It started as a charity calendar campaign in 2001, then turned into a marketing campaign to promote the Paris-based Stade Français rugby team, attract more (female) interest to the game and to sell a range of cosmetic products in France.
This year (for the second year running and third time in the ten year span of the calendar) photographer François Rousseau’s work again is exceptional, capturing the anatomy of the perfect male specimen in a very erotic way, even turning these brutes into sensitive humans.
Photographs from the calendars were published in two books, Dieux du Stade: The French National Rugby Team (published by Universal Publishing) and in 2010, featuring the photographic work of Tony Duran in Gods of the Stadium (published by teNeues Publishing).
The burning question is: how much profit goes to charity today and how much to private enterprise? Is it worthwhile exposing super-fit rugby players to this extent?
Oregon born Kerry Degman is one of those lucky guys with just the right look for the moment. Photographed by Bruce Weber for Abercrombie & Fitch, he was quickly catapulted into the orbit of top model and became the face of Ralph Lauren Rugby, Armani Exchange and Y-3.
What an electrifying moment: contemporary men’s fashion, an ageing if somewhat eccentric diva behind a grand piano and hordes of male models groomed to perfection combine to deliver what can only be described as one of the most riveting fashion shows ever. It is Milan, Dolce & Gabbana‘s 2011 Fashion Week Show for men.
From the moment the curtain opens there is magic in the air. Annie Lennox, in black evening dress with bare shoulders and black and gold necklace, smiles at the audience with a tiny nod of appreciation at the applause. Tu be du be dub dub dub… ah! All the focus in the hall is on her and the big screen behind her, which enlarges her presence, voice and expressions. When she reaches the key phrase ‘to make me cry no more I love you’s’ the runway lights up and three men in creamy white suits, ties, even shorts, enter nonchalantly. The scene is set, the mood is cast and shivers run down many spines.
What impresses most is the imperfection of the perfection. A few off-key notes from Annie, a slouching model here and there, shoes and sandals with a well worn-in look, Dolce & Gabbana clothing that is both everyday and inspirational fresh, some beautiful bodies, black suits with a modern touch. The message is human, unpretentious yet sophisticated. This is not merely a fashion show – it is a work of art.
D&G, Annie… oh, what a brilliant combination. We love you!
Armani’s ads and campaigns are renowned for their inventiveness and treatment of an age old tradition using the best models to sell their image and brand – and their product of course.
Always in touch with what’s happening, they now revert to 3D for their latest campaign. Not that most people have 3D glasses available to see the effect, however, from a design point of view it just looks very today, now. Armani Exchange is setting trends that can only be followed…
Newcomer model Layton Draper from Steven Underhill Models has ‘unbreakable’ tattooed on the left side of his body. Underhill, a graduate of UCLA, has produced 7 photo books and yearly calendars and lives in San Francisco, Ca.
Photograph by Tom Cullis for Ohlala magazine. (Click on link for portfolio of this photographer).