So I’m walking up to Fifth Avenue from Madison on my way to see another one of those modernism shows at the Guggenheim when I find myself confronted by a gathering of women in designer jeans and LV handbags hanging out in the middle of the block. It’s not your usual museum crowd,  so I peer around and see that we’re in front of Cooper-Hewitt, the National Design Museum, which occupies the stately Carnegie mansion between Madison and Fifth on 91st Street. Looking more closely, I make out the placard in front of the building announcing what has brought out this particular demographic. The featured exhibition is titled: “Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels.” What can I say?—given a choice between exploring modernism once again and gawking at diamonds and rubies, there is no contest. I go inside.

From a marketing perspective, the film is brilliant, something that Leo Burnett may have wished he came up with. The purpose of an advertisement is to ultimately convey the designer’s vision and serve as an extension of their collection. It also represents a philosophy — you can’t wear Versace and be a wallflower and you couldn’t possibly be a Marc Jacobs guy or girl and not like grunge. Taking his Chanel ideology one step further, Lagerfeld conceptualizes a scenario of beautiful night revelers, partying in fashionable garb in St. Tropez. In terms of content, it lacks the intellectual stimulation of a Godard film or the wit of a Coen brothers’ work. Its entertainment value rests in its aesthetic qualities — from the garments to the models — and its escapism element. After all, who wouldn’t find the glamorous (albeit clichéd) St. Tropez lifestyle appealing? While fashion enthusiasts rejoiced… More…