As He Likes It:
In the latest Ryan McGinley film, the new Mercedes-Benz CLA is showcased in all its headstrong splendour alongside top model Karlie Kloss in Chloé and under the creative direction of Jefferson Hack.
When you see a driver and a car you expect clearly assigned roles: the driver is in control of the vehicle and the vehicle does what it is told. For the film of the Mercedes-Benz key visual Autumn/Winter 2013 Ryan McGinley turns this logic upside down. Rather than showing the new CLA as a perfect design object and a perfectly agile car, he allows the four-door style rebel to have a mind of its own.
McGinley is a perfect match for this free-spirited and unconventional production. Nature and natural beauty are integral parts of his work. His set is a deserted landscape in California and the CLA shares the screen with an unusual protagonist: a mysterious white horse. As the female lead he chooses top model Karlie Kloss who is known for her classic beauty and more so for her exceptional expression. The 21 year-old has been working with clients like Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen and Marc Jacobs for the past seven years. She doesn´t just wear her pretty Chloé outfit in all white – she actually brings it to life.
For the past twenty years Jefferson Hack has made his mark on the Zeitgeist, having worked on magazines such as Dazed&Confused and AnOther Magazine.
As the Creative Director of the Mercedes-Benz fashion film, he and McGinley have produced an imagery that shows the CLA and Karlie Kloss as a team rather than car and driver. Together they cruise through the golden steppe, the sky above them clear and open, until Katie Kloss spots the horse by the side of the road, slows down and stops the car. As she gets out and approaches the horse, the CLA takes off by itself. What ensues is a cat-and-mouse game that McGinley describes as "punk". Just as Karlie is about to give up and, defeated, sits down on the curb, the car returns to her and opens its passenger door invitingly. In the final scene of the film they can be seen driving off together as the CLA takes control of the steering wheel and Karlie Kloss relaxes and lets the wind sweep through her hair.
The Mercedes-Benz fashion film Autumn/Winter 2013 is both poetic and unconventional. Ryan McGinley and Jefferson Hack bring the CLA to life with a mind of its own while staying true to its ethos: The CLA is provocative and nonconformist.
Image: Mercedes CLA and top model Karlie Kloss Courtesy Mercedes