Subscription to Elle Magazine, and Secondary Research ‘Anatomy of a shoot”

I already have a subscription to ID magazine, and the Mail on Sunday which means that I also receive their STYLE magazine each week – both these magazines combine a strong focus on imaging with journalistic pieces pushing the boundaries of fashion culture, making them great research sources.  In every issue without fail, I have found at least one thing which has informed my research process.

As one of the partners of London Fashion Weekend, at the event, Elle offered an annual subscription to their fashion mag for only £12 (£1/issue).  Considering how helpful I have found these other editorials, I signed up straight away.  Although Elle presents a more commercial perspective on fashion, than I.D or Style, where it’s journalism largely functions to promote people, labels or products, I am sure i will find it incredibly helpful to drive my research on both a thematic and stylistic level, even as an example of a trend centric commercial discourse I wish to rebel against.  Even the first issue which was given free at the event has provided multiple sources of inspiration,  which I have already made use of in my research, for example…

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Anatomy of a shoot ‘Wild Young and Free’ 

What is it?

An article in Elle Magazine which deconstructs the process behind their flagship ‘Wild and Free’ shoot for this issue.

Who wrote it?

Elle’s Fashion director Anne-Marie Curtis

How does it inform my Research process?

  • In regards to my research, this article in particular appeals to my visual development and the promotional imaging i plan to develop this term to prepare for my FMP, through reflecting on all the aspects which combine to create a successful fashion image.
  • First and foremost this style of article presenting the ‘anatomy of a shoot’ makes it clear that any fashion shoot is the visual expression of a chosen narrative, as fashion itself is about selling an image.  The more established and impenetrable that narrative, the more successful the photograph. This is why established fashion mags find it so easy to produce great images due to their access to the best resources at every level.  At my ‘no money’ level to achieve a successful fashion photograph I have to be far more creative.
  • ‘Among all the big trends that were showcased on the catwalk this season…a spirit of protest was in the air’ – These quotes in the article reinforces my belief in the post-modern consumer, whom all my 7003 research is framed around, and who will form the central focus of my FMP. The postmodern consumer takes ownership of fashion, and defines it from the ‘bottom-up’, through taking dominant trends and interpreting them within their own personal image.  This spirit of protest which appear to be integrated within the trends themselves this season, signifies the increasing presence of this demographic in that they are starting to shape fashion at the high end.
  • ‘Its the idea of making the look your own thats the message. You should feel inspired to do the same’ – The central message of this  ‘wild and free’ narrative is an attitude I wish to radiate from the promotional imaging I create for my FMP brand concept. Therefore, I plan to conduct a more in-depth semiotic analysis of this shoot, which will comprise part of my RESEARCH TASK 4: PROMOTIONAL IMAGING LOOKBOOK output I plan to produce this term.
  • ‘The Burberry Denim Jacket with shearling trim was the perfect blend of utility and luxury, and, styled with the light layered chiffon skirt, created the perfect texture mashup – it felt modern and fresh’. It’s highlights the importance of considering how products will look together to achieve the right image in keeping with the tone of the shoot – So far I have only created images which centre around the promotion of a single product – for my future PI’s this is something to consider.
  • I’d also just seen the Dennis Hopper photography exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts’ – Creative inspiration outside  the tired discourses of fashion seems integral to stimulating the creation of an exciting narrative which will capture the eye of the potential consumer and lead them to the products promoted.  This narrative is founded upon hopper’s sixties  youth counter-culture photos which project a domininant ‘free-spirit’ tone and aesthetic, which has been clearly reflected in this shoot.  This parallels my own promotional imaging process where a perverse fashion image by Guy Bourdin which caught my eye at his Somerset House exhibition, led me to create my ‘Dark Snow Image’.
  • ‘It’s flower child vibe chimed in perfectly with the mood of the story…while a weekend at Glastonbury may be the nearest you get to counter-culture at least you will look the part” – Part of my RESEARCH TASK 4: PROMOTIONAL IMAGING LOOKBOOK will encompass the imaging I will create for my 7004 business proposal; a promotional imaging campaign designed to promote, redefine and in many cases introduce Traid and it’s product to the post-modern youth consumer.  This will present a festival narrative, as Traid has loads of vintage products which would allow this consumer to embody this boho vibe for the summer festival season. Consequently the tone of this shoot is highly relevant and should act as a source of inspiration.
  • Regarding the layout/composition of the article, it presents a great example of how images can illuminate and in many cases speak on the behalf of words.  This operates through an inforgraphic of the process in the form of a journey visual.  I intend to create something similar for all the image I produce, in my RESEARCH TASK 4: PROMOTIONAL IMAGING LOOKBOOK, to refine my communication as much as possible (particularly since this is something I have a renowned problem with). 
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