Prada Goes Sexy Film Noir for New Holiday Campaign
After four years of a president and vice-president who were to “sex appeal” what contracting malaria is to a relaxing vacation, now that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are headed to the White House, everything just sort of feels sexy again. (And yes, there’s all that other terrible stuff that won’t be happening anymore too.)
And so comes this genuinely very, very sexy and mysterious new Prada Holiday Campaign, shot by Steven Meisel, which is a barely veiled homage to the late, great Helmut Newton; it was also filmed in the Villa Gnutti, in Brescia, Northern Italy, site of a famous 1981 shoot by the exalted fashion photographer. It’s based on a narrative written exclusively for Prada by rising young British author Candice Carty-Williams (whose 2019 debut novel Queenie has already been optioned for a film), and it is aesthetically constructed around the haunted visual tenets of the film noir genre.
No surprise, it is a mystery/suspense story intriguingly titled A Stranger Calls. We see five of our favorite models—Freja Beha Erichsen, Maty Fall, Mao Xiaoxing, Rudolfs Valbergs and Merlijne Schorren—stunningly decked out in Prada accessories and jewelry (the Cleo, Triangle and Galleria handbags notably feature), wandering the halls and gardens of the opulent, but moodily lit villa. 13 seconds into the short film, a doorbell rings, and a narrator anxiously asks, “Who is this stranger? And what does she want?”
Who and what indeed? We may never find out. But the actual point is, everyone is looking quite considerably fabulous as they lounge about ponder that very question. And we really, really do need fabulous right now, considering all the bleakness we’ve been through in 2020—so thank you, Prada, for that.
Photographer: Steven Meisel
Creative Director: Ferdinando Verderi
Cast: Freja Beha, Maty Fall, Mao Xiaoxing, Rudolfs Valbergs, Merlijne Schorren
Story by Candice Carthy-Williams
Location: Villa Gnutti, Italy