Visual Development – ‘Marie Claire Runway’ Inspiration.

As an FPI student, this term I am keen to develop my visual skills, particularly in realm of technical design making use of programs such as photoshop and indesign which are currently so important to the fashion communication industry.  Whilst I am a creative thinker, can draw and have a good visual eye, in my fine arts background I was more about physical than the digital. As i have found doing this masters, creating good digital visuals means taking time to develop this skill-set.

‘Marie Claire Runway’ is a magazine I came across during the aftermath of the S/S 15 Fashion Week.  It defines itself as ‘a meaty magazine dedicated to the most recent runway shows of the season’.  However it not the content of this magazine, but it’s exciting, artistic and bold visuals that I was most drawn to.  From this magazine, I found multiple examples of inspiring visuals which I will use as inspiration to frame both my research outputs this term and any digital visuals I will create for my FMP.

The style of the above visuals were used throughout the magazine to introduce and accompany the magazine’s main features. I was drawn to this style of visual in how it differed from most magazine visuals, which tend to present a single image rather than composition.  I felt that the ‘jigsaw’ effect, where a central image was surrounded a series of fragmented shapes containing different images in relation to it, was highly effective in both engaging the viewer and projecting the content of the article.  For example, in the case of the Henry Holland interview, the central visual makes the theme of the feature unmistakable.  However what the surrounding visuals do, is highlight what the feature focuses on relation to this figure. In this instance the interview is about Henry’s latest collection so the surrounding visuals involve models wearing it at fashion week. The minimalist style means the viewer can appreciate the visual without being overwhelmed by something to frenetic. Ultimately, it is a fresh approach to visualisation which is very successful in blending a beautiful aesthetic with a relevant meaning (a narrative paralleling the feature).

An additional set of visuals I was drawn to, were focused on what the editors considered to be the most exciting accessories displayed at fashion week, ranging from shoes to embellishment. Traditionally these products would be displayed in fashion magazines in a more straightforward way, to make them clear for the purpose of commercialisation. However what this visual successfully achieves by blending the week’s most captivating accessories in a single exploding composition, builds excitement around the products, whilst simultaneously evoking a flash impression of the character of this season’s fashion to the viewer. If I ever do a product focused visual, this is definitely a style I will return to and build upon.

This final set of images consist of visuals which stand in their own right as features in the magazine, and I was attracted to each of them on the basis of their quirky character and alternative methods of representation which you don’t see in conventional fashion mags such as Vogue, Elle and the usual Marie Claire.  For example, the feature which focuses in on the wool materials and textures this season, used sheep as a platform to display these products, showcasing them in the form of a sheep’s wool.  Showing the garment itself is not the point of this feature.  This style of representation was highly effective in driving home the features focus on how wool has been made use of as a material/texture and creating something fun and engaging and full of character which will make me remember both this magazine, and the products displayed.  I additionally want to focus in on the kaleidoscope visual, as an example of a visual I find inspirational.  This feature is a forecast trend report, showcasing ‘Pantone Supernova’. As a trend which defines itself as ‘bright…brash…bold’, the kaleidoscope visual structure is highly relevant. This ‘thinking outside the box’ is a attitude I want to bring to my visuals in their design, whether this is technically created by me or someone else with more experience for my FMP.

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