Wednesday, 29 February 2012

A brilliant use of fashion advertising in the form of the fashion film for Lanvin's 2011/2012 Fall/Winter collection. Such a simple idea and form of communication that has a huge impact.

Some of the most recent advertising campaigns used in fashion to communicate the consumer public.

"The Power of Desire"

As a society, we are driven by a consumer state, 'wanting', 'needing', always seeking that next new purchase or 'dream', whether it is the new statement handbag or a holiday. With this, the power of advertising comes into play, as it provides us all with the desire to conform to the idea of the 'consuming individual'.

'to convince people all over the world that they did not just want this product, they needed it.'
Hegarty, 2009

The use of psychology, or 'high feeling stratergy', creativity and innovation in advertising has made it, in my opinion, the most influential form of promoting a product or idea.
The relationship between fashion and advertising has always interested me, having previously explored the use of sex appeal in advertising and the 'shock factor' in more controversial advertising.
In response to the lecture 'History of Advertising', I came across the highly controversial advertising campaigns for the fashion house 'Sisley', of which used the same strategy of 'shockvertising' that I have previously looked at. Morally, the depiction of drug use and abuse in this particular advertisement, is totally wrong and, some could say, very unnecessary. One could say that the use of the subject of drug use is irrelavent to the product in promoting and advertising. However, the shock value in this is ultimately why this advertisement is successful, in capturing the audience of the public. In my opinion, I do agree that the subject of drug use should never be used irresponisbly, however, I feel that the concept of the advertisement is clear and concise, and if not taken too seriously is quite clever in the use of the play on words; 'Fashion Junkie', perhaps suggesting the addictive nature of the fashion industry.

'The most expensive real estate is the corner of somebody's mind' (Hegarty, 2009)

Fashion advertising is used to communicate an idea or concept to a desired target audience, and are the most powerful reflection, other than perhaps - the fashion show - of a fashion house or brand.

Calvin Klein communicates their minimalist style and tailored masculinity beautifully here. The model pictured, Lara Stone, reflects the stark beauty that represents the fashion house. Calvin Klein seems to have adopted a particular signature style of advertising, using mostly black and white photography and minimalist approach, reflecting as a modern, chic brand to any consuming audience.
'Aspirational advertising' is used at the forefront of communicating and promoting a fashion brand. The use of beautiful models and 'perfect', idealised photography campaigns, the audience desires to aspire to the lifestyle of beauty and glamour. Dolce and Gabbana, in my opinion, has mastered the art of powerful aspirational advertising.

Dolce and Gabbana's main emphasis in their advertising campaigns is glamour. The communication of this is wonderful, particularly in the fragrance advertisements using Scarlet Johannson where we see the use of idea of iconic, international glamour and femininity. I find it interesting that more often than not, Dolce and Gabbanna use the idea of the narrative within their advertisements, giving depth and further interest to the already over populated fashion advertisements. This is what I believe sets them apart from others, making their campaigns more memorable in the public eye, perfectly communicating the Dolce and Gabbana brand.

The use of comunication in fashion has altered and changed dramatically with new technology and the constant desire for an artisan approach to promotion and advertisement. More and more fashion labels are takin into consideration the experience of the consumer in communicating their brand and image. For examplem the Prada flagship store in New York is designed to give the customer a totally different experience. Designed much like an art gallery in the way clothing and products are displayed, with installations and interactive experiences.

The way we communicate is forever changing. As consumer's, the way we experience fashion will continue to develop combining art, media platforms and technology. I found this interesting video showing just one of the technological advances being explored in how we communicate in the fashion industry.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

"All The World's A Stage"

The.Fashion.Catwalk. Three words adored by all fashion lovers.

There are aspects of designers collections that you do not fully appreciate with out the creative freedom of the catwalk show. For me, the fashion show is a wonderfully inspiring expression of the creativity that can be seen through out the fashion industry. We see the designers creative journey come to a theatrical end in the production of the fashion show.

The fashion show allows the designer to communicate their exact intentions and ideas, emphasising the 'look' and feel of a collection. It allows them to expand and push the boundaries of their innovations, creating something that is much more theatrical, 3D, more than just the clothing.

Etienne Russo, head of Villa Eugenie and fashion show director, is the name you need to know if you want to create a fantastical, out of this world fashion show. I was blown away when I learnt of just how many of the top fashion houses use his skills of production; Chanel, Lanvin, Dries Van Noten, Mui Mui, Celine, Hugo Boss, Dior ...
His work for Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel, is perhaps most recognisable. The production included 265 tonnes of frozen snow which was imported from Northern Sweden, where 35 ice sculptures were employed to create the design of an iceberg.

Lagerfeld's inspiration for this extravagant show was the growing importance of climate change and global warming. The use of fur and heavy knit in his collection is only emphasised by the fashion show, communicating clearly his intentions and desires.
'Global warming is the issue of our times. Fashion has to address it.'

I find the fashion catwalk is an amazing mix of communication skills, combining the creative use of lighting, music, set and theatrical effects, and is something I find very interesting.

 The lighting used in the catwalk show is undoubtedly very important. As the sole purpose of the fashion show is to communicate and present the designers collection, it is essential that the clothing is complimented in the best possible way for the audience, taking into consideration fabric, textures and colouring.
The lighting, such as colour and spotlight, used in fashion can create incredible expression, feeling and emotion to the clothing, emphasising the designers intention for the audience in how they first view the collection.
The sheer volume of the production with a fashion show is astounding, it seems that anything is possible with the dream and desire to achieve it. Here is a short video time lapse of the production of the Luis Vuitton set up of the Spring/Summer runway that I found very interesting.

For me, the fashion show is the epitome of the communication of glamour, style, design, art, theatre ... Visually stunning, creating emotion and desire into the audience with the glance of the first model walking tall, to the beat of a seductive rhythm ... only on the runway.

"Context of Practice"

An interesting, graffiti inspired communication of our module brief.

Monday, 13 February 2012

"Fashion and Communication"

'sharing an opinion or idea, sharing information and understanding. A two way process of reaching a mutual understanding, in which participants exchange, create and share meaning.'

As a species, we use communication through out our lives. It is fundamental in how we share our ideas, opinions and understand each other, and with out it, interactions between two people would not be possible. Communication in the fashion industry is vital, so much so that you may say without it - the motivations and processes of the fashion world would not, and could not, progress and ultimately, be the highly successful creative industry as we see today.

For instance, inspired by the societies and cultures of the world, a fashion designer strives to communicate their concepts and ideas through the garments they create. This communication of their designs are emphasised and expressed through the use of branding, promotion, advertising and the fashion catwalk. This process of communicating ideas, inspirations and innovative designs is exactly what we see in the fashion industry every day.

In the media eye of our society, the use of communication in fashion is endless. Whether communicating gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity, religion, or political and social differences, fashion and the media has the power to influence our opinions, provoking new ideas, and in some cases causing controvery. I find the strength that the media has upon our consumer state and our own personal lives incredibly interesting, and intend to explore the different ways of communication in fashion.

'Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the streets, fashion has to do to with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.' Coco Chanel

Monday, 6 February 2012

"Gender and Fashion"

"Celebrity Culture"

We live in a world where we are constantly engrossed in celebrity culture. This is something that many people have become to follow and obsess over .... much like a fashion statement, trend or 'it' bag. Whether or not you are interested in the celebrity world, or quite frankly, could not care less about the ins and outs or some 'B list' reality television 'personality', this celebrity culture that has become embedded in our society and own cultures.

This celebrity obsession has come to influence the fashion industry. Trending and forecasting for designs and styles very much depends on the celebrity endoresments in advertising and branding, something of which i am very interested in and is something that I may explore into further.

In light of this, however, I do enjoy the tumbr blog 'awesome people hanging out together', where I feel the real legends of celebrity figures are included...

"Fashion, Society and Culture"

'Fashion theorists believe that fashion is a reflection of social, economic, political and cultural changes, but also that fashion expresses modernity and symbolises the spirit of the time' Bulmer, 1989

The movement of the fashion industry reflects and expresses the changes in our society. The history of the hemline in the skirt documents perfectly the specific changes in our society, for example, in times of recession and economic slump, the hemline would drop to a very modest length. However, when economy rises and the mood in society lifts, as does the hemline.

I find this relationship between such changes in society and fashion very interesting. It seems that fashion works in a continuous cycle with our society and cultural changes, where designers use the mood of society at one time to create clothing and collections that 'fit' with this. With designers being inspired by the feeling of the time we see social acceptability of different styles and fashions.

The trends and distinctive styles that we have seen appear in our society have been inspired by designers' reactions, as well as our own personal influences, of historical changes in society. The 1970's saw the subculture of punk emerge into our society. The idea of punk came from the intentional rebellion of the mainstream social trends of that time, where the glittering disco styles were fashionable. Punk fashion and music went hand in hand when it came to trending into becoming what was seen as 'fashionable', with bands such as 'The Exploited' and 'The Ramones'. Designers Vivenne Westwood and Malcolm McClaren were hugely influential.

The subculture of punk held strong ideologies about anti-capitalism, individualism, anti-authoritarianism and freedom for speech and expression, with this being a direct attack on the normality of mainstream society and culture. However, the punk culture has been highly criticised for many reasons. In my opinion, the idea of being rebellious and individual becomes irrelevant when the trend and cultural difference becomes fashionable. When punk became fashionable, the basic ideologies of the subculture became totally absent, in following the punk trend you are not rebelling against the 'system of society' but conforming to that new fashion and being the stereotypical punk. Here is a great video clip, expressing this idea, from the 1999 american film ‘SLC Punk!’

Throughout society, fashion will always be interested, influenced and inspired by cultural changes and differences. This influence from designers and fashion ultimately changes how we express ourselves through our own personal style.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

I have a great love and passion for fashion films so I couldn't not include this fantastic, quite disturbing yet incredibly expressionate film from Iris Van Herpen. I urge you to visit her official site (the link is posted in the previous entry).

The designer Iris Van Herpen for her spring/summer collection for 2012 creates wonderfully mesmerising clothing, using fabric and textile technology. She creates this incredible innovative mix of fine couture and 'futuritic digital technology'. I feel that these designs are the epitome of where the fashion world is technologically, where designers express there utmost creativity.

I found this magnificent video whilst researching technology in fashion. These designs were by none other than Hussein Chalayan for his spring/summer collection in 2007. The use of technology, innovation and creative genius in the designs and garments blow me away.

"Fashion and Technology"

"Technology is the fashion of the 90's" Jay Chiat

The progression of technology in the fashion and textile industry has paved the way for many innovative and original designs, the feeling of there being no limitations in our creativity.

The experimentation with fabric technology and scientific understanding has allowed us to produce many man made fabrics such as Nylon and Lycra, thus allowing us to manufacture better, more efficient and durable fabrics. The progression of fabric technology has seen some designers and ecologists experimenting with naturally produced fabrics, biodegradable and sourced entirely from natural products. The designer, Suzanne Lee, and her 'biocouture' really opened my eyes to the knowledge and understanding we have on this field of technology.

I find my self very inspired by some designers' use of these new, innovative approaches to fabric and textile technology, in the way they create patterns and designs, shapes and silhouettes. The use of CAD (Computer Aided Design) Photoshop, Illustrator, amongst many other design tools has allowed the fashion industry to become much more efficient and easier in the design through to manufacturing processes. As a result of these great advances in technology, designers now have much more creative license and scope in what they can achieve.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

"Fashion and Globalisation"

"processes of production, consumption, capital flow, trade and monetary independence" Wadham, 2007

The negativity's of globalisation in the fashion industry is something that, I believe, everyone is aware of.  The globalisation of the fashion trade industry has made it easier, and more importantly - cheaper - for companies and businesses to manufacture and distribute their products around the world. Resulting in this is the constant serious exploitation of countries such as China, India and Turkey, to name a few, for their cheap labour and work that is easily attained for the manufacturing of garments for thousands of retail and fashion industries.  This topic is something of which is under constant speculation and negativity in the fashion world, with the constant strive to obtain a fair trade and manufacturing agreement within these exploited countries.

If we were to change this situation, sourcing and manufacturing every textile and product in the UK, the cost and price of these products would radically increase, creating a great drop in consumerism therefore resulting in an economic downturn. These businesses and industries that manufacture in these 'cost effective' countries need to trade overseas in order for them to keep the UK prices of products at a standard.

There are some positive effects if globalisation in the fashion world. We are now seeing more and more designers emerging from India, the Far East and Middle East, who are making their own mark on fashion and bringing styles and ideas from their cultures and countries.  Their has been a shift in who the designers 'to watch' and 'follow' are, with more of these designers from other parts of the world influencing the fashion designs of others.

In my opinion, this globalisation in fashion is something that we cannot stop or change. Of course I would whole heartedly love to live in a world where the terrible thought of where and how our clothes are produced never entered our minds, however, being honest, I dont see that this 'agreement' of trade and manufacturing overseas will ever change.

I feel that we will always live in a world reminiscent of that proverb; the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.