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Friday, November 4, 2011

Opium Wars

Yeah, yeah, yeah the fashion blog-a-sphere was all abuzz over the just released Emily Blunt YSL Opium ads and I will admit this is a beautiful shot

And I really like Emily Blunt (even if she hasn't quite found a proper follow up to her cobra snark assistant role in "The Devil Wears Prada") but let's compare her "white woman at the day spa" ad with those of other famous Opium girls

1. Sophie Dahl in 2000

I grew up in the era saturated with Tom Ford sexuality. He just had this way of shaking off mature labels and dousing them in sensuality (hello Estee Lauder?!) His current fragrance ads have continued this streak even if they feel a little more focused on youthful mischievous sex than the sophisticated, dominant style that used to be his trump. 

2. Jerry Hall in 1977

Jerry is the iconic face of Opium and one of the many women of the 70's that made Yves Saint Laurent the man to wear to feel sexy and confident. Jerry, while fully clothed is writhing about those silks and velvets in pure ecstacy. Maybe it's the heady oriental she's wearing, maybe it's the thoughts of the lover she'll send home wearing it. 

3. Kate Moss in 2003

Kate has that way of transcending labels. She's just as comfortable schilling dime store makeup as she is reinventing time tested luxury perfumes. These stolen moments of an off duty peep show girl are pure sex, sweat and secrets. Alluring. 

4. MariaCarla Boscono in 2006

Even ice blond MariaCarla radiates. The way her body looks so plush, so soft and smooth conveys the fragrance's hold on the wearer: you are now enveloped in it, unable to escape even if you wanted. Her playful tease of the rope let's you know she's not really the type to turn down such an offer.

5. Karen Elson in 2010

Karen can't resist. She's hooked on Opium and is now willingly giving herself over to her intoxicating new master.

6. Linda Evangelista in 1998

In full man drag, Linda is still slick and sexy. The aggressive nature of such a door opening scent is played up here. Nothing is delicate: the walls fiery red, the tufted couch is royal purple and Linda is androgynous. There's fantasy represented of both the Orient and the S+M power play of an addiction in this ad.

All in all another reminder that actresses, even ones we like, should leave the modelling work to models.

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I'm a fashion writer who writes for Bluefly, EDGE Media, VIRAL Fashion, etc. I use "It Can't All Be Dior" as a safe release for my love of coats, cats and cake. Phew!