Animals in fashion shoots are the consummate couture quick win. I may be an advertising-savvy cynic, but throw a load of big fierce creatures at some trembling sylphs in pretty threads, pour on a savannah-load of symbolism involving freedom, danger, dirt, sex and more sex, and my brain fuses into one big consumption-happy erogenous zone. I'd buy a Pac-a-Mac if it was draped on a meerkat.
On the wild things front, those visionary vecks at Vogue outdid themselves last year. Corinne Day's Givenchy giraffe was full of wonder and wit; Arthur Elgort's safari shoot with Keira feeding baby 'phants strapped into logo'ed pants somehow transcended its roots as a patronising piece of colonial crap to become a tense Forsterish triumph.
But inevitably it's the beasts we put between our legs that provide the most potent emotional punch, and this year Steven Klein's Autumn 08 ad campaign for Loewe exploits them to the max. There's a reason that women spend their pre-pubescent years child-labouring in their local stables, shit-sprayed and drowning in oestrogel confusion; ever since Lancelot rocked up with a sword on a big shaggy colt, our equestrian fantasies have endured.
Klein's campaign is a Jilly Cooper rides The Black Stallion naff fest, via every bit-champing, jodphur-straining, heaving-flanked cliche in the fashion book. Bloody hell, though. It works.