Feature: Celebrity Faces in Fashion

Fashion retail giant H&M have recently announced that highly acclaimed American singer, Lana Del Rey (of Video Games and National Anthem fame), is to head their new autumn campaign. Del Rey shot to stardom in 2011 (after several less successful attempts) with hopes of bringing a new sound to the music industry – claiming rumoured rivalry with the concurrently unique female artist Lady Gaga – though it’s hard to imagine anyone more ‘charismatic’ than Gaga herself. Despite this Del Rey still managed to captivate audiences with her heavy, sombre vocals and soulful tones. It is this distinctive sound that advertising director, Johan Renck, hopes to capture in the H&M TV commercial as Del Rey covers Bobby Vinton’s ‘Blue Velvet’. This song choice I believe pairs well with Del Rey’s syrupy thick sound and the general melancholy of autumn time.

The singers demure attitude will be reflected in the advertising campaign and in the collection itself which aims to relay ideas of ‘a modern and feminine woman with a soft attitude’ – a persona flawlessly captured by Del Rey whose elegant style and introverted manner seem to effortlessly reflect the themes of the collection. These themes are also depicted in Del Rey’s recent music video featuring A$AP Rocky with soft pastel tones in both the cinematography, apparel and even the sound. However, could Del Rey’s celebrity status detract attention from the clothes themselves? Her alluring vocals and pop personality possibly overshadowing what may seem the understated style of Hennes latest collection.

Other key elements of this seasons H&M compilation include the comeback of curves with a full silhouette and structured waistline, powder tones and wine red accessories – all essential looks that will inevitably be accentuated by Del Rey.

Chart topper Rihanna has also bridged the gap between music and fashion this week as it has been announced that she will be heading a new capsule collection for popular high street brand, River Island. With two of pop’s most prominent female vocalists performing a crossover between the music and fashion industry, could we be witnessing a new wave of style icons, drawing their inspiration from the music business they originated from or possibly leaving it behind altogether? This pattern has been displayed by other celebrities in the past such as fellow female songstress, Lily Allen, who abandoned her music career for one in vintage fashion with her sister (Sarah Owen). Together they opened their ‘Lucy in Disguise’ store in 2010. Alongside this, TV personality Jameela Jamil has also joined the overlap into the fashion industry recently with the launch of JAM – her personal collection for Very. Here she joins the likes of Holly Willoughby, Fearne Cotton and Myleene Klass who have also designed for the brand. It seems that this trend towards both celebrity endorsement and design in fashion could become a more regular occurrence in pop culture as increasing amounts of personalities ‘broaden their horizons’.

Hennes autumn collection is going to focus largely on knitwear and tweed pieces – both of which featured in worldwide fashion weeks in 2012. Lana was chosen because of her inspiring take on H&M clothing and for her iconic style – both in vocals and attire.  Her fame within the music industry and amongst the younger generation though could appear an ‘easy way out’ for the clothing company, relying on Del Rey’s eminent reputation to sell as opposed to the quality or currency of their clothes – although this could be said of all celebrity endorsement and perhaps should not be shunned too greatly. Generally the support of Del Rey can only benefit the company, enticing fans and providing a current and inspired individuality for the company.

Words: Alice Kemp-Habib