Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Guy Bourdin

A film sent to my email from Hintmag.com, for 'When the Sky Fell Down: The Myth of Guy Bourdin'.

When considering our 'matchbox' shoot, Guy Bourdin, I think, is a photographer that we should look at and research.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Fashion Photography and the North

After looking at Fashion and Art and its crossovers, we then looked at Fashion photography and the north: predominantly at Agyness Deyn.

It seemed that when Deyn became famous, so did the north. When she began gaining more fame, she moved to London to ‘follow her dream’ but Adam, our lecturer mentioned that she had moved to London, previously, then came back up north, and then moved back to London. We very rarely hear of this part of her life, it seems the media really wanted to build up the hype and the aspirational aspect of this ‘northern lass’ fulfilling her dream.

We also looked at fashion shoots that Deyn had been in and analysed the imagery. I really like Agyness Deyn as a model I love her look, my liking of her became stronger as her fame did, she was seen in every magazine and newspaper. There was a shoot she did for I.D. in fact the whole issue was dedicated to her, a couple of years ago which I loved. But, as we analysed the imagery in the class, you can really see that the photographers and the creative directors that showcased this new model, didn’t really choose creative ideas that successfully, the imagery kinda patronised Northern culture by using heavily stereotypical Northern settings and stereotypes.

We looked at the shoot for Vogue, in 2008 named ’Angel of the North’, shot by Tim Walker.

The shoot portrayed this northern girl in heavily stereotypical northern settings. For instance, the shoot was shot in a country-like setting, quite nostalgic like, it looks like it was shot in a northern place, near to where Deyn was born (very near to Preston) but they chose a location that is probably the most northern (geographically) in the UK. The shoot had quite a romanticised view of the north, compared to ‘Mass Observation’ a photo shoot shot in the mid 30’s in Bolton. The idea of the ‘kitchen sink’ cinema is really highlighted in the shoot, the imagery looked similar to that of the film ’A taste of Honey’ in comparison to the shoot shot for I.D. magazine in may 2008 named ‘Origins’.

Deyn had been placed in Manchester, there’s an actual shot of Deyn’s college where she used to study when she was younger and again it seems the photographer and art director chose creative elements that weren’t very creative and were too obvious. The images seemed to just celebrate the working class of the north, almost like saying that the whole of the north were like this there were no other types. I mean, yes it’s a positive thing that fashion moved out of the capital, showing that fashion isn’t only embraced in the capital but around the UK, but still it seems too typical and literal.

Fashion and Art: the crossover

We had a double whammy lecture today, Fashion and Art and Fashion photography and the north.

I was looking forward to the lecture, I knew we would be introduced to plenty of creative people: people I have come across before and new people I haven’t. We were first looking at fashion and art.

I come from both an art background and a fashion background, they naturally crossover whether it be through literal ways, anyone remember the season when Vivienne Westwood had the help from school children who designed artwork that Vivienne used for her collection? Well, this was a literal connection, but naturally what we all see and involve ourselves with influences parts of our lives- I find this is how my natural crossover came from with regards to art and fashion.

At the beginning of the lecture we discussed ways which we though art and fashion were and became connected;

Fashion and art;
-they are both creative subjects-help each other
-fashion has a widespread publicity-art wants this
-influential to each other
-fashion is a representation of social culture and politics
-fashion has a different history to make reference to
-fashion is more accessible
-fashion-commercial more so than art
-both areas seek financial backing
-art-respect-art has an aura
-art seems to have more depth and credibility

After our thoughts Adam broke down the concept down into categories. Firstly looking at the fashion exhibition. It’s interesting to think about how images in certain places are looked at differently, for instance Steven Meisel’s Versace adverts were seen in an exhibition, in a gallery but they were also used for commercial use. When thinking about this, I believe, when looking at the ads in a magazine your mind looks at the image in a different way-you tend to look at the image with a sense of want and commercial reasoning, but in a gallery space at an exhibition you tend to question the image more so than in a mag or newspaper- the meaning of the image is unpicked in your mind.

We were shown some examples where fashion and art have been side by side. The exhibition at the National Gallery, ‘Face of Fashion’; and exhibition at the V&A ‘Imperfect Beauty’ for example. It was nice to look at who at these exhibitions were really being exhibited and shown.

Throughout the lecture we were introduced to many creative people in the industry, some highlighted I want to research more, for instance Martha Rosler for her use of collage and Graham Dolphin for his media use and the way he ‘attacks’ beauty/fashion imagery.

The next section we looked at fashion and art, the crossover. We looked at works by Elsa Schiaparelli where she worked with surrealists; also Tracey Emin’s collaboration with Longchamp creating limited addition handbags. The publication that celebrated the crossover initially was ‘Purple’ magazine: they seemed to pioneer fashion and art before anyone really caught on.

After this section we examined the fashion show. We obviously looked at Alexander McQueen’s fashion shows: also Viktor and Rolf and Hussein Chalayan- all these designers I absolutely love, so I really enjoyed discussing their work and looking at their shows. We looked at the fashion show with relation to substance designers (emphasising the process over product); science (designers who give intense attention to technology of fabrics); structure (unique clothing construction- form over function) and statement designers (the designers who use the show to help make a statement).

After this part of the lecture I realised I need to do a lot of research into some professional creative’s in the industry;

-Martha Rosler
-Sam Taylor Wood
-Graham Dolphin
-Vanessa Beecroft (specifically for our matchbox photo shoot)
-Dash Snow (found objects-Polaroid’s)
-Cindy Sherman (specifically for our matchbox photo shoot) identity of women
-Alexander McQueen (specifically at the show with Joel Peter - the mirror room)

Friday, 26 March 2010

Final 4, Final photoshoot

Wow, what a busy week.

I finally did the photo shoot for the still life brief and I'm quite pleased with the images. Using the Cove to take the photos did prove a little problematic however; after all my hard work customising the hat for the shoot, I really wanted to emphasise the rouched material, and with adding lighting and some post production, on the MAC screen the images looked OK, but once printed some of them were quite dark, so in future I will be using the studio for whatever size work I am producing.

Other than the lighting in the images, as said I'm pleased, I believe I have shown the trend well. I aimed the images at RUSSH magazine (an Australian fashion magazine) as I think the images could look really well alongside the stories and articles they have in the publication. Also, a bonus, I checked out the RUSSH website to have a wonder at its current issue and the issue had a double page spread on the 'prim and proper' look of the Prada fall10 show alongside imagery of 50's women, style icons, and products so I think overall my images and my photo shoot story fit the magazine and its target audience.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Four Naturals

I was thinking about our shoot, and trying to generate some ideas that could be involved in the shoot: the other day I came across some images of a fashion shoot that was based under water, the model was photographed while under water, and this got me thinking about the four elements, when considering our initial product, the 'Matchbox' – earth/air/fire/water. At the minute I haven't a solid idea as to how to incorporate these elements, if we all want this, in the shoot but It's something I will think about.

We could bring the elements in the photoshoot through the styling or the make-up looks perhaps or the lighting used in the images.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Simply Similar

During our lecture today we needed to present our work done so far for our 'Matchbox' photo shoot.

It was great really to explain to the class our ideas, because if we were heading in the wrong direction, or indeed, if our idea is successful the class (full of creatives) can give our group some pointers as to where to look and what to research.

This is exactly what happened, we had positive feedback about the idea from our peers and most importantly Adam. We were given some ideas to research and one was to look into the fashion show, by Viktor and Rolf, where the designers based the look of the models on the actress Tilda Swinton's physical look.

I checked out the catwalk show and read some reviews for the show. This unified look between the models and the actress I think changes the way the viewer views the show, it changes the whole concept of the show, rather than the show just being a show, showing beautiful clothing and genius craftsmanship, but using the idea of similarities if not, exact copies of Tilda Swinton on every model adds a eerie sense really to the show. Maybe the designers wanted to really highlight the clothing because when you have seen one model, in this case, you have literally seen them all so your eyes may be more focused on the actual clothing when considering the other outfits? V&R stated that they 'wanted to do all our signatures, with the menswear and the couture influences, for an ageless modern woman.' this being their reasoning behind using Tilda Swinton as they did for the show.

We could maybe use the idea of the similarity between people in our photo shoot, not just through the styling of the clothing but the physical similarities between the model and the mannequin, this may be a challenge for us: to make both mannequin and model look so similar but with a good eye, we could pull it off I reckon. In this case, the look was very successful.

Saturday, 20 March 2010


As part of our still life brief we needed to source a jigsaw to include as a whole or partly in the still life styling shoot.

I searched high and low, really, for a jigsaw. It took me forever but I have found one that I'm happy with. It's a still life food jigsaw by Raymond Campell, from 1982. Obviously the jigsaw caught my eye as I was on the look out for a kitchen scene, or a food related scene, but also I loved the colour of the tiles in the background of the shot: very country farm -like.

I don't think I'm going to use the whole jigsaw, I reckon I will use the wine glass and bottle from the image and maybe use the cheese also in a shot...I don't know yet will have to see.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Final 4.

These are my final 4 images that I shall recreate at The Cove next Tuesday.

After plenty of playing around and experimenting with space and accessories, I believe I have chosen the final images.

What do you guys think??


I think I have figured out my final four images but before I reveal these I'm gonna show you guys my experimentation work. Hope you like....

Hats at the ready!!

My design background isn't amazing, I made a simple pillow case in my G.C.S.E Design and Technology, textiles and recently I added a black collar to a white shirt, obviously not your next Vivienne Westwood, but I needed to do a little customising to some pieces I bought for the still life styling photo-shoot, to make them reference more the looks on the catwalks.

Firstly I needed to tackle the hat seen at Dolce and Gabanna, I had in my mind using a shower cap (as it seemed to have some structure with the small elastic that ran around the seam of the cap) and adding to the cap some navy blue material and kinda using the cap as a base- I literally used pins, some bull dogs clips and at times some elbow grease, to create a ruched/flower like effect for the hat. At first I really didn't know where to start, and I haven't really got the patience of a saint, but after around an hour of playing around I think I kinda cracked it, it obviously doesn't look exactly like Dolce and Gabbana, those guys have been designing for years and like I said I have only really made a pillow case, so I think I have moved on a little with my design/sewing/pinning expertise.

Here is my creation, (and a few work in progress images) what do you guys think????