Thursday, January 7, 2010

Barrie cashmere: fashion photography and graphic design

Firstly it was the models intense gaze and strange mask that intrigued me about this image by the Richard Robinson, a freelance graphic designer based in East London. The fact that the model is looking at the viewer but there is a certain aspect of anonymity engages the viewer in an almost uncomfortable, awkward way. This is the reason i included this image in my research and think it would be interesting to recreate a similar feeling to my work, so that it does not just become a pretty piece.

After looking at these images i thought there could be so many possibilities that could arise with a pair of scissors and a fashion magazine. By simply cutting up an image and rearranging the components a completely new image is created, a new feeling, a new dynamic.

(Above) The simplicity of this idea, cutting an image in two and flipping one half the other way round is so effective in this image that the model's body looks completely contorted and doesn't look natural at all. By doing this the designer has already created a visual element that is drawing the viewer in. I also like the way there has been no effort to make the split seamless, there is a certain rough aesthetic that makes it look like manual cut and paste.

Objects have been used to obscure certain parts of the model's body. While the same effect could have been achieved on a computer far more easily there are subtle hints that suggest that it was done properly with the use of props, such as shadows.

I really like the way 'v' magazine has a very strong visual element (the v) that can be seen throughout the all of it's issues. It makes the whole collection feel far more cohesive and coherent. But the main reason i have included this image in my research is because of the way the letter interacts with the person on the front of the magazine and rather than just being a letter that has been overlaid on top of the image, it becomes part of it. This is a theme i'd like to explore in my own work.

Looking at the majority of the images on this page i think the most successful ones all feature a lot of white space, in particular the images above where it has been used to great effect. They were a series of images commissioned by Jil Sander and i found them on POP Magazines's blog. It was the way they were presented that initially caught my eye, with the emphasis lying down the right side of each image and then lining up. White space, if used correctly can be extremely important in creating a dynamic image that has tension between the constituent elements, although if used incorrectly the image can just look to sparse, even unfinished.

The simplicity of this image is what first struck me but also the bold simplicity which immediately creates a direct connection with the viewer. I'd be interested to create imagery playing with simple geometric shapes and straight lines like above that can be used to create dynamic compositions. I think influences from the images above can be combined with elements found in my research into Nagy and Sutnar.

Raf Simons - graduated in industrial design. Started working as a furniture designer for galleries and private interiors. In a radical change of profession in 1995 he became a self trained menswear fashion designer. Lives and works in Antwerp, where his studio is based. Teaches fashion at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and acts as a consultant/buyer to a private Antwerp art collector.

Although they are impeccably cut and created with love and care, clothes are not at the core of Simons’ universe. More important are attitudes, moods and statements. That’s why music, art, performance, images and words have an important role in the whole package. Together with the clothes, those elements sum up, or rather clarify the kind of world Raf Simons wants to project. In an attempt to examine today’s mens and boys psyches (and in the same take his own), he takes his inspiration from the rebellion of past and present youth cultures and blends this with notions of tradition and roots.

Pride in individuality – his clothes are both inspired by and designed for confident outsiders. His references to youth movements (punk, Goth and mod etc) are not meant to be retro; instead Simons tries to translate their energy and determination into modern statements about mental independence.
Simons has many ways to avoid the trappings of the fashion system, most notably his choice of models. Disagreeing with the common images of male beauty and identity forwarded by most fashion magazines and advertising, Simons from the start of his career only used non-professional models, often scouting them on the streets of Antwerp or other Belgian villages.

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