Essay on Analysis of an Image Taken from a Calvin Klein Advertisement

Essay on Analysis of an Image Taken from a Calvin Klein Advertisement

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In this essay I will describe an image taken from an advert and use visual methodological approach to analyse and depict the different set of meanings produced by this image. In order to explicate my ideas I will provide a brief outline of the picture. Then, I will describe a number of coded and non coded meanings and how the advert is employing a range of signifiers to communicate messages to the consumer and reinforce the brand identity. (Barthes 1972)
For the purpose of this argument I will explore the image in the context using Barthes methodology in its “signs” (Barthes 1972) produced and deconstruct the image in basic building blocks.
This photograph has been taken by the photographer Steven Klein for the Calvin Klein Fall-Winter 09/10 jeans campaign. The advert captures Eva and unveils the celebrity top half wearing only a pair of jeans on a plain, white background. The picture is in black and white with a caption of Calvin Klein Jeans and the garment label.
Eva Mendes half top is undressed and she is exposing her bare back turning her torso slightly, while her face confronts the spectator. The skin dominates the image and the eye is immediately drawn to the intensity of her expression, the curvaceous figure and her arms in an explosion of seductive beauty, framed by nothing but a pair of jeans. To quote Berger’s line “her expression is the expression of a woman responding with calculated charm to the man whom she imagines looking at her…she is offering up here femininity as the surveyed”. (Berger, 1972, p. 49) The centrality of the body in this case is even more reinforced by the caption advertising the brand called unmistakably the BODY Line.

This image is built around some key elements of the body, gender, race...


... middle of paper ...


...oston: Allyn & Bacon.
Masi De Casanova, E (2004). "No Ugly Women": Concepts of Race and Beauty among Adolescent Women in Ecuador. In Gender & Society, Vol.18, No. 3, pp. 287-308. London: Sage Publications.
Merskin, D (2004) Reviving Lolita? : A Media Literacy Examination of Sexual Portrayals of Girls in Fashion Advertising. In American Behavioral Scientist, vol. 48: pp.119-129. London: Sage Publications.
Rose, G (2007 Edition: 2) Visual Methodologies, London: Sage Publications
Wallerstein, K (1998) Thinness and Other Refusals in Contemporary Fashion Advertisements in Fashion Theory, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.129–150. London: Berg. Williamson, J. (1978). Decoding Advertisements: Ideology and Meaning in Advertising. London: Marion Boyars.
Seckler, V (2009) Betting On The Personal Approach. WWD: Women's Wear Daily, Vol. 198 Issue 20, p8-1 Conde’ Nast Publications

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