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Hmmmm, but is it art?

We would be the first to defend the importance of fashion to any would-be critics, but the latest campaign for French Connection takes style to such a level of seriousness, even we are struggling to conceal our smirks.

The high street chain launched a quest to find the most stylish folk in all of Europedom, to model its Spring/Summer 11 collection, trawling the streets tirelessly 'to find ambassadors that represented their sex with the joie de vivre, sophistication and irreverence of French Connection. People who knew their own style, weren’t faddish and were up for experimenting'.

Once these forward thinking, free-wheeling, too-cool-for-art-school girls and boys had been discovered, they were shipped off to two islands for extreme fashion training. Or, as French Connection put it, to 'discover what it meant to be a Man or Woman in the 21st century [and] explore ideas of how gender and society dictate how we are meant to act'

If that all sounds a little grandiose and (dare we say?) pretentious, then we're quite happy to report that the resulting images are actually quite nice. Almost like the inhabitants of The Wicker Man, recast with East London hipsters. Grazia has selflessly offered their own explanation for each of the shots, here.

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