Dear Louis Vuitton,
I saw your "superman" ad on the back cover of InStyle magazine's January 2010 issue. Don't get me wrong; the model is hot, the clothes are fantastic, and the lighting is phenomenal. But your Photoshop artists went ape shit with the Warp Mode and Liquify features. If anyone saw those arms in real life, they'd immediately grab her and ask her to be one of the kids in those "Aid for Africa" commercials. Her pipe-cleaner legs couldn't possibly support her frame.
Your director of photography instructed the model to perch pecariouslly at the edge of her chair like she hears a distress call, fists on her sides like she's about to take off and fight crime. Only, she's not looking towards the sky like you'd think a super hero would. She's looking straight ahead, as if she's trying to scare off a pack of wolves. I only wish we could see the image snapped five seconds later; maybe then we would have seen the epic fight between this carnival freak the wolf pack that was circling. Regardless, she looks extremely uncomfortable; like someone told her 1) that she was being cheated on 2) she was about to be attacked by a pack of wild wolves for a Louis Vuitton promo picture, or 3) she was actually posing for a Target ad.
Lastly, the location is ridiculous. She appears to be next to a luxury pool, wearing a set of clothes that cost upwards to $5,000. This doesn't make any sense for your clientel, who prize Louis to such an extent that they would never, ever allow their clothes to get infected with the bleach-like qualities of the summer sun. And the heavily chlorinated air that accompanies large pools is like kriptonite to the bags.
I flipped through InStyle looking for other pictures to talk about, but every single other picture in this magazine looks like it was candid or at least natural. Yeah, most of them were probably photoshopped, but none of them assaulted my sense of what is right in this world more than this one.
(Letter mailed January 28, 2010)
Dear Chloé at Melrose Place
Photographer Patrick Demarchelier has a multiple-page spread in Vogue's November 2009 edition. On page 208, he displayed several of your leopard print wears. I am writing to tell you that that letting him take pictures of your clothing is something you should avoid in the future. Patrick Demarchelier has taken two beautiful women, and Photoshopped the holy hell out of them. What were once sophisticated, leggy women, are now stilted circus clowns.
I understand that fashion is a concept, but you must realize the concept here is "abject fear," because I feel like I should use the picture as a cationary tale for my children. "Kids, don't wear Chloé's clothes because you'll end up looking like the Tripods from the movie War of the Worlds." You know what I'm talking about: legs twenty stories high, with tiny torsos, lumbering around, with thousands of humans fleeing from them. That, by the way, is the reaction you'd get if the people on this page were made real, and told to walk around New York City. People would literally flee from your products.
Please find attached to this letter what I imagine is Patrick Demarchelier's concept art work for this piece.
In summation, Chloé, don't let Patrick Demarchelier photograph your stuff ever again. You are a French luxury house, not an abominations of nature emporium.
(Letter mailed January 3rd 2010. Image I attached to the letter is hyper linked above)
Dear Giorgio Armani,
I saw your ad in the March 2010 issue of Vogue, and I wanted to complain about it.
I bet you think I'm writing because of your model's 60's-style androgynous haircut that screams "abuse me like a character from a George Orwell novel." But no, I'm actually concerned with the tarantula legs that you gave her.
Whoever photoshopped this picture made her thighs almost twice the length of her torso. If she squated down and put her hands on the floor, her knees would be far above her head, like that giant spider from the Lord of the Rings.
But I am not just writing to complain. I am also writing to help. A few years ago, my 4 year old sister started drawing stick figures. She asked me how to draw more realistically, so I showed her how to use ovals to build pictures (see attached). I decided to do the same for your Photoshop artists, and have constructed ovals for your artists to follow next time.
I understand the information I'm giving you is valuable, and that you're probably very thankful that I took the time to give you this information. But don't worry about paying any consulting fees; this time it's free.
P.S. I wish I could reference the page number for you, but Vogue is proficient in the art of hiding page numbers--I imagine that when a magazine has one page of article for every fifty pages of advertisement, it makes sense that their page-hiding chi is supercharged.
P.P.S Seriously, I don't think those legs would support her 7 foot frame.
(Letter mailed early March 2010)