Pieces from the new Spring/Summer collection, some flexible models and some surreal props is what it took to create the latest French Connection campaign, which is both elegant and strange.
The ethereal images in the "I am the Collection" campaign by 101, London are also accompanied by some slightly abstract spots which tell you how the collection is 'feeling'.
In all, there are 20 mini-films, including "statuesque", "poetic", "colourful" and "tease". Some of them are more conceptual, based on slightly eccentric interpretations of every day human activities or feelings.
Under the creative direction of Richard Flintham, the campaign was born out of a brief to deliver 'one thing' that could be used to introduce the new season on a global scale. It was designed to illuminate the new clothes and their personality en masse and will evolve throughout the season across print and online ad platforms as 'the mood' of the collection changes.
Alice Stein, who was the Creative on the project, says: "This time we wanted to bring the whole collection to life. We wondered: 'what would happen if the collection had a sense of perception. How is the collection feeling today... how would it react in this situation?'
We refer to The Collection itself as one single living organism and that includes both men and womenswear. The emotions are what help us tie the two together.
One source of inspiration was 1960s English children's programme - 'Camberwick Green' in which a music box opens to reveal the character for that episode. We thought this was a lovely way of introducing an emotion."
"I am the Collection" is 101, London's second campaign for the UK-based clothing retailer, also known as FCUK. The brand has been notorious over the years for its tongue-in-cheek advertising.
In 2001, TBWA, London began branding their clothes as "fcuk". The similarity to the word 'fuck' was subsequently exploited by French Connection who produced a popular range of T-shirts that played on the word - with slogans such as "fcuk me" and "too busy to fcuk".
In 2009, Fallon, London, also under the creative direction of Richard Flintham as well as Dirk van Dooren, gave French Connection the image rebrand it needed with the "The Man" and "The Woman", centred around two sassy and idealised figures.
"As a small range, the Collection enjoyed nothing better than a game of make-belief. Even in Collectionhood, it cannot resist a playful moment with Mr. Iron (destroyer of wrinkles) mocking the inconveniences of modern telecommunications. They have a close, steamy and sometimes heated relationship..."
"The Collection feels statuesque...which is ironic really, being that the Collection spends so much time hanging about on a mannequin. Then the first time she graces the human form, she's as stately and formal as a Rodin. C'est la vie Collection..."
Agency:101, London Creative director: Richard Flintham Creative: Alice Stein Design: Mark Elwood Film production and editing: Antony & Olli, 11 Little Films Production company: Webber Represents Photographer: Gregoire Alexandre