Fashion

The fashion industry is known for being incredibly fluid like, it is constantly changing along with society’s likes and dislikes, trends come and go and it is really hard to tell that which next step will a brand take that will be in the right direction. Building a brand and then making it last in this industry is, for many, a daunting task that one has no concrete way of besting. The question of how to build a brand in such a saturated and constantly changing industry has been recently discussed on “Inside the Industry”, an event series that tries to connect the coming generation with breakthrough talent and inform them of the various opportunities out there.

The series’ third edition hosted three well-known names in the fashion industry and discussed various challenges with them, one of the guests stated that in order to make your brand last, the first thing that you have to do is focus on your product. Building your product and delivering it effectively comes before building your brand, one should be able to contribute to the society on which they plan on operating. There is bound to be risk involved, but being risky can be healthy in the fashion industry since it can increase the number of options available to you and help you stand out from the crowd.

The three guests seemed to be adamant on emphasising on the product, according to them, one should know what they want to do with their product and how and where are they going to fit it into a wider culture. After all, fashion is a vital element that defines and effects society, and in order for your brand to last, you need a product that can have enough influence on society.

If you can get your product right then the public will automatically forgive and forget any mistakes that you make, clearing your path to establishing your brand, many well-established fashion brands of today have followed the same philosophy and this is what has helped them, come so far.

Along with talking about getting your product right, the guests also talked about how marketing has shifted over the years in publicity, media and retail, discussing how to make people take note of your brand, how to make them realise that you exist and build on their awareness levels from there. The best way to make people take notice is to connect with them and the environment in which your brand is operating, this is where cultural relevance comes in, a brand should not be confused about what sort of culture are the operating in and who are they marketing themselves to.

Overall, the series discussed how to deal with the challenge of constant speeding up of what is relevant and what it takes to become successful in this market, the three most important elements being passion, curiosity and enthusiasm.

A Look at Fashion Photography’s Evolution

by Christopher on

For a very long time the main purpose of fashion photography has been to capture the artistic value that has been intended in every exhibit and piece of clothing designers have released, however, for some time now there has been a noticeable decrease in the quality of work being captured. Most exhibits are now reserved only for leading practitioners in the field, the entire niche has pretty much deteriorated to nothing more than commercialisation, the most troubling thing about it all is the fact that this genre has been blatantly ignored by academics, a large majority of scholars not taking the genre seriously at all.

Nowadays a large majority of exhibits are produced only for advertisement purposes, the handful of people out there who actually try and study this genre of photography in depth trace this behaviour back to when these works started appearing in galleries. It was at this time that fashion photography lost its ephemeral factor which seemed to turn it into a work of art, and slowly the genre started to lose its artistic intent.

In order to shed some light on this slow but steady deterioration of fashion photography, a compendium commemorating some of the most important figures in fashion photography is being released. The purpose behind this collection of 180 pictures is to document the various changes that fashion photography has gone through over the many years. One can see various changes on how artists captured fashion and portrayed it according to various time periods, their works evolving to meet the norms and demands of society, often emphasising on various factors that played vital roles in the shaping and progress of society as a whole.

For example, as fashion photography slowly became a more established genre, it started gaining more confidence and started commenting on more sensitive topics, such as politics. After the events of World War 2, the works of photographers such as Henry Clarke started portraying women with greater control and independence, photographers also challenged societal issues such as racial discrimination by campaigning for using models of different racial groups. Even to this day, the man responsible for this campaign (Richard Avedon) is credited as one of the most important fashion photographers of the twentieth century.

In the 90s, fashion photography played a vital role in challenging gender norms, capitalism and how people perceived social respectability, the work of many artists emphasised on the concepts of gender fluidity and other social constructs. This industry has played a pretty important role in shaping the values of modern society, but looking back at what went at the other end of the lens, this industry has always been quite conservative.

A large majority of fashion photographers throughout the ages have been white men and have primarily focused on the West, leaving a whole mountain of talent and fashion related ideas completely untouched. Fashion Photography has become more stagnant recently and the only way to revitalize this industry would be to try and reform it at its core.

London’s Museum of Modern Art’s latest fashion exhibit has come out after 70 years and the vast number of items displayed in it have left a lot of viewers completely puzzled. The exhibit is going to be viewable till 28 January and consists of over a hundred different kinds of accessories, garments and various other wearables. The main concept behind this exhibit is to display items that have had a significant impact on civilisation over the last 100 years, you will find items produced by a large number of renowned brands here, including iconic clothing such as the suit, the little black dresses, and fashion items such as tattoos and more.

The collection itself is incredibly huge, taking up the entire sixth floor of the museum to display a number of historical apparels and clothing designs that have acted as “templates” which designers have used to produce some of the latest fashion. In this exhibition you will find Chinese cheongsams dating back to the 1930s that inspired Issey Miyake’s iconic turtlenecks that Steve Jobs used to wear. You can also look at a number of highly rare and highly fashionable items there as well, such as a celebrated 1966 Yves Saint Laurent Le Smoking Suit, along with items that look mundane but have had a critical role to play in modern fashion; a couple of examples being a Champion Hoodie and Levi’s 501s.

An apt way to describe this sprawling collection of items and to make better sense of it is to think of every item in the exhibit as stereotypes which provided designers with moulds into which they could fit their ideas and create something new while at the same time keeping everything inside of the vast ecosystem of the fashion industry. The result being designs that are not bound by factors such as social issues or technology, designs that hold enough power that they can have a considerable influence over society as a whole.

The experts behind this exhibit wished for their project to leave people bewildered and awed, forcing people to see the connections between various clothing articles and realise the fact that everything is in fact, under one huge and invisible umbrella. This exhibit has been name “Is Fashion Modern?” a title that asks people to think along the lines that the curators intended, and just like the last fashion exhibit held in 1944, the core objective of this setup has been to help people get a different perspective on clothing and start looking at fashion in a more deeper manner.

This exhibit contains all kinds of branded items, some of which may seem silly or out of place, but once one begins to understand the exhibition’s motives, they are bound to find a new found appreciation for the fashion industry.