Thursday, June 23, 2011

Prada does it better

Continuing my watching of fashion films as a form of procrastination, I came back to an old favourite, Prada's "Thunder Perfect Mind" perfume advert.

I find this video interesting as it is in many ways very similar to lots of other fashion films and ads, with a beautiful young model racing around. But I think Prada has done more than create a pretty girl to follow around and envy.

The first reason I love this video is its use of spoken word to make it more than just aimless wanderings. Prada have based the advert around an ancient Coptic manuscript of the same name, found in 1945 at Nag Hammadi in Egypt. The manuscript is a poem of sorts that presents a number of contradictions and paradoxes to describe the divine feminine.

For I am knowledge and ignorance.
I am shame and boldness.
I am shameless; I am ashamed.
I am strength and I am fear.
I am war and peace.

The text of the poem is read out by Daria Werbowy as she makes her way around Berlin living out a modern interpretation of the poem. Using Berlin as the setting for Thunder Perfect Mind balances the serious tone of the poem, lessening the frivolity of Daria's day. I love Berlin. It is so drenched in life and history, and generally it is just so much fun. Having a city that has such a conflicted and varied past as well as a rich cultural background lends credibility to the film.

The girl presented by Prada seems a lot more real than in other adverts. She reads. She catches trains. She doesn't have time to go home and change. She falls over. She feels awkward dancing. She's flawed. She embodies contradiction.

What's there not to love?

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