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  • Written by Cate Brown

SURREALISM BECOMES FASHION FOR MIU MIU: MARGARET KEANE INSPIRES MEISEL


As supermodel Gigi Hadid stares wide-eyed down the barrel of the camera lens of famed photographer Steven Meisel, you must know you’re looking at so much more than Miu Miu’s latest ad campaign.


In a surrealist homage to late American artist Margaret Keane and her big-eyed painted beauties, the Miu Miu team perfectly recreate Keane’s fantasy world to launch their new Arcadie handbag.


Sporting bold colours, big stripes and the brand’s infamous khaki micro miniskirt, Hadid poses with purses in front of backdrops inspired by Keane’s brushstrokes – said to represent the matelassé leather of both the new Arcadie and the popular Wander bags.


Keane’s 1964 painting “The Wildcat” features a kid and a cat up on a fence, perhaps on farm? Cut to Hadid in bright red and belted black denim up on that same fence like the innocent waif Keane so perfectly encompassed in her work.


Deep orange doors, oversized chairs and melancholic blue skies serve as many looks as the top model herself, in saddle shoes with socks, sweaters and shirt dresses. The shoot, creative directed by Edward Quarmby and styled by Lotta Volkova, features Hadid in a youthful wig with wispy bangs that further enhance her childlike wonder.


Keane’s story is one of a woman coming out on top against her oppressive and slanderous husband. Originally presenting themselves as a painting couple, Keane’s husband, Walter, began taking credit for her work from the 1960s well into the 1980s. In a famous courtroom battle in 1986, the judge ordered both Keanes to create a work of art live and in person to prove who was the real artist in an epic paint-off the likes of which made film history. So enamoured with Keane’s story was director Tim Burton, that he told Margaret Keane’s story in his 2014 film Big Eyes starring Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz.


The Miu Miu campaign elegantly combines artistry, fantasy and the modern young woman to successfully launch their Arcadie bag to art and fashion lovers alike. What a story to tell and what an artful storyline.





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