Talk about bad timing … and bad luck. Australian label Pleasure State chose to promote its AW2011 collection with visions of a watery apocalypse — just as the rest of the country is bailing out from the killer floods of the past month.
The new collection for the Pleasure State Couture brand is called Oceania, and the campaign imagery depicts models in a water-logged world (actually, it looks like it was shot in a very large half-empty pool).
It’s hard to look at these images today and not reflect on the enormous havoc that Australia has endured and the months or years of recovery that lie ahead.
Rotten luck, too, for Pleasure State, which obviously must have conceived and shot the campaign months ago without any sense of the cruel irony that the images might convey. Especially since the Sydney-based label, like everyone Down Under, has probably been deeply affected by the events of the past month.
Pleasure State, of course, is one of Australia’s pre-eminent luxury lingerie labels and — more irony — is just as well known worldwide for its incredibly surreal, symbol-laden photo campaigns depicting lingerie-clad models in sci-fi landscapes. Its last campaign used an utterly barren, moon-like desert landscape (which is actually how some people usually think of Australia).
Thankfully, nature is forgiving and cultural impressions are fleeting: Australia will recover and Pleasure State’s impeccable reputation won’t be tarnished by the unfortunate coincidence of its Waterworld promotion.
In fact, if you examine the campaign images below, you’ll see there’s a neat sleight of hand at work. Pleasure State Couture’s Oceania is meant to suggest some kind of underwater civilization, and the outfits look like swimwear (including models in bathing caps!) when in fact it’s lingerie.
The deception seems to drive home the point that this is world-class fashion that defies boundaries, with exceptional styling and ultra-modern high-tech construction. One can imagine living in a world where this is daily fashion.
If we’re all destined to live in a Waterworld future, hopefully we can all look this good.