Wednesday, March 23, 2005

La Dolce Gabbana Lolita

Dolce & Gabbana has always been considered a fashion leader. The duo's forward designs, impeccable Euro-centric tailoring and celebration of the male form have catapulted the designers and label into pop icons.

Over the years, yours truly has logged mucho overtime to sport those spaghetti strap tanks, bias-cut summer shirts and snug boxer briefs. Happily, D&G is one of the few couture labels that can accomodate growing gym boys. But their new ads feature fewer athletic- and traditional model-type men ... and more boys.

Sure, prepubescent models are routinely used in catalog and commercial advertising. But the new trend is frighteningly similar to the Brooke Shields/Calvin Klein fiasco in the 1980s. Question to advertising account supervisors: why is it necessary to employ a 12 or 13 year old boy to sell square cut swimming trunks to grown men?

Does this ad disturb anyone else? It's a curiously staged scene, and would not look out of place at several parties that come to mind. A handsome, muscular young man is lying in a sling hammock, looking spent and ignored by the freakshow around him. Notice the little boy "flexing" the muscles he has not yet developed. Obviously, the model in the 1970s porn star sunglasses does not see the kid-he's busy avoiding eye contact with anyone, except his dealer agent-but the deathly pale model standing opposite is riveted to the tyke.

But that's normal for many in our lifestyle: ignore the grown men, focus on the little boys.