While they try to aim for an edgy or modern angle, Freya's lookbooks fail to communicate any theme or perspective on the collection they're representing. Lately, they've cast the same slender, pale skinned body type and outfitted her with gaudy stilettos, chunky jewelry and over teased hair. The ubiquitous half bored, half drugged "sexy" look can be found on every page, accompanied by the requisite slack jawed pouty mouth and barely open, but bizarrely focused gaze. The environment seems like an afterthought and often clashes with the products they're meant to reinforce. But with a few slight tweaks, they'd have images as brilliant as the ones below:
Huit Autumn/Winter 2010
Freya's stylists and photographers seem to understand what men might find arousing, but they haven't dared to explore what sexually suggestive images would appeal to women. Promotional images are meant to be aspirational, but in Freya's recent catalogs the goal has been off base: I don't want to be the woman who men find arousing, I want to be the aroused woman. The sexiest lingerie images I've seen communicate an internal reaction or suggest a stimulating, intimate surrounding. If Freya wants to portray their lingerie with sexual overtones, I'd be delighted to see a more complex, personal, and experience-driven approach.
Elomi Spring/Summer 2012
By using their model, setting, and accessories as static and stereotypical props, Freya refuses to acknowledge their lookbook as a storytelling device. It's a shame since storytelling lookbooks create a powerful and absorbing connection with viewers and without that link, people are more inclined to dismiss or forget the product they've seen. Catalog narratives don't need to be too detailed, I'm not asking Freya to shoot the lingerie version of Amélie...although, that would be AWESOME! I'm simply suggesting that they use their styling choices to communicate an appealing, distinct scenario.
Huit Autumn/Winter 2011
Finally, I'm imploring Freya to do something different. Full bust lingerie brands have a conservative reputation, they recycle the same ideas or trends among themselves and when an innovative style comes along, it's copied immediately. If Freya used their lookbooks to step outside of this uninspired clique, they'd demolish the competition. They're currently working on a cheap imitation of this idea: swapping out the backdrops or adding in the occasional pair of sneakers, without letting go of their other hackneyed tactics. They need to challenge themselves to go beyond their comfort zone and focus on finding artistic, unfamiliar ways to portray their collections.
Freya Autumn/Winter 2013
After publishing the Freya: Eveden's Achilles' Heel argument last week, I received an articulate and impassioned outpouring of support from readers, storeowners, and bloggers who felt similarly. The comments on social media and the post itself described a number of complaints and disappointments that I believe are worth addressing individually and if everyone is game, I'd love to brainstorm solutions. These are my thoughts on their lackluster lookbooks -- what would you suggest Freya try in the future?