Fashion Advert Analysis:

Semiotics or Semiology is the study of signs in society’ [Bignell.J. 1997, 2002 ‘Media Semiotics An Introduction’pg5] and creates more effective adverts through the use of denotations and connotations.

‘It is the relationship between one sign and another which is important for the meaning of the advert’ [Bignell.J. 1997, 2002 ‘Media Semiotics An Introduction’pg16, 29, 34]:

Miu-Miu-02 Miu-Miu-03 Miu-Miu-04

Vogue Jan 15, Miu Miu displays a fragment of their THE CROISIÈRE’ pre-spring/summer 2015 collection. Using the thesis of semiotics I am speculating on the denotations and connotations within the piece.

At first the two pages seem independent. The left photograph is isolated from the right editorial of Natalie Westling.  However, links between the two images clarify:

  • The organic nature of the landscape in relation to the untamed hair connotes freedom and raw sexuality in the natural bed-head look. Antonio Lopez illustrations in Intro Magazine 1967Therefore, Miu Miu must imagine their clientele closely associating with this organic freedom and fiery tempered, intensely strong, red haired passion or at least longing for it. Whereas, in reality though ‘High fashion still exists it is bought, largely; by people who don’t have to work’ or ‘consists mainly of self-display.’ [Lurie.A. 1981. ‘The language of clothes’]
  • The beach: a destination for relaxation and reflection. The addition of grasses denotes growth and new life from upturned areas of vegetation. Combined, this signifies the collection is updating the 70’s making it tangible and wearable again. [ (20/12/2014] Out with the old and in with the Miu Miu!
  • In the ripples on the sea-bed: directly translating as pleats, gathers and swirling patterns, of orange and brow on the chiffon dress. Further evoking the idea of earthy elegance that, as with tides, moves in and out of fashion.  verushkain emilio pucciSonia Rykiel look in Harpers Bazaar March 1969
  • Meanwhile, the crocheted tank top connotes Crochet shortspouring effort into the garment; it is homely, personal – something available for the everyday women – grounded fashion with an eye-catching print. The wearer is choosing to make a statement.
  • The blank editorial canvas; minimal make-up Thea Porter outif 1971and emotionless expression allow the designs to fit any purpose or function. The image has not been sexualised or confined: the buyer decides, creating a sense of empowerment.

However, many of Miu Miu’s customers and the majority of the female population – unlike Natalie Westling – are not size 0 and therefore, somehow all of Miu Miu’s efforts to tap into the ‘free’, organic, everyday women seem flawed and false. Honesty cannot be translated when Miu Miu use models ‘with a child’s wide-eyed pouting face and figure: long thin legs, narrow undeveloped body and proportionally big head’ encouraging ‘anorexia to become a household word’ [Lurie.A. 1981. ‘The language of clothes’] is this still what Miu Miu wants to be associated with?!

– Bignell.J. 1997, 2002 ‘Media Semiotics An Introduction’pg5
– Bignell.J. 1997, 2002 ‘Media Semiotics An Introduction’pg16, 29, 34
– Lurie.A. 1981. ‘The language of clothes’ (20/12/2014


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