An affair to Remember

Valentines gets bashed for being a commercial gimmick and the more people I talk to, the more I find people wincing at the thought of it. Either because it is a hard hitting reminder of their single status, or because the pressure of racking your brains for an original gifts gets too much. But if you move aside all the heart bearing bears and decadent dozens of roses, Valentines is a sweet reminder and appreciation for the tradition of courtship and romance. Seeming as the ideology behind this day has been lost, we wanted to explore the idea of love and affection without the cheesy gimmicks of Valentines.

Chanel is a name that comes up time and time again, but one that never becomes tiresome. The flawless brand has tapped into our senses, inviting us into a world of luxury and elegance. From the moment you see a Chanel advert, the desire to buy Chanel, wear Chanel, and live the Chanel lifestyle is pressing. The experience they offer and the fantasy they create is memorable. This is why some of the vintage Chanel adverts have stuck with me, and hence why when it came to exploring Valentines, my source was chosen.

Rich with history, class and timelessness, the black & white, and sepia Chanel adverts exudes vintage luxury. They are the sort of images you want framed around your home and on your desktop screen, you want to surround yourself with them; they are as gorgeous as the collections seen during fashion weeks. But aside from their aesthetic appeal, many vintage Chanel perfume adverts use the idea of romance and courtship to sell the product, and there is no denying you will fall head over heels in love with the romance conveyed.

The vintage Chanel adverts see a male and female engaged in one single image. Compared to advertisements today where women can often be sexualised, Chanel have carefully composed adverts which tell the tale of courtship, affection and love without the need for words. In one single image, you are not only sold the ideology behind the perfume, but the story between a couple brought together by the compelling scent. The images are subtle but powerful, feminine but strong, vintage but contemporary.

Seeming as though the excessive presents and blood red cards that dominate the streets do not show the true value of Valentines, we argue that these vintage adverts stand in good stead for how Valentines should be celebrated and conceived by cupid struck lovers. Adore the one you love, appreciate their affection for you and show them by staring romantically into their eyes (okay, that last bit might be over the top, but I’m a hopeless romantic whose spent too much time looking at these images, so what do you expect?).

Marni Banks

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