On the occasion of its Fall/Winter 2019 campaign, Hugo Boss gives us "Curated," a video shot in Chelsea's gallery district, "taking inspiration from the Manhattan art scene."
The work highlights three Boss models, who separate from the suspended reality of their photoshoots and find themselves outside their own portraits, looking in.
"Their curated personal style is at once confident and understated, seamlessly combining a precise Boss approach with an easygoing spirit," the press release says.
A solitude squats deep between each person and the portraits; looking at oneself is such an intimate thing. In a framework that conveniently lets Boss showcase two looks per head, we get a study in personal branding—a visual haiku on the difference between the product we market and the curator we've become, observing our own bodies with critical distance.
We're reminded of Calvin Klein's "I Speak My Truth," where public personalities created two videos—one a confession, the other a positioning.
"Sculptural shapes and unexpected proportions draw on architectural influences, while raw-edge finishes and stitching details further underscore the elevated feel of this curated collection," the pressie goes on.
As the first observer concludes his rounds, a woman in a red dress falls into frame, stylishly gesticulating, then freezing into place as she herself walks by, gazing into that moment without seeming part of it.
What is she thinking? How does she feel about how she was captured? When she reaches out to touch the work, it shimmers back into action and she mimes it, like a spirit trying to reenter a vessel long since sailed. She's no longer the woman in the red dress. The people we were are already dead.
"Each design invites you to look twice—and then to look again. From artistic references to unique materials, signature Boss attention to detail informs not only the individual pieces, but also the curation of the entire collection. The more you look, the more you see," the pressie promises.
There is no denouement here. A third figure appears and lingers less, moving briskly past his images as if they bear no relation to him at all. In the end, this is probably true: The selves we so painstakingly construct in the morning, like Boss' sharply angled suits, are a mask we inhabit and peel away come nightfall. As our three curators demonstrate, all that remains are snapshots.
Is it worth looking back at them?