Why Julia Roberts' Givenchy Campaign Is The Future Fashion Needs

by Lauren Sharkey

Julia Roberts is the new face of Givenchy.

"So, what?" you may ask. Well, this isn’t just any old campaign. Julia, handpicked by Givenchy Creative Director Riccardo Tisci, is wearing a suit, no makeup and completely real.

Yes, no airbrushing here. That’s one, two, three points and -- ding, ding, ding -- we have a winner!

In a sea of over-sexualized flawless images, this advertisement is what we need right now. Let’s think back to all the other recently-released fashion campaigns.

Alexander Wang may be a revolutionary in the design department but in the advertising section? Not so much.

The shots for his denim line featured up-and-coming model Anna Ewers... topless. With jeans round her ankles and her hands reaching down toward her you-know-what. Come on, Wang, this isn’t modern. It’s old.

Women don’t want a semi-naked girl selling jeans. Doesn’t the torrent of negative comments toward these images prove that? Okay, sure, it grabs attention, but for all the wrong reasons.

Do you know what else we don’t want? Advertisements featuring junk food. I’m looking at you, Balmain. You’ve got some of the top models in the world, so why not utilize their power? Don’t make them lounge around in a cheap-ass diner, donning expensive clothing.

Another stop-and-stare photo series comes courtesy of Italian Fashion Photographer Giampaolo Sgura. He transformed two female models into lifeless dolls, placing them in boxes with accessories that corresponded to a particular brand.

Want a jet-setting Taylor Swift lookalike? Buy the Louis Vuitton travel doll. Fancy a Parisian plaything? The Chanel girl’s for you. Or, how about a Barbie replica with the pink-obsessed Moschino figurine?

Whether the concept was a commentary on the idea that women are nothing more than toys (not likely), or just an interesting fashion shoot (much more probable), the audience reached by these images is impressionable.

They start to believe they are on this Earth to please and should strive to be "perfect" — whatever that entails. It’s not a positive ideal to reinforce. Most of all, it’s certainly not real.

And, that’s the buzzword: reality. When the world’s just starting to get back on its feet economically, yet seems to be going backward socially, fantasy has no place. We’re all aware of the harsh realities of our society and fashion needs to reflect that.

No more fetishization of young women when campus sexual assaults are prevalent. Enough of the fast food mockery when many still live below the poverty line.

Although the fashion industry banks on a dreamy fantasy world, 2015 hopefully will mark the start of a different path. That doesn’t mean creativity is banned.

Just look at Kendall Jenner’s Dazed cover. Artistic? Yes. Influenced by fashion? Definitely. Relying on the sex appeal of an 18-year-old to sell magazines? No. There’s the difference. The picture’s still real; just a kooky version of the word.

Givenchy’s powerful, barefaced campaign featuring Julia Roberts is a step in the right direction.

To see a person used to the limelight exposing her real self in front of a camera is pretty damn refreshing.

It’s raw. It’s reality. It’s bordering on revolutionary.

i-D magazine’s recent issue asked the question, "What is beauty?" To me, beauty is a land far, far away from sexed-up dolls.

Beauty is an androgynous Julia Roberts. Beauty is people walking down the street. Beauty is a mistake someone’s made. A flaw on a face.

Beauty is real. That’s the message I hope fashion catches onto sooner or later.