Madonna and Julia Roberts: Grown-Up Fashion Icons for 2015

Today, I’m so proud to be introducing to you Marwan Naaman as a new contributor to L’Armoire De Lana. Marwan is a global innovative leader in publishing, marketing and PR. Over the course of a 20-year career, he’s written and created promotional materials for the likes of Harvey Nichols, Fodor’s, Businessweek, Monocle and eHealth Insurance, in a variety of fields that range from fashion, lifestyle, travel, design and art to finance and medicine. Marwan spent 12 years as Editor-in-Chief of Aïshti Magazine, which he launched from scratch and transformed into the most successful luxury lifestyle publication in the Middle East. Fashion and travel were core sections of the magazine, and Aïshti Magazine always included international coverage of the most noteworthy fashion events and travel destinations. Prior to Aïshti Magazine, Marwan was Editor of Lebanon’s Executive magazine (a business publication) and Travel Writer and Editor at Fodor’s Worldview in San Francisco. He’s written about fashion for Monocle magazine and he’s published a book about Lebanon’s retail scene, “Shop Beirut.” Thank you for accepting of becoming part of my blog’s family, I love this post and I cannot wait for more!

By Marwan Naaman

With Julia Roberts becoming the new face for Givenchy’s spring/summer 2015 campaign, and Madonna snagging the same role for Versace, two major fashion houses have shown that their biggest ad campaigns are no longer reserved just for young stars and celebrities. Gone, it seems, are the days when major brands cancelled their models’ contracts because they were deemed too old to attract the desired clientele – remember how Isabella Rossellini, still beautiful and in her prime, was ungracefully let go by Lancôme when she turned 42?

Madonna, now 56, is the new face of Versace’s spring/summer 2015 campaign, replacing Lady Gaga as the Italian’s label femme du jour. Although this may be bad news for Gaga – the feud between the 28-year-old Gaga and her much older nemesis is now the very stuff of legend – Madonna must have relished this recent victory, dethroning her pop competition and reclaiming a crown that she most probably believes is rightfully hers. After, all Madonna first starred in a Versace campaign two decades ago, in 1995, shortly before Gianni’s death, so she can easily claim first dibs. This latest Versace spread is her fourth for the brand.

Photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, the black and white campaign seeks to capitalize on Madonna’s iconic status, with one photo showing the superstar reclining in a chair, her eyebrows bleached, looking at the camera with only one eye while dressed in a Versace laser-cut leather dress from the spring/summer 2015 collection. The message is clear: Madonna is still fierce – and so is Versace. So it’s best not to mess with either of the two fashion gods. “Madonna is one of the true icons of Versace. I am thrilled to have my friend and the most powerful and directional artist as the face of Versace for spring 2015,” said Donatella Versace in a press release.

The Versace campaign comes on the heels of a much-publicized shoot for Interview magazine, in which Madonna appeared topless, causing quite a stir among fans and detractors of the Material Girl.

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Over in Paris, Riccardo Tisci, creative director for Givenchy, tapped 47-year-old Julia Roberts for his spring/summer 2015 campaign. Tisci has made some daring choices over the past years with regards to his Givenchy ad campaigns, choosing non-models to represent his brand, most notably artist Marina Abramovic, music star Erykah Badu and French actress Isabelle Huppert. Julia Roberts is the latest in a line of strong women to inspire the Italian designer.

Sometimes you shoot someone who’s so popular, you try to make it glam, but I really wanted her the way she arrived: black jacket, men’s shirt, jeans, which is really what we have in common,” Tisci told Style.com. “No hair, no makeup. I said to her, ‘Because your smile is so beautiful and everybody knows you for that, I think it should be no smile,’ and she was really cool. She said we should go for it. We did it, and there we are, I’m very happy. It’s a powerful picture.”

The Givenchy ad campaign was photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, who also shot Madonna for Versace. In the black-and-white images, Julia Roberts is almost unrecognizable, wearing boys’ tailoring, in keeping with Tisci’s vision to make her look more American, and specifically, more of a New Yorker.

Of his collaboration with Julia Roberts, Tisci said that it was something of a dream come true: “Ten years ago, I couldn’t afford clothes,” he told The Guardian. “Now I’m working with Julia Roberts.”

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And there you have it: grown-up glamour, from two of the world’s top French and Italian houses. Await my next post on L’Armoire De Lana!

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