Thursday, 29 March 2012

"Final Artifact"

"A Business Plan"

Throughout my studies of context of practise I have found the communication of fashion most interesting and rewarding, the advertising, the promotion, the presentation of fashion.

When developing my ideas and artifact I kept coming back to the concept of a marketing and advertising business plan of which, lets say, perhaps, a designer would use to promote a new collection.
My original idea for the artifact brought me to this marketing concept. Originally, I wanted to create a projection, the design of which would be the same as my current artifact, however, I wanted to combine video alongside these still images. This juxtaposition of video and still image in one publication or projection was something of which, unfortunately, I have no knowledge of and did not know how to create my desired effect. The idea to this would be that there would be street style images, interspersed with video captions, ultimately creating an innovative look. The audience, under the impression that all the images were still, but then - a slight movement of the hand or head of one of the 'still' images would create an odd, interesting angle to the design.

My idea was that a designer could take this concept of projection, using images and video of models in their own garment or product collection, to create a strange but, I feel, very memorable and effective marketing and promotion strategy.

I feel this concept idea would work very well if the collection was, perhaps, a futuristic style, where the sudden, unexpected jolts of movement, almost like a static electric shock, placed alongside the still images would create a computerised effect to what the audience believed was just photographic images. Thus, making this effective in its goal to communication the fashion designers' idea, thoughts and brand. I played around using Photoshop to visualize the effectiveness of my design idea.

Another marketing strategy I had was to use a promotional video, as I feel they are incredibly successful in creating promotional stir withing our viral age of society.

The main thoughts I had for this was to take the idea of identity and style as the forefront to the concept of the video. You would see a shot of an ordinary shopping street in a city, no people to be seen at all. Then, you see a quick shot of a figure briskly walk across screen, progressively there begin to emerge more and more individual people, all going about there own business of life - some on phones, others holding briefcases, rushing to their next meeting. The time lapse of the video begins to speed up and the music begins to rise in a crescendo as more individuals are seen in the street, creating a hustling energy of separate lives in one place.

The defining idea to the promotional video is that each and every person seen are dressed in a designers clothing, entirely from one collection, creating a surreal look of conformity. I thought this video would make the audience think. The idea I wanted to communicate is that, perhaps we are not all individual identities, or even perhaps, that this particular designers collection is so utterly fashion forward that there would be no need for any more designs, ideas or new innovation ...

My general idea of how I imagine the video to look like. Again I used McQueen's Spring/Summer 2010 collection as I liked the futuristic, surreal look of the collection in context with the communication of the eerie message in the video.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

"Concept Development"

My main aim for my final piece, or artifact, in reflection of my research and studies into context of practise, is to highlight and express the diversity of our individual identities and style. It is my belief that how we dress ourselves day to day is a directly personal expression of who we are. I believe that your personal style represents your identity, what makes you and your personality, an individual.

I am always in admiration of what people wear, intrigued by the different mix of styles we see everywhere. For my artifact, I collected photographs of individual styles of my peers, taking inspiration from the trend hunter and street style blog's I had previously looked at, collecting all these images to create a montage of different styles and fashion identities, I way in which, I feel is direct and clear in expressing my intentions of communication.

As my theme was communication, I wanted to promote a message, invoking a feeling and emotion within the audience, which would ultimately spark their own thoughts and opinions about identity. Perhaps thinking how much they feel they express their own identity through fashion and style, perhaps how others use their style to create a different desired persona.

I had previously looked at the use of strong, emotive language in advertising and promotion. In my opinion, the most simple, clear and quite to the point messages are the most successful and are the ones that will stick into the minds of the audience, inspiring new thoughts and ideas. Hence why I felt a bold, clean message of 'Who will you be?' was perfect in reiterating my communication of identity.

"My Thought Process"

How people express their identity and personality through their own individual style is something that I find my self very interested in. How you can interpret a persons interests, perhaps music preference, taste and expressions just through the way they dress. How we portray and express, presenting ourselves to peers and public in our own desired way in that we determine how we are perceived.

In this idea of individual identity there is some negativity. Take perhaps, the reasons why the majority of the youth in society feel that they should, perhaps even need, to present a 'bettered' version of ourselves, only to be judge accordingly in the eyes of our peers. This could be, perhaps, because of the constant emphasis on celebrity culture, creating a feeling that we all should 'dress to impress' in our day to day.

With this in mind, however, I have feel positive about our world wide 'street style'. It is my opinion that whether we dress to impress others, to conform to a societal group, or perhaps even just to fill us with an air of confidence in our lives, no matter what the reason - it is our own identity.

Leeds is a wonderful city to see the diversification of fashion, style and identity. The great mix of high end designer fashion labels, the leading high street brands and great vintage and boutique stores all around the city really contributes to the varying street style in Leeds. I find myself fascinated by the fashion I see on the streets, admiring those who think 'outside the box' in style, the quirky fashion pieces and diverse expression that is seen in everyone's style identity.
This was my starting point, and with this, researched into different blog and websites that bring attention and explore the styles of you and I, celebrating it as it should be.

You cannot say 'street style' and not think 'The Sartorialist'.

The Style Scout

Elle Magazine

Street Peeper 

The Locals

Les Garcon De Glasgow

I urge you to take a look at these, really some great inspiring street styles.

Monday, 26 March 2012

"Playing the Promo Game"

Promotion and advertising is, perhaps, the most influential tool for fashion companies in order to create a stir of desire and consumer nature around their product. In my opinion, high quality promotion and successful advertising determines how well we are provoked to endorse in said products.

The fashion industry has creative advertising down to a fine tuned art, where we see so many extraordinary new and innovative ways of promotion and advertising used every where within the public eye, whether on billboards, shop windows or a viral advertising. The key, I believe, in a successful campaign or 'business plan' for promotion is the strength of the communication, the suggestive and emotive language and imagery used to create the ultimate emphasise of brand and product awareness.

Levi's Campaign 'Go Forth'

Although there seems to be mixed reviews on the effectiveness of the Levi's campaign, in my opinion, the brand and its image and message are clear throughout. The use of consistent text, both in style and emotive use, and the imagery that invokes a laid back but empowered feel in the audience communicates successfully the intended brand and designer message.

De Beers Jewellery 'A Diamond is Forever'

A very chic, stylishly simple advertising campaign for the ultra chic and stylish De Beer's. Humorous and romantic at the same time, these adverts appeal emotionally to both sides of their audience. A very clever use of emotive advertising at its best.

Lanvin Spring/Summer 2010 campaign

Previously in my Context of Practise research I looked into Lanvin as a brand and the promotional video they created. Here, in the same lux style as before, Lanvin communicates a striking advertising campaign, visually strong and bold in the contortions of the bodies in juxtaposition with the elegance and class of the garments involved. Brilliant.

Stella McCartney

London Fashion Week. Stella McCartney's debut Autumn/Winter 2012. Promotional excellence.

 '...just as the fourth vegetarian mini course was slipping down, a model seated at one of the tables yelled at a waiter, someone threw a chair, someone else leapt across the room in full attack mode and before the startled guests, who included Kate Moss, Rihanna, Peter Blake, Zaha Hadid, Paul Whitehouse, Richard E Grant and Minnie Driver, grasped quite what was going on, a flash-mob fashion show was taking place ... Forget dreary old conventional catwalk, this was surround-fashion: Yasmin Le Bon and Amber Valetta dancing on tables and chairs, Shalom Harlow throwing diva-like shapes, ... and around 16 other models taking part in a choreographed number that combined high energy with McCartney's voluminous marbled dresses and those sexy black and white panelled columns that are rapidly becoming another of her trademarks.'

Please follow this link to watch McCartney's flash fashion mob!

"Dreaming of Another World"

Another film from Tim Walker that I couldn't resist but to share.

Eerie, surreal, strange, mesmerising, enchanting ....

"The 'VOGUE' Idea"

I wanted to take a brief look at the typography used in the creative and fashion industry, and how the font type used helps to communicate and emphasis a mood or message.

'VOGUE'. A world now used to describe the avant garde, glamour and innovative beauty.The magazine has spread world wide, so much so that almost every country and culture has its own print. The typography used in 'Vogue', as well as other high end fashion magazine's like 'Elle' and 'Harper's Bazaar' has firmly officiated its communication of glamour and style which is internationally recognised. The sleak and simple font type of Didone, Bidoni or Didot is widely used to communicate an affluent air to any of these magazine's, making them so much more appeling to the fashion hungry audience.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

"The Storyteller"

Fashion photography is an incredibly powerful communicative art. A single image can communicate and create any emotion desired by that of the photographer and designer with in the audience, creating an air of chic and glamour, which ultimately inspires the target audience to buy their product.
I wanted to continue into my research on fashion photography as I feel it is, perhaps, the most important and most influential tool of communication used in the fashion industry.

Corinne Day

Corinne Day, a British documentary and fashion photographer, who started her career in the fashion industry as a model, has always been a great inspiration to me. Day, who launched the career of a young 19 year old Kate Moss with her iconic, raw yet beautiful collection of photographs, uses a bleak and seemingly innocent style when photographing her subjects, offering a 'darker side to fashion'.
Tragically, Corinne Day passed away after battling a brain tumour on the 27th August 2010. Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman is quoted; 'Her work for British Vogue was entirely original and will always be remembered. She could capture raw beauty like few others.'

Stephen Meisel

'One of the most iconic fashion photographers of all time'. An American photographer who gained critical acclaim in his work with US and Italian Vogue, Meisel is now considered as one of the most successful fashion photographers within the fashion industry. Starting out his career in illustration, working for the likes of Halston and Parsons, Meisel has now created some of the most expressive, theatrical photographs that will continue to stir the inspiration and creativity of the fashion world.
I have included a link below of some more of his work which I found very interesting.

Mario Testino

I have always been inspired by Mario Testino's work, he is featured regularly in the top fashion magazine and I have been influenced by his work through my own through my studies. Peruvian born Testino, creates magic and playful expression through his photographs, with his style been described as 'lxury realism'. He has photographed names upon names of fashion and societal figures, including the late Diane Princess of Wales and her sons, and more recently Testino photographed Prince Wills and Kate for their engagement. Mario Testino has become one of the most celebrated fashion photographers.

'Mario Testino makes anyone he photographs look the best they ever will. That's part of the magic...
When he photographs clothes they look so good they actually sell.'

Tim Walker

British born fashion photographer, Tim Walker is a huge influence for me and my own work. His extravagant, theatrical photographs that look more like a shot of a stage performance than that of a fashion subject, which is something that I find mesmerising. Walker began as a photography assistant to Richard Avedon, later going on to shoot his first ever fashion story featured in Vogue when he was only 25 years old. I am utterly in love with his style of photography, the prominence of the narrative story within the photograph makes every single one as enchanting and interesting as the last.
Walker has also began to explore the film world .... I have included his first foray into film titled 'The Lost Explorer' below.