this country. It's hard to believe the now omnipresent jean was only sold as workwear up until the 1950's. That was the decade when jeans became a fashion item, a staple within the first American youth subcultures like greasers and teddy boys. So when railroad workers, miners, ranchers, lumberjacks and the like toiled and endured the hardships that strengthened and defined America, Levi's was there with them--interesting to think about. Read my interview with Adriano Goldschmied to learn more about denim's historical significance.

But back to the commercial, while a ploy to sell fashion, it beautifully captures the essence of America and what it means to be a part of it--the worker, the common man. Maybe I'm just geeking out, but I appreciate the immense creativity that goes into bringing such gravitas to a simple pair of pants.

On the flip side, who can forget this provocative Levi's commercial directed by Michel Gondry. According to Gondry's Wiki page, his "Drugstore" spot holds the record for "Most Awards Won By a TV Commercial" in the 2004 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.

Whatever you're doing Levi's, keep doing it.

Chanel Fall 2010 Campaign

Chanel gets fringed and fuzzy for their Fall 2010 campaign, with models Freja Beha Erichsen and Abbey Lee Kershaw who is just everywhere this season.

Shot by Chanel designer Karl Largerfeld himself, of course. Luckily this campaign was shot in March in NYC, so these ladies didn't get all flustered in fur during the summer heat wave. On the other hand, Elle Creative Director and "The City" star Joe Zee, willingly took to the streets in the summer, and made headlines wandering around New York in a FW 2010 Chanel fur suit in temperatures pushing 100 degrees! 

Publicity stunt or an abominable Joe-man bikini attack?

But it looks like his random-acts-of-fashion antics worked: Zee is now following in the footsteps of former Elle Fashion Director Nina Garcia, developing his own fashion critique show for the Sundance Channel. I wonder if Elle is pissed their core staff keeps leaving to be on TV?

But back to the beauties: Abbey Lee may be all over the place, but I'm totally loving Freja after seeing these candid photos from before their Chanel shoot:

Freja's got a natural eye for flawless urban rocker style, while Abbey, well, looks like a kid wearing her mom's designer clothes (sorry!).  Having a total girl crush right now. 

P.S. Sorry boys, Freja swings the other way (score ladies!)

See more fantastic candid photos from this shoot at The Greyest Ghost

Kinda love seeing photos of incredible models looking imperfect :).