We’re feeling much love for designer Marc Jacobs at the moment. The latest Autumn/Winter 2016 campaigns have just dropped and, as usual, Jacobs has photographed the creme de la creme of celebrities to feature, including one of our favourite women, Susan Sarandon.
In an industry where ageism is rife, it is refreshing to see that brands are recognising the need to be inclusive of women of all ages in their campaigns. First, there was L’Oréal Paris (of which the 69-year-old is an ambassador), and now Jacobs has chosen to spotlight this screen legend. He previously featured the equally brilliant Bette Midler. And if we look as good as the Thelma and Louise star does at almost 70, we’ll be euphoric indeed.
SUSAN, Seduction Like so many teenagers, I spent countless Friday and Saturday nights at midnight screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the 8th Street Playhouse (which is still standing!) and the Festival Theatre on 57th Street (which has long since closed). TRHPS was a coming of age and right of passage. It became an invitation (or excuse) to dress up and express oneself fearlessly. The cult classic made it cool for boys to wear sequins, satin and fishnets. I fell in love with Susan Sarandon’s onscreen portrayal of Janet during her “loss of innocence” scene by way of a crossdressing alien and her giddy, ecstatic rendition of, “touch-a, touch-a, touch me…” There was a subtle rebellious quality that I found in Susan with how she chose to play Janet and perhaps (as I now look back on it) her decision as a young actor to take a role in a film that challenged the notion of gender roles. In the hyper-stylized, gothic film, The Hunger, Susan’s portrayal as the lesbian love interest of vampire Catherine Deneuve was yet another progressive challenging of normal and a testament to Susan’s artistic exploration of boundaries. It was in my early days at Perry Ellis when I first had the privilege of meeting Susan. Her intelligence, courage, strength, conviction and ballsiness has always been so admirable to me. There’s an inherent seductive quality in Susan as a woman who always speaks her mind and an artist who takes risks. Her talent as an actress is one of extraordinary range, talent and power. The stunning Susan Sarandon by David Sims for our Fall ’16 ad campaign.
“Her intelligence, courage, strength, conviction and ballsiness has always been so admirable to me. There’s an inherent seductive quality in Susan as a woman who always speaks her mind and an artist who takes risks. Her talent as an actress is one of extraordinary range, talent and power,” Jacobs said.
She features alongside noted figures such as Juno Temple, Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson.
On the subject of beauty and ageing, Sarandon said she welcomed the latter and had no wish to turn back the clock. “I look forward to being older,” she said. “When what you look like becomes less and less an issue, and what you are is the point.”
“The emphasis is not on becoming more attractive to lure somebody in, but to be all you can be because you love beauty, and you love yourself and want to treat yourself well. How you spend your energy is ultimately what creates who you are.”
Talented, beautiful and a total badass – we salute you, Susan Sarandon.
Happily, her latest collaboration marks the latest in a wave of campaigns – Joni Mitchell for Saint Laurent, Isabella Rossellini for Lancôme – that are inclusive of women of all ages, rejecting the obscene notion that only youth equals beauty.