Here's a recipe for the totally odd, if not totally successful: Take one part Japanese fashion house known for their wild colors, unexpected fabric pairings, and a mission to take nature as a "vibrant, inexhaustible source of inspiration". Mix that with TOILETPAPER, an incredible, avant-garde photography magazine with a website in which you could get lost for hours.
The result: Kenzo's Fall 2013 campaign ads, a brilliantly unexpected homage to both surrealism and the high art of fashion.
A little background: Kenzo's creative director wanted "weird and cool," but the result is much more than the sum of those parts. The campaign is infused with bizarre adult playfulness and quirky optical illusions, and some images abandon the need for human models altogether in favor of dogs and kittens. Each photo flirts with the shocking (like the one with the severed nail, below) but pulls back to the realm of absurdity just in time.
The Surrealism references are obvious, with all the disproportionate body parts and the weirdo juxtapositions. The images are so striking that it's easy to forget about the clothes altogether — who needs a cute outfit when you're pinned to a butterfly board? But what becomes most memorable, when scrolling through these ads, is the brand itself, making this a totally brilliant advertising move.
Check out the rest of the images on the Kenzo blog, and watch a behind-the-scenes video below.