AN EXPLOSION OF COLOUR IN THE LANDSCAPE
First day of Fashion Communication. Panic! It's crazy but in a thrilling way. It's fun, it's loud, it's fashion, it's all the key words I need to hear like 'brand', 'style', 'garment' and 'model'.
We brainstormed 'what is fashion communication' and it dawned on me that we as fashion communicators are the pinnacle of the industry. We are the middle men between the audience and designer - without us nothing is accessible. That's why it's so broad - so wide. The day was just an introduction - an overview and beginning of the brief. The schedule up until Christmas seems well [planned, excited and full. I'm excited to go through each project. I've realised I really have to push for greatness in order to progress onto BA Fashion Communication and Promotion, go to the extra mile, open up to the world around and see what I'm surrounded by that will affect my work.
We had to create a visual manifesto which showed our idea/ideas at a starting point, like the beginning of a journey or inspiration of some sort. All the initial ideas coming together - your ideas taking form/shape. I struggled with this greatly, because again there was so much scope and so many things to do which caught me off guard.
I wanted to subvert the use of colour instead of going the obvious route and using several at one time. I wanted to use colour subtly, almost invisibly. This stemmed from looking at the greyness of Sleek magazine's colour and I thought it would be an interesting take/experiment to see if that is a possible route I could take.
I took pictures of a model, close up, side profile and full body mid movement. I liked the idea of capturing her mid movement because the shapes that the body creates are very interesting to look at for me. I then thought of how to artificially apply to colour onto the images I had take and turned black and white.
Conceptually I thought of the idea of race and culture, which is why I used the phrase 'do you see colour' in a faint yellow. I like the literal idea which is asking the audience to see if they notice the faint yellow across the model's eyes, and the metaphor whereby it asks if you notice that the model is a 'coloured' person.
I did enjoy making this image, I just felt as though my ideas had just begun and the possibility of completely changing my idea can happen really quickly.
Today was the day I had to find things for my shoot tomorrow, I knew exactly what I wanted to do because of my inspiration from Jean Paul Gaultier's head wrap turban style runway show in 2010. Also. tying into my ethnic background, colourful head wraps are used a lot for style, reverence or simply because you're having a bad hair day. I also wanted to channel the one colour, different tone type theme which was inspired by a spread in Sleek magazine I had spotted whereby everything was similarly coloured from background, model's garments to accessories - and the idea of that to me was rather interesting so I decided to look in that direction. Almost like an overload of one colour through image. An exploration of different tones in one image.
I had decided on red, yellow and blue but wanted to narrow down the colours to one. I bought acetate in all these colour to filter the light on one side of the room during the shoot so the lighting was also the affected by the colour being used.
I decided to use red because it's a vibrant and bold colour used in many African cultures and many head wraps. I felt as though the blue could give connotations of cold and frost and the yellow may not be effective enough to use against the white background.
I wanted to definitely vary from still shots to mid movement shots because I was inspired by i-D magazine's straight up shots, where the models look grungy and really focus of style, and also Jean Paul Gaultier's desert shoots whereby the model's moving and caught up in the atmosphere almost
Shoot day. I'm prepared. I'm ready to go. The day went rather slow and sluggishly, a lot of waiting around - so i started taking pictures of what was being shot, a backstage type of thing which turned out pretty cool. When it was my slot to shot, I was ready with my model, make up and lighting and ideas of the type of poses I wanted. I love to direct a bring what's in my mind to life. My model was really awesome and responsive which made my job easier. I liked the way the shots turned out especially with the red lighting it made her look like she was in a pit of hell or burning of some sort.
The shots with the model on both tip toes really worked rather than the harshness of the flat foot, it really captured her in a mid powerful motion which was amazing. The movement was really lovely, the expression of the arms and legs interacting with each other made a great picture. The African inspired idea of the turban and make up was successful and the idea/inspiration did come through in the final. One of the tutors picked up on the black leggings. If the leggings were also red the model would have looked more like a red figure in the midst of all the red lighting etc. I do also agree and believe it would have been more effective if she was entirely red.
I went location spotting and just roaming around East London today. There were a few really edgy underground type locations which I thought could be a cool place for a shoot. Although most of the locations had colour, I was focussing more on what could potentially look interesting and effective on an image.
We had a styling workshop today which i was excited about because my previous experiences in styling have been very positive which made me want to further the knowledge on clothes and how they work together. It was more difficult than I thought, I was more torn between creating outfit's that were conventionally wearable, colourful and what I actually thought looked good/interesting. It was hard pairing clothes together with what my group and i had brought in because they lacked potential. I didn't really get to dress the model in what i wanted to experiment with but i think we pulled off an okay job with what we did have.
Layout - learning about different layouts and binding methods really put everything into a practical reality because its not just the content that needs to be expressive but the composition, editorial flow and structure of the publication also has to be. I am a fan of the ordinary perfect binding because it's not as cheap looking as using staples but it's less scrapbook looking like the Japanese binding. The idea of having the freedom to structure the images however you want is fun because it's broad. I do like the minimalistic visual side of things because i believe less is more in most areas
Today we had a tutorial and after careful thinking and deliberation of fluctuating back and forth from one idea of having an African colour layered theme to the other of focusing simply on one main colour expressed in a single garment, it dawned on me that I should just stick with the first idea and push that further with different mediums e.g. illustration. I will still use my afrocentric vibes to push the idea of colour and movement further.
I was in Manchester for the weekend and took a trip the the Museum of Manchester to see if I could get inspired by anything. The garments throughout the the museum were amazing and interesting because of the connection to architecture. What really struck me was the presentation of the mannequins and the pieces. The information was on a wall behind the garment using lines as graphic figures - this made the image entire so much more enticing. I want to incorporate the idea of the stripes in my publication in terms of text and aiding with graphic layout and structure
I did a bit more styling today and the images that i most liked were the ones with a strong African reference. The layering of colour and African garments really worked in terms of concept and colour. Unfortunately the quality of the images did not come out too well so i will reshoot these images with the same idea and composition which should work well.
I've always known i wasn't the best at drawing, probably voluntaryily the worst drawer in the class and possibly CSM itself!
Today was awesome ... I'd do it again and again and again and a couple more 'again's' after that. I felt that it wasn't a typical type drawings with the shading and replicating real life, this was more abstract, more expressive. I really liked experimenting with different materials and styling with a vast selection of clothing. I really had fun and felt i did improve as the day went on.
Tutorial again, i'm pushing my ideas, more pages. Double prints , reshooting almost everything. What i have so far is just a simple rough outline and mock up of what the real thing should be. The completed images and edited/printed booklet should be done during the Christmas break but for now, i'm trying to figure out the exact composition and layout.
Christmas Holiday Entry
It’s the holidays, I’ve got to be smart about juggling work for my final publication and actually resting, I looked over my mock up for my publication and frankly it’s just an absolute joke. I know I can improve and the mock up just screams ‘unfinished’ so I schedule another shoot for more images. I see the vision and I can execute it but with proper planning and organization.
Before the shoot I look through different magazines for some kind of inspiration and I note down ones that I like in terms of layout of pictures and text, or simply just photography itself even the texture of the paper was important to research so I knew exactly what I was going for. Of course I bared in mind that the decisions I make could possibly change but that’s just one of the perks of being creative and spontaneous – nothing is really set in stone. I went through photographers that I liked such as Christiano Teridakali, magazines like 125 and Another Man also my usual browse on social media sites such as Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook helped me derive images that really inspired me for poses and vibe, and also inspired me to push my idea of the Afrocentric vibe harder. I planned out the colours and outfits I wanted to use and out together a collection of different coloured materials, from my first teste shoot that I believe worked really well I wanted to continue to use the paint stripes as a way of expressing make-up and an African focused look. Of course varying the colours and stripes for the different colours would make the look more interesting. Also I wanted to edit these images in a way where it is quite simple to enhance the complexity of the colour and theme in itself. When it came to planning I realised that I do enjoy getting organised and sorting everything out into a smooth run for the day however that wasn’t the case when the day came to actually shoot.
On the shoot day, there were a few problem with the lighting and the camera because the camera wouldn’t allow us to shoot on a certain shutter speed to capture the hair movement clearly without any blur lines and the lights weren’t working too well against the models skin regardless of using a soft box or moving it around. I did several different outfit changes and colours, extending the magazine more rather than just having 3 colours, I have an extra 4.
Overall I think the shoot went well and the problems that we did have we fixed and the images were much better than what I had previously. In terms of editing, I wanted to have several different looks to go in the publication which meant I had to edit a picture more than once and also extend the pages in the publication, I added graphic element of the paintbrush streak going across the page indicating the colour about to come forward which I think was pretty cool because of the connection to the paintbrush streak on the models face in each section and each picture. I wanted to edit the images in a fun way so I played around in photoshop with the idea of adding, duplicating and removing parts of the image on a whole and I really liked the ones where the model had been cut out with a white strip rectangle, to me those were aesthetically pleasing and interesting which could make the audience do a double take. I experimented with layout. Because I am a fan of either a lot of white space or no white space at all, I played around with both layouts. Some images go right across the to the ends of the page and some stay central, I thought hard about my editorial flow and which picture goes best where and how the model/colour look on the page considering what’s on the opposite page etc.
Overall I am pleased with the layout and presentation of the publication, I like the placement of text and the fact that there is not much text, I also wanted to keep the text abstract and poetic like tying in to the images and afrocentric coloured theme but not too obvious on what the message is because I want it to be up to interpretation. Choosing the font was the hardest part of this whole experience because I’m never too sure on what font to choose and if it works or not. I like simple fonts because I do believe too much text and fancy font can distract from the images itself, however I do what the type to say something about the piece in itself and not just simply boring. For the title I wanted it to seem almost like a handwriting because the title ‘For coloured girls’ seems like something personal to a specific audience. Almost like a gift. The front and back cover being black was an important choice because I felt as though that is what would compel me more to open and read it. If it was on the stands I believe that it would definitely stand out amongst the rest and be the most intriguing.
We were introduced to our new project today. A one week non-fashion based project about architecture ... not a good start. Immediately, i thought of taking pictures of an urban area, something that shows the unpretty side of London - but then i realise dhow unoriginal that idea was. Also taking a trip to the Barbican Centre made me fall a little bit more interested in Architecture and structure and how amazing it may look depending on angles and lighting.
In the exhibition i enjoyed the concepts of Julius Schulman because not only did he photograph beautiful landscapes and structures but the interaction of people in the space which added a twist to simply 'architectural photography'.
I love the black and white tone of most of the pieces exhibited, which is the direction i would've gone in anyway in terms colour/contrasts. I took a few i,ages beforehand around the barbican area because of the tall structures and rows of flats. Because there is construction going on around that area, i took a few shots through fences and railing which i did like and thought were very appealing. I'm still unsure on a deep concept but i do like the idea of looking through a structure onto another similar structure, like parallel structures against each other.
Today we made gifs - the hardest thing about that was actually figuring out what i wanted to shoot and where. I was in a group which did help to distribute ideas. We did a lot of test shoots using the continuous shoot setting on the cameras. The most successful shoots i thought were the ones where the model was being natural and only slightly moving for example during a conversation using her mouth and her hands. I decided to focus on expression and face structure so I used a model and asked her to continuously do a lot of funny faces while i walked towards her until she was blurred out. I liked the idea and wanted to do something lighthearted and fun rather than something with a heavy concept because this was only daily task. it took me a while to compete the gif because of technical issues with Fireworks and connecting the camera to the pc and the pixel requirements in line with the deadline. I wanted the gif to be more smooth and less chunked so i should've made the model do slower movements to make a smoother gif and continuous movements. I do like the playful nature of the gif - if i was to refine and perfect it, i would change the models clothes and style her in a more playful manner against a coloured background like pink or light blue or bright green. Overall, i'm a little satisfied with my gif and the collection of gif's we did in our group but i do think that there could have been more time to research, think, brainstorm and execute.
We were told to make a manifesto today, which is where I got really stuck I felt as if my work was going nowhere, had no sense of direction. Yes I had photographers that I liked and believed I could gain inspiration from them but I didn’t get the idea of creating a concept or how to even stat a written manifesto. I knew that from the images I had taken from the Barbican that I would definitely want to do a black and white, high contrasted series. I’ve never really liked the idea of photographing architecture and buildings because I feel like there’s a limit to what a photographer can actually do because the architecture piece cannot be moved or respond to the camera, I had the idea of photographing people in the midst of architectural buildings but then I again I thought that, that concept has be so overdone. I spoke to my tutor and showed him a few images that I had done and he suggested I continue to create images where I am looking through something onto an architectural piece or landscape lining up the lines in the landscape and the viewfinder.
Today I went put shooting in different areas, I went back to the Barbican because I really liked the buildings there and the construction fences made great viewfinders to take pictures through. I also went to kings cross to take a few pictures because the buildings there are great especially during the night. It was really difficult to get the buildings to line up with the fencing because of the weather, it began to rain and the wind was really strong so the accuracy was a little off because of the gushes of wind. I tried to get a varied number of building’s but one building in particular caught my eye and worked really well with the fencing, also the contrast and shape of the building was really aesthetically pleasing, especially in a photograph.
I went walking around my neighbourhood today morning to take a few pictures similar to the ones I took in the Barbican, My neighbourhood has really interesting pastel colours on the buildings and cool architecture because of the estates and the mix of culture is interesting also, So I thought it would be nice to take a few shots around there and compare it with the images I already have.
We had our final crit for the Constructing Worlds projects. My final piece was a series of images looking through fencing onto a building/landscapes. They were black and white and were high in contrast which I think was the best thing about the series because I wanted to focus on the directional lines rather than be distracted by the unnecessary colours etc. Even though I was satisfied with my outcome I wasn’t inspired by it or really confident and proud because I felt that the theme didn’t inspire me enough for me to actually do something inspiring. If I could improve my outcome and though process I would definitely go with the idea of architecture affecting society, having to include moving bodies/people or even an emotion within my work w=rather than just architecture on its own because it can get quite boring and plain. The process of going around shooting different areas that I find interesting due to shape or colour or simply feel was fun to me, also simply shooting a building in a different a make can create a whole different vibe to the image, changing the photograph to black and white also gives a different vibe which was fun to experiment with.
Today was the start of our Lost Luggage project, I liked the whole idea of going to an auction to bid on unseen things and create a shoot on it, around it or about it. The day overall was quite long but the concept and sitting in during the auction was really enjoyable, also the added excitement of not really knowing what our group was going to get in the suitcase was also exciting. There were a few really weird things going up for auction, suitcases having the description ‘mostly clean’ was very weird and uncomfortable because knowing that these are real people that have lost their luggage. Our group knew that we wanted to go for menswear because we felt like that would look better and we could do a lot of scope being the less obvious thing for us to choose. Our suitcase was filled with casual sportswear.
My group and I decided to have a meeting to discuss, research and put together an idea for a test shoot for the following day, also to choose the pieces that we really liked and the ones that we didn’t. During our discussions and sharing of ideas, photographers and reference images/ads, we realised that we were going for a casual sportswear ad type look which I like because it was quite clean and interesting. We had an exact idea for the type of model that we wanted due to the nature of the clothes and its sizes. We figured that the clothes belonged to casual boys without a major interest in fashion just simply relaxing with friends and family on a regular basis. We decided to put things together, figures out props e.g. an orange backdrop. After a long discussion about how the shots should be taken, types of model, outfit changes and vibes to be given, lighting and poses, also the locations and how to juggle having studio shots and separate location shots and where to have them.
Today was the shoot day and our slot for shooting was at 12 and our models were around the area so we decided to specifically plan our poses and how we exactly wanted each look and picture to seem like. We also did a quick revamping, a pairing of different outfits and which colours go on the background, which close shots should go where, the doubling of models or the single models. Because we were quite prepared the shooting went well and we go extra images in individually as well as group styling and shots. I really enjoyed working as a team because everyone played a significant part in the process pitching ideas and bringing something valid to the table. The models had a really amazing chemistry which made the group shots really effective and amazing, some of the candid shits are my favourite of the bunch because the models are more relaxed when they are not aware they are being shots or in between poses. I also like the lighting because it’s not too complicated and the garments are the main focus. The whole focus of getting the sportswear and scouting a certain type of model was to embody who we thought the owners of the clothes were but creating more of a fashion based/ad based replica of these owners. The idea of the location shots are really interesting but I am still yet to do them.
In my individual styling and photography shoot i didn't want to stray too far away from what we did in our group shoot just yet, but i wanted to branch a little further out in terms of emotion given to the audience when the piece is looked at. I took a little inspiration from the movie 'Green Street' which is a football hooligan movie set in Liverpool in the early 2000's. I think their type of dress sense replicates what we got in our suitcase and the type of people that i think would've worn it. The black and white accentuates the stark harshness of the model's facial expression which i think is the most interesting and my favourite part of this quick shoot. I like the fact that the photographs seep a type of edgy attitude which is what i definitely wanted to convey. I think i did this by partially turning it into black and white, and more of a grayish dirty tone, also the vantage point being at a low angle in some of the shots make the shoot more 'edgy'. I think the image with his middle finger up is less so 'fashion' and more of a documentation of behaviour which is enjoyable for me as i like catching models off guard as i believe those type of pictures produce the best type of images and emotion.
PHOEBE ENGLISH (LIVE PROJECT)
Today was the beginning of our first live project with designer Phoebe English, when she came i was rather shocked because she had an awkward elegance about her not what i expected. We were told that we had to produce an ad campaign for her and the winners would get a prize of two tickets of her fashion week show. While Phoebe English was talking us through her collection, her inspiration, her technique, her come up in the fashion industry - i realised that she's not conventionally 'fashion' which i do love about her and her collection. It's not always necessarily about making the most beautiful gown piece of collection, it's about expressing yourself as one of her collections were reflective of the sadness she felt in her life at that point, which i think is poignant.
The hardest thing about being told to go off and do a campaign for Phoebe English is that, she is so involved in her garments and her business is so small and intimate that it could be easy to offend and easy to go completely wrong with the concept or idea. During her talk i was writing all the things she was saying, and highlighting all the important things that could be of use later on, whether to use as a quote of reference or even inspiration. As a starting point i wanted to use something she had said that stuck out to be to being my research.
Initially i start looking at photographers, looking at models, looking at poses and how to actually execute a picture so it can give me an idea of a concept. After going off and doing research, my partner and i sat down and simmered through different ideas we had through word and picture and came up with 5 interesting main ideas that we could possibly use and do based on the shoot that we will carry out on Thursday.
I did most research for the shoot on Thursday today so I could get a clear idea of the theme, style and garments and overall emotion of the entire shoot. In order to get into the role of Art Director or Photographer I wanted to have an exact vision and the exact vision of how to approach the model. I looked at a lot of images that require subtle movement and a clear capture of mid-movement that weren’t too forced. This is mainly because we’re going to try and do a gif with something slowly moving that it almost doesn’t look anything is moving. Were really want to go for the natural and soft look because Phoebe English’s garments are quite structural and stiff but she does like to watch how women move and focus on the details of the garment which is why we are going for the more subtle and soft movements to highlight the body moving but also the garment being a central focus.
Today we did illustrations with Will Broome on Phoebe English’s garments, this was proving more difficult than previous illustration classes because of the colour palette of Phoebe English’s designs. Nonetheless it was a fun exercise to try to capture something moving, or try to capture a material with different pens or textures. I’m not the best a drawing and can clearly say that that would be my weakest point but I did try my hardest and put all my effort into getting a good illustration out of the session.
Today was shoot day and we wanted to firstly start off by capturing the gif images, so slow movement and a continuous shot, just a gradual range of images that are very similar. At first the background was unlit so the outcomes had a grey background which I didn’t like because the entire styling and model casting ‘look’ seemed to need more of a natural tone and feel to it, so the white background with the light clothing, light hair and pale model would work really well and seem more effortless. We definitely wanted to focus on the movement of the model and how the garments reacted with her so most of the shots were of her mid-movement or her not paying attention. I really like most of the image towards the end where some of the set was slowing in the image because it almost seemed staged and more interesting than having just a model in front of a white backdrop. I was really pleased with the entire day, in terms of casting the model who was absolutely amazing and really gave off the energy that we needed for this shoot, and the outcome of the images. The plan is to print a few on acetate to make a physical interactive gif and see how the images interact and engage with each other, I also want to do some layering on photoshop to see the effect it has on the emotion and feel of a picture. I think the day went well, I really love photography and art direction so I was really in my element today and it was even more amazing being able to work the a live designer’s projects and pieces. The feel was quite naturalistic and calm because we wanted the focus to be on the garments which is why we styled the model with a skin nude coloured bra so there was no distraction. Phoebe English really emphasised her love for detail and intricacies so we wanted to capture that also in terms of the model really interacting with the garment.
Today I mainly edited and narrowed down the best images as we took approximately 300 images. I wanted to have a range of images and poses that we could possibly work with so I selected 92 images out of the entire 300 and edited them in photoshop. I only used the crop tool, brightness and contrast and the spot healing tool because I feel as though too many edits really do spoil the picture. I didn’t want to make the colours too strong because the pale tone was really nice because of the naturalistic element. I wanted to use different images for different things for example, the acetate gif, the poster itself, the photoshop layering and the animated gif. I went to speak about the possibility of having work printed on acetate and if it will work or not. I also discussed if I should use tracing paper but I didn’t want the greyish tone that the tracing paper had, the transparency of the acetate works best for the entire illusion of movement.
We printed on acetate today, it was a long gruesome process because of the printing not really understanding the type of paper used and all the technical things that I didn’t really understand. But we printed two images on one A4 sheet to test out, when we printed it we liked the way it looked but the white background I feel was a bit distracting and ruined the image, it would have been nicer just as a figure in the middle of the acetate with a transparent background. We had a tutorial today and were battling between the idea of having two gif moving simultaneously side by side or having the a2 sized acetate piece presented.
We had the phoebe English Crit today and I was feeling quite confident in myself and my partnership simply because i was happy with our outcome. It wasn't really about winning a prize or getting Phoebe to like our piece it was more getting ourselves to feel comfortable with what we produced and being happy with it. We had two outcomes , one using the acetate and the other a simple A2 poster. We wanted to present the acetate like a fine art piece, hanging but weren't able to do so in the amount of time we had, also getting the technical aspects sorted would have taken longer but we used two outcomes instead.
I was really impressed with the way both pieces worked together because they both had the logo on them, the idea of having two outcomes but expressed in different ways is whats really interesting and fun.
Phoebe was impressed by the image but not enough to actually want to pick us as her favourite, but no harm done because i was pretty happy with our outcome.