We're not in "Like a Girl" territory anymore. As one Adweek editor thoughtfully put it this week, "Female strength is the new female empowerment." And while Always' charming campaign may have begun that conversation, far more powerful elaborations on that message have appeared since, each improving on its predecessor in nuance, style and complexity. (Come on. Are you really going to say you weren't blown away by Lemonade?) This powerful new film from U.K. department store Selfridges, created in-house to promote its new Body Studio—as well as the fascinating variety of underpants from the shoot—hinges on the notion that contemporary women's underwear is made with the male gaze in mind. (To wit: Victoria's Secret's big secret? It was founded by a dude.) And in a step toward releasing women from the nonstop bullshit party they submit to from gendered birth onward, that's something we can change right now, beginning with the brands pushing the panties.
British department store Selfridges, a purveyor of products from hundreds of corporate brands, is so sorry about how you are assaulted by corporate branding. So, as part of its new "No Noise" campaign for 2013, it's selling some famous products that have been stripped of their logos. Heinz, Levi's, Beats by Dre, Marmite and Crème de la Mer are among the brands that have agreed to let Selfridges offer these "unbranded" versions of their products. (Selfridges has even debranded its own bag.) The company explains: "As we become increasingly bombarded with information and stimulation, the world is becoming a noisier place. In an initiative that goes beyond retail, we invite you to celebrate the power of quiet, see the beauty in function and find calm among the crowds."
Fashion's not my thing. I own two pairs of pants, both tan corduroys. And I'm hopeless when it comes to Spot the Difference games. As a kid, I'd squint at the image on the left, then the one on the right, perspiration stinging my eyes as I searched for minor variations. I'd always miss some ridiculous detail, like one cow having no udders, or all the people in one picture having two heads. Anyhoo, Louis Vuitton and Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama have joined forces for a new fashion collection, and they're promoting it in window displays and a pop-up store at London's Selfridges with a variation on Spot the Difference. Blogger Bip Ling stars in two 60-second clips draped in Kusama's polka-dot Vuitton fashions while prancing around an artsy set, as bad poetry (also by Kusama) plays on the soundtrack. It's a sendup of the pretentious world of style, I guess. If you can spot five discrepancies between the clips, submit them to @LouisVuitton_UK (with the hashtag #LVKusama) by Sept. 7. to win a copy of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, illustrated by Kusama. Because who wouldn't want one of those, right? After two visits from IT and an assist from AdFreak's summer intern, I managed to get both videos playing in different windows at the same time. Lemme see … Left, right, left, right … Sorry, I tried. To me, they look identical, each as cloying and insufferably tiresome as the other. Second clip, and campaign credits, after the jump.