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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Whose orchid is it anyway???

Today I went shopping in my home town because the weather was very nice and I needed some new stuff for the autumn and winter that is coming upon us very soon. Driving into town with my car during a saturday afternoon is not a very good idea but I had to do at the same time some errants so I needed the trunk of my car. The road into the city center is normaly a 10 minutes drive but today it took me more that 45 minutes to reach my destination. It was a lot of stop and go and bumper to bumper. What do you do while waiting in line to enter a city? Listen to the radio, text some messages to friends, thinking about meaningless things, looking at the many tourists that are still in big numbers in town hurrying along the boardwalks like grasshoppers in a corn field... Then I needed to stop the car again at a traffic light that was close to my end target. Finally. This traffic light is situated near a very big perfume store from a very well known chain of perfume stores. While looking at the big displays in the windows I saw a lot of advertising for perfumes from all the major brands like YSL, Boss, Gucci... and also the photo above with a beautiful lady in perfect make-up. She had grand eyes, very lush red lips and her right eye was decorated with a blood red orchid. "What an original concept", I thought to tell a message! I had never seen that ad before. The traffic light went to green and I entered city center. The strange thing was that during an entire day of shopping the picture above kept popping up in my mind. Who was that women and what was the name of the perfume she was advertising? But there was also another thing that was bothering me but I was not able to put my finger on it! What was it about that picture that struck me and made me uneasy?
Back home I found the picture on the internet. The women was Italian actress Monica Bellucci advertising the perfume "Hypnotic Poison" and lipstick "Rouge Dior" by Dior.
And then it hit me why I was so intrigued by this picture. The image of a women's eye in a blood red orchid I had seen before although not very often but the image was struck into my subconscious as a poster for a Marisa Mell giallo movie called "Sette Orchidee Macchiate di Rosso" or in French "Le Tueur à l'Orchidee" directed by Umberto Lenzi in 1972 with Antonio Sabato and Uschi Glass.
What coincidence I thought that after more than almost 40 years the same image was used for an ad campaign to promote the newest perfume of fashion house Dior. The only thing missing in the Dior campaign was a tear of blood dropping from the eye but that was maybe to much even for Dior. A little more research learned that the man responsable for this image was make-up master for Dior for more than 30 year called "Tyen". He started his job at Dior as a make-up artist and then in later years became their fashion photographer and stylist for their ads. And as you can see on the picture below he puts more on women's faces than just orchids.
I wonder if he is a giallo fan or even an Eurocult fan? It could be possible while living in Paris, France that he came across the poster of "Le Tueur à l'Orchidee" and that the image has struck him one way or the other. So when one day the new ad campaign for the Dior perfume was needed this image of an eye surrounded by orchid petals came back to him. Who knows? Nevertheless it makes for a strong image and a beautiful campaign.

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