Post 21: March 28th, Berlin and Switzerland
I met my cousin Dan in Berlin so that we could celebrate New Years there!!! I arrived before him and took a relaxed day since I’d been doing a lot of traveling and some partying in Tel Aviv. The next day he came! We went into the city to see the Berlin History Museum. Dan loves history so he was really excited. I enjoyed seeing some of the art and artifacts there. Berlin is not as built up as I expected. The city has a lot of trees, greenery, and even lakes so I really enjoyed that. We found a sausage place near our train station that had cheap, delicious food and nice employees. That night, we wandered around our area looking for a cool bar. We found a cute place called Crush. German beer is quite nice. The next day, we started by exploring the huge central park called Tiergaarten. The park was lovely and had ducks swimming around. After, we ventured to the Berlin Victory Column. The Column was impressive; we went up inside it and were able to look down on the city. Next, we got some coffee to warm up.
Since it was New Years Eve, we headed back to our place to eat. We decided to go to a salsa dancing club with a party going on. On our way, people started lighting fireworks everywhere in the street. You can buy decent fireworks and basically light them everywhere. It’s super fun, festive, and exciting! We bought a few fireworks and shot them off. The salsa party was quite fun and just getting more packed when we arrived. Before midnight, we left to see the fireworks happening centrally. The firework display there was impressive and also filled with people in the streets lighting their own fireworks. My cousin and I tried to go back to the salsa club but it got late so we just went home fairly early. The next day we started by checking out the art at the Berlin Wall. Lots of the street art was impressive and socially minded. Next, we went to a mass at a cathedral there and split to see different museums. I went to the art museum. The art museum was quite nice and focused on German culture and life. We had a relaxed night and took an all day bus to Switzerland the next day.
We arrived in Zurich that night. Zurich is a really relaxed quaint town. The city was snowy and lit up. The next day we went food shopping and Dan went to the history museum. I was tired from all the traveling and not feeling great so I had a more relaxed day at our hostel. The following day, we went to the main art museum there. I really enjoyed the layout of the building, the old and modern sections and the local and global artworks displayed. I then traveled to Winterthur to visit Elaine, a friend who lived with my parents as an exchange student a few years back. She bought me some really delicious chocolate! Switzerland has amazing chocolate! The next day we took a bus to Lucern, a nice mountain town south. We were able to faintly see the Alps through the clouds that day, it was partly sunny. We walked around and saw the cool bridges and churches. The next day I said goodbye to Dan and headed on a bus to Basel, Switzerland. It’s a very artsy city with a ton of art museums. I met some nice French students while I was at my hostel. I went to 2 amazing art museums there. The first was Kunstmuseum that had a nice Jackson Pollock exhibit. The second was called Foundation Beyeler that had a Blue Rider, Kandinsky exhibit going on. That night I hung out with my French friends and flew back to London the next day. Overall I really enjoyed Germany and Switzerland and spending time with my cousin Dan. I definitely want to come back to both countries in the summer sometime!!
Post 20: March 2nd, Collaboration Tutorial Questions
The most challenging aspect of the collaborative project was getting our group to get together and make decisions. It’s hard to agree on ideas and execution. The most rewarding aspect was being able to split up tasks, using everyone’s networks to find people to collaborate with, and being able to brainstorm and bounce off ideas together. I’ve learned that I’m good at leading the team and helping our group be decisive and move plans forward. The process was ok, definitely hard and stressful at times. The first time we were supposed to film, it got cancelled morning of so I was not happy about that. I would have made sure we were all in communication with our filmmaker because we found out last minute he didn’t have the equipment he needed. We had to regroup, re-plan, and shoot fairly last minute so that was challenging. We managed to pull it together, thankfully.
Post 19: March 2nd, Fashion Filming
We filmed our fashion film this Tuesday night. Our crew was very nice and got along well. We were crunched for time though. First, we filmed the scenes of the girl getting ready for the date in her room. The hair and make-up took a long time for the date look but it looked amazing! We filmed the second part at the Lime Grove campus. We had only half an hour to film everything there once we finally arrived and were set up. The filming happened very quickly but we got everything we needed. We realized we should have shot at Lime Grove first because of the time limitation. I’m excited to see how our film comes out!
Post 18: February 27th, Fashion Film Update
Last Friday, we were supposed to film but Nigel, our filmmaker, was unable to rent out all the equipment we needed. I didn’t know until the morning of once I had already arrived at the location that we for sure weren’t going to be able to film. My model showed up and I had to turn her away. I also messaged my hair stylist once she was nearby. I felt bad about canceling so late notice. It was very unprofessional. I was frustrated with my group about what happened. There was a lack of communication between our entire team. We had to re-plan the filming to happen on Tuesday of this week. We won’t have much time to put everything together. I’m hoping everything runs smoothly this time.
Post 17: February 22nd, Fashion Film Development
Freya, Ankita, and I decided not to work with Slava because we didn’t agree on how to proceed with our film. Freya had a good idea about a date going wrong. We developed the idea this week and met with Ankita’s filmmaker friend. He has made some really nice romantic films so I’m excited to work with him. Today, Freya and I picked out the outfits for the video. They should work well. Our film is being filmed on Friday so hopefully it all goes according to plan!
Post 16: February 16th, M&S Activewear Photo Shoot!
I did my M&S shoot on Wednesday during my Masterclass session with Diana. My team all arrived in a timely manner and hair and make-up started. I started steaming the clothes and George, my photographer who is in the MA Fashion Photography program, started setting up his lighting. Diana told me I should try to think of combinations of what clothes work together beforehand. I didn’t do that and so I worked spontaneously with the clothes. The studio shots went really well. We went for a look book feel with some more simple shots but also ones with motion since it is activewear. My team got along really well. We all had a fun time together. I played around with some layering of the activewear jackets. Afterwards, we got some outdoor shots. Diana helped me tape my shoes with duct tape so they didn’t get dirty. For those images, I layered coats together. I‘m glad we got both studio and outdoor shots. George and my team were all happy and satisfied with what we accomplished. I’m excited to see the images!!
Post 15: February 16th, Marian, Alumni Talk
Marian, an alumni, came in to speak to us about her job styling for Net-A-Porter’s, an online shopping company, weekly magazine, The Edit. She graduated from our course with a distinction in 2014. She styles shoots base on current trends, products, and culture. Her shoots have to be well researched and shop-able on the site. She said all the research we put into our projects is preparing us well for what we will do in the industry. Marian said we need to take criticism well and be diplomatic. She said our final project is important, but also to take advantage of assisting and doing your own work outside of class work. She said to take advantage of working with other students here and getting in touch with people in the industry. We need to be assertive and good at making contacts. It’s important to watch old movies, know fashion history, and keep up to date with the fashion shows and trends. I asked her what her favorite part of her job was and she said putting together her mood boards based on brainstorming and research. I enjoyed the talk and was encouraged that I can find a great job in the industry when I graduate.
Post 14: February 16th, Brainstorming with Filmmaker Slava
This past Thursday, my group met with Slava, our friend who is a professional film producer. We talked about emailing M&S our ideas to get feedback. Slava showed us the proposal for a video made by one of his friends. We took notes on the details included. Then we brainstormed how to make our video funny and unusual. We watched some clever videos to gather ideas. We discussed various ideas to show bra problems women have in clever ways. Ankita eventually had an idea for a dance teacher to be teaching her class a new dance sequence. She is teaching the moves but has to adjust her bra, the class copies her movement as a new dance move. Our group decided this is the most achievable idea of ours. We have continued developing it and will email M&S to get feedback on our idea. I’m excited to see what they think of our idea!
Post 13: February 16th, Pylot Magazine Talk
This past Tuesday, my class went to the office of Pylot Magazine. One of the alums from our course, Patricia Villirillo, started the magazine with the photographer, Max Barnett two and a half years ago. The magazine solely contains analogue un-retouched photos. Even the ads are un-retouched. Half of the magazine features documentary photography while half is fashion photography. The magazine collaborates with young and old creatives. The team doesn’t make money on the magazine as of now, but they are hoping to gain some investors. Patricia and Max told us to work hard, do good research, and network. After their talk, we presented our editorial ideas to them. I talked about my activewear shoot and showed them my proposed location, hair, makeup, and outfits. They suggested I don’t go too crazy with the make-up. They like the idea of mixing the active wear with some cool jackets, such as trench coats and bomber jackets. They liked my classmate Nika’s presentation that had short descriptions of styles and referenced inspiration from films so I will note that style of communicating ideas. The talk was interesting to see their point of view and how they’ve stuck to the untouched photography in their magazine.
Post 12: February 14th, Marks and Spencer Activewear Photo Shoot Update!
I have been talking to George, an MA Fashion Photography student. We are going to collaborate on my M&S Editorial Shoot. We will do a test shoot during my Masterclass session and then if we need to do another shoot we can. I posted on the Facebook groups to find athletic models of different ethnicities and I was surprised that so many models contacted me. I had to sift throughout them and find ones that suit my taste. I showed my photographer some. We met today and decided on the models and details of our shoot. We have one black model and one white. I found an Indian girl and thought about using her but my photographer and I decided the other two contrast and look nice together. I can use the Indian girl in our fashion film. I found a hair stylist but have not found a makeup artist yet but one LCF student is asking her friends so hopefully I can find someone. I will go buy clothes for my shoot today and am excited for it to come together!
Post 11: February 14th, Postgrad Employability and Enterprise Week Talks
Two weeks back, I attended talks at the main LCF campus about the Future of Fashion and Sustainability at Kering. The first talk had 4 panelists: Caryn Franklin, fashion commentator, Alex McIntosh, course leader of MA Fashion Futures, a man from a fashion consultancy, and a woman who works in fashion psychology. Caryn said companies want employees with morals who will critique their business. She emphasized having a purpose and being healthy, not only focusing on huge success, growth, and wealth. If you gain that but are emotionally unstable, you won’t be happy or able to sustain a career. The panel said the ability to adapt to jobs that don’t even exist yet is important. The panel felt the despair of our current times but, chaos breeds innovation. Creatives are fragile people so understand that everyone struggles and strive for balance in your life. Also with trying to change the unsustainable fashion system, it’s best to be humble and strive for small, but purposeful initiatives instead of trying to force drastic change.
The second talk highlighted how Kering, a company who oversees fashion brands, incorporates sustainability into their entire design process. Marie-Claire Daveu, the head sustainability director, talked about how Kering faces global environmental and social changes and makes sustainability a priority. They track each brand’s environmental profit and loss, tracking air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, lad use, waste, water consumption, and water pollution. They value transparency and also give equal pay and opportunity to men and women. Kering is a great example for other corporations and gives me hope for the industry!
Post 10: February 4th, Israel!!
After the frigid cold of Budapest, I was so ready for Israel. Going through customs at the airport, I got thoroughly questioned and also asked why I was so excited to come to Israel. Because it’s a fascinating place and my first time in the Middle East, that’s why! I flew into Eliat, which is a southern resort town on the Red Sea. Eliat has the hottest weather, great snorkeling and surfing, majestic red mountain landscapes, and fancy hotels and shopping malls. The area has tons of palm trees and is very modern. I arrived at night so I bought a felafel wrap at a diner.
The next day, I took the bus to the beach. The weather was about 65 F/18 C, partly sunny, partly cloudy. I swam in the Red Sea and could see and touch some coral with my feet. Later that afternoon, I took the bus to the marina area that had more shops and kids out windsurfing. That night, I took a bus to Jerusalem. The city somehow reminded me of NYC a bit because lots of people were walking around and out socializing. The city is hills and the buildings are made out of speckled cream-colored limestone. My Israeli friend, Omri, who I met in Bolivia, met me that night. We caught up and went to this amazing party market. The market sells regular food and goods during the day but has lights, music, and little bars at night! We got beer and Omri taught me some Herbrew, like Shalom is used as a greeting but means peace.
The next day, I took a walking tour of the holy sites in Jerusalem. Since it was a Friday, we had to take a different route because all the Muslims were going to the mosque. First, we went to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the massive church built on the sites where Jesus was crucified, died, and buried, built by Constantine the Great’s mother Helena. The church is decorated in an Eastern style with chandeliers, mosaics, candles, and circular chambers. The church contains many chambers including where the cross was found, but there aren’t remains of the actual cross still there. We walked around the markets and other stations of the cross, such as the weeping women. We then walked to the Western Wall also known as the Wailing Wall. The Western Wall was apart of King Herod’s magnificent temple around the Temple Mount that got destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. It is a holy place of prayer for the Jews. You can write a prayer and stick it in the wall. There is a side for women and for men. I wrote a prayer and went up and touched the wall. Many Jewish people were praying at the wall. Next, we walked up stairs to get a good view of the city, looking down on the Temple Mount, and the golden Muslim Dome of the Rock where Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac. We then visited the small chapel built where the last supper with Jesus and his disciples was. We then walked back out to the entrance to the Old City called the Jaffa Gate. I got lunch with 2 girls who I met on the tour. The weather was quite windy and cold so I went back to my hostel and had dinner there and rested.
The next day, Christmas Eve, I took a tour to Masada, En Gedi, and the Dead Sea! Masada is a is an ancient fortress and palace built by King Herod on a rock plateau overlooking the Dead Sea. Our group took a cable car up to the top and walked around. The fortress was vast and fascinating. Then we traveled to En Gedi, a lush forested oasis and natural reserve with waterfalls. We hiked up to a gorgeous waterfall and also had great views of the Dead Sea. Lastly, we went swimming in the Dead Sea. The body of water is 30% salt so you do float easily. There is also dead sea minerals in the mud. I rubbed mud all over my body and it was soothing. That night I went salsa dancing with a Spanish guy I met at my hostel. The dancing was held in a community center and contained lots of locals who were amazing dancers. We broke up into different skill levels and I did a beginner lesson with my friend. We danced a lot and had a great time!
On Christmas, I visited Bethlehem! I took a bus to the city and met an American guy who lives in Jordan. We walked around the Church of the Nativity and attended a mass in a nice church nearby. Afterwards, we got a delicious lunch of falafel, pita bread, and veggies. We walked through the local markets, bought some souvenirs, and took the bus back to Jerusalem. That night, I took a bus to my friend Omri’s house. We went out with his friends to a cute bar with live music.
After so much traveling, I loved being in my friend’s parent’s house. I slept in, ate, and relaxed until Omri got back from work. He took me to a bus to Tel Aviv. I checked into my hostel and then walked to the beach to catch the sunset. The city is very modern, artsy, and vibrant. It reminded me of a tropical Brooklyn! The next day was super rainy so I ended up walking through the rain with 3 Brits to the art museum, a coffee shop, and the food market. The art museum is a modern building and had super interesting exhibits! I enjoyed seeing more of the city and the market was so colorful! That night, a big group from our hostel decided to hit up a local bar! It was a chill hipster one. We had a really fun, crazy night. The next morning I took to take a bus back to Eliat. I soaked up as much of the sun as I could before flying to Berlin to meet up with my cousin for New Years!!
I absolutely loved Israel! One week was not enough to see the whole country. I will have to go back sometime in the spring or summer! There are religious tensions, especially surrounding Jerusalem. I think everyone should get along and have equal rights, but I know the history behind the different groups and religious extremism makes it complicated. The country really is gorgeous with ancient history and modernity, and the food is amazing!
Post 9: February 4th, Fashion Film Meeting with Filmmaker Slava
This week, my group met with a film-maker acquaintance of my friend. He owns a creative agency that creates ads and videos. He told us about the Cannes Lions film festival for advertisement videos. Slava said if our video is good, we can enter in into the competition. He liked our idea and encouraged us to think outside of the box and make it unusual and humorous. We talked about approaching the company we are rebranding with our ideas once we have properly researched them and their competition. Slava had a wealth of interesting advice and ideas. We are looking forward to working with him!
Post 8: February 4th, Fashion Film Idea Presentation Critique
This past week my group also presented 3 fashion film ideas. Ankita, who is in my group, proposed a film highlighting bra problems and how they can be solved by buying M&S bras. M&S has been selling bras for 90 years so it’s their iconic product. Freya presented a lingerie sleepover party. I presented an idea similar to one of editorial ones, involving a couple on a seaside adventurous stroll. Freya’s idea was considered over-done and not exciting. Ankita’s idea could work if we did it in an original, intriguing way. I got feedback that my presentation had too many words and repeated info from my 1st presentation. We are leaning towards Ankita’s idea because mine would be hard to get everyone to a location 2 hours away in Sussex and I’m using the location for my editorial.
Post 7: January 26th, DSLR and Film Editing Workshops
This past Wednesday, I attended two workshops to help me understand cameras and film editing. The first one was an intro to DSLR workshop. DSLR actually stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex; the camera has a mirror in it that captures the image. The image is gathered through ISO, shutterspeed, and aperture. Iso is how sensitive the camera is to light and effects the saturation of the photos. You want to use as low an Iso as you can, because the higher it is the more grainy a photo will become. Shutterspeed is how long the light comes in. If the subject is moving you want it to be quick; if you are trying to capture the stars or a time lapse then you can make the shutterspeed longer. If it is longer than than a second, you should use a tripod. The last important way to change a photo is through aperture. Aperture is the how much part and it works like an eye. The camera has blades that can open or close up more. If it’s bright you want it to be small like squinting, if it’s dark you want it too be larger. If you’re doing a close up, you want it to be smaller, a portrait is in the middle, and a landscape would be the highest. After learning all of that, we went around the school and outside to practice adjusting our cameras in different situations. I really enjoyed the workshop, learned a lot, and took some interesting photos.
Next I attended a film editing workshop. I learned about how to use the basic functions of Premiere Pro. I learned how to import clips, cut them, put them together, edit sound clips, adjust how loud the sound was, add titles, add credits, and save my project in the right format. These skills will be helpful editing my film that I shot with my team last term and my film that I will be making this term.
Post 6: January 26th, Editorial Ideas Presentation Critique
This past Tuesday, I presented three ideas for my editorial photo shoot for rebranding Marks & Spencer. I started out with some articles with opinions on the M&S womenswear customer and what she is looking for. Next I presented my ideas alongside supporting research. I found out M&S has a strong presence in India and the lingerie is popular there. My first idea was to do an Indian culture themed lingerie shoot. I found out the company has great sustainability initiatives and supports better sourcing, organic cotton, and alternative fibers. I proposed an active seaside adventure shoot at a stunning seaside location 2 hours south of London. My third idea was to use the new M&S activewear line in a bright vibrant way. A lot of my classmates liked my activewear idea. My teacher really loved that all of my ideas had specific supporting research. She said I could break up and cut down on having too many words on slides. I could use slightly better headings and wording in certain places. The Indian cultural shoot would be not as inclusive to all M&S customers so I won’t go with that idea. I’m really happy with how my presentation went and I want to find a way to combine my ethical and activewear ideas, by pairing activewear with casual wear and shooting it by the sea!
Post 5: January 26th, Magazine Editor Guest Talk
Cherie Federico, founder and editor of Aethetica Magazine, came in to talk about her magazine and share inspiring fashion films with us. Her magazine which started in 2003 highlights exciting visual culture including art, design, photography, architecture, music, film and performance. Cherie told us to be inspired by other industries and to create our own stories that people resonate with. Her magazine hosts a film festival called Aethetica Short Film Festival every November. The festival has a fashion category that includes branded and independent films. The first one we watched was called Breaking Rules and was made by Bibi Lou, a shoe brand. In the film, two spirited boarding school girls rebelled against the rules in clever, playful, artsy scenarios always highlighting different shoes. The storyline was compelling and the scenery and fashion was stunning. We watched a River Island x Joseph Turvey film that focused on a group of young boys living an active, vibrant life in the city. I really enjoyed the portrait stills cleverly incorporated into the film, the music, and the colorful scenes. The next film was a Kenzo film called Snowbird. The film is about a woman who lives in a trailer park in Southwest America, offering cake to her friends on her birthday. The film has a rich, layered set and unexpected surprises that you can discover if you watch the film! The last one we watched, Ethetics on Mdingl Coults, featured an up and coming ethical South African fashion brand. The designers talked about their brand and their hopes while the video showed models dressed in their clothes in the picturesque lush mountains in Cape Town. I particularly liked the composition of the nature and fashion together and learning about a new ethical company. The session was helpful since my class will be making fashion films for our collaborative project. I’m excited to start ours with my group! Here are some photos from the films, all of them are available online.
Post 4: January 21st, Budapest
I flew to Budapest shortly after arriving home from Morocco. I decided to visit Budapest, because it was lot cheaper to fly to Israel from there. This was my first time in Eastern Europe. Coming from warm Morocco, the weather felt terribly cold. The temperature was around freezing and the sky was grey when I was there. I had 2 days to see the city. The 1st morning, I headed out on a walking tour. The tour started in a square and continued to St. Stephen’s Cathedral with nice Christmas markets nearby and spread throughout the city, then to the Danube River. I left the tour early because I was cold and hungry so I took off and bought a mocha and pizza. I decided to go to a thermal bath and so I walked down a main road to the biggest one. On the way, I bought some leather gloves and spiked mulled wine. I found an old fairy tale castle and a nice park. Since it was later in the afternoon, I decided to come back the next day and take a steamy bath in the fancy tub at my hostel instead. Then, I relaxed and talked to some friends back home.
That night, an American friend I made invited me to go to a ruins bar. The bars are located in the old Jewish quarter in the ruins of abandoned buildings, stores, and lots. The neighborhood was left to decay after WWII so it was a perfect use of these spaces. The ruins bars are decorated with colorful flea market furniture and decor, interesting antiques, and spray painted murals. The drinks are cheap and the atmosphere is laid back. I was quite tired so I had a beer with my friend and headed home.
The next day was all about the thermal baths. I hadn’t been across the river and was told about a cool castle with a spectacular view of the city so I decided to go to a beautiful bath near there. I found the Buda castle built into the hills, it was neat and did offer nice views. After grabbing soup, I headed to the baths. The one I went to was located in an old elegant hotel. The 1st swimming pool had a high ceiling, decorative pillars around it, and elderly aerobic classes going on. I ventured further to find the hot pools. The walls had gorgeous blue patterned tiles with mosaics and the pools had fountains with sculptures against the walls. I felt like I was at my family Christmas since we always go to a hotel with a pool and hot tub. Outside, there is also an open air hot tub. That one was quite refreshing and soothing at the same time! I met some nice people and stayed for a few hours. Afterwards, I walked down a different back and found some cute markets with fantastic Christmas lights. The streets of Budapest are nicely decorated with lights in the trees and light posts.
Since I had to fly out the next morning, I had a relaxed night. While Budapest is nice in the winter, I feel like it would be more scenic in the summer. I wish I would have visited an art museum and inside one of the castles while I was in town, but since I had a cold and limited time, I did not. Budapest in the winter felt like being in a dark fairy tale to me. Definitely an interesting city!
Post 3: January 19th, Branding Lecture and Rebranding Research and Examples
Once again, we had David Mills in as a guest lecturer. He gave us a lecture on branding. The main points he made were to do extensive research on your brand and similar brands so that you can be confident in your ideas, a clear and diplomatic style of presenting issues and solutions is key, brands have personalities and characteristics, and all industries selling products and services need stylists. Stylists help in the brand identity creation that is used for marketing and promotion. Industries outside of fashion, such as tech companies, especially need good stylists to make their product the most attractive and alluring to their customers. One helpful quote was, “Tell me, I forget. Show me, I remember. Involve me, I understand.” People want to feel apart of the mission, values, and aspirational aspects of successful brands. We talked about Old Spice commercials with sexy but also relatable men. These commercials were created after researching what woman want to see since they buy these products for their boyfriends and spouses. People shouldn’t be spammed, their time and attention is valuable so advertisements should be clever, artsy, and something the customers would want to see on their own. When working for a client, you should be excited about what they do well and find the best way to showcase and visually communicate that.
I researched rebranding and learned some interesting ideas. Here are 2 insightful quotes:
“With the emergence of new markets onto the global stage, brands have had to adopt more focused local efforts under the umbrella of the mothership.”
“A successful luxury rebranding is one which emphasizes & highlights the brands unique positioning, and clearly communicates said position through effective media use.” - Rony Zeidan
Burberry is an example of a company that has been successfully rebranded. Burberry went from embarrassing to hot. At the end of the 90s, Burberry’s famous check design was banned in pubs and clubs for its association with hooliganism. In contrast, today, the company boasts brand ambassadors including Emma Watson and Cara Delevingne. First, Christopher Bailey, a brilliant designer who was instrumental at Gucci, took over creative direction in 2001 and updated the clothes to be elegant, conceptual, and desirable. Then, Angela Ahrendts, former chief executive of the fashion label, helped Burberry embrace technology with live-streaming fashion shows and social media engagement. She also bought back 23 licences Burberry had sold to allow other businesses to use its check on anything and everything. During her time at Burberry, the company value rose from £2 billion to more than £7 billion. - Echo Stories
A brand that has been revamped recently that I am incredibly excited about is Gucci!!!! Since Alessandro Michele took over the house 2 years ago, the collections have been out of this world incredible, dripping with sumptuous, quirky details. The designer chatted with Porter magazine about his new direction. “In recent years, fashion has taken itself as inspiration, and it has been stimulated only by itself," Michele told Porter about fashion's evolution. "We decided that fashion was something slick, perfect, symmetric, but now people feel the desire to express their individuality and they don’t want to fit the mold anymore.” And that's where the revamped Gucci comes in—the brand speaks to people's desire to be truly unique. Michele has been so successful because he's created clothes that "give you the freedom to choose who you are" and express yourself. His fanciful designs are anything but cookie-cutter: “This Gucci is eccentric, colorful, romantic and languid,” Michele said. Amen to that! Last term, I met the fashion illustrator, Unskilled Worker, who creates paintings for Michele. She said he loves people, is a dream, and gives his team full creative freedom. Gucci has also been worn lately by all the biggest celebrities and street style stars. Notably, Beyonce wore lots of Gucci in her visual album Lemonade. - Who What Wear
Here are some photos from the most recent Pre-Fall 2017 collection- so in love with it!
Post 2: January 19th, Intro to Graphic Design Lecture
This past week, Term 2 started. We have 2 classes: The Collaborative Project and Fashion Research in Context. For the Collaborative Project, we were assigned groups to research and rebrand a company. The company given to my class is Marks and Spencer. It’s a grocery store that also sells a wide range of quality basic and also slightly trendy clothing. In our teams, we will organize individual photo shoots and a group short fashion film to make the company more appealing to its’ customer base.
For our 1st class, David Mills, a graphic design teacher from Central Saint Martins, came in to teach us some basics so that we think graphically during our presentations and shoots. Since I minored in graphic design in undergrad, I have a proficient level of understanding but it was a nice refresher. David told us how presentation is key and that we need to do work that is up to industry standard. He gave an overview about the personalities of fonts and when to use certain kinds. Once you understand these rules, you can break them. Using the golden ration and white space well is nice. Don’t clutter your space, but don’t leave it too empty either. After his lecture, we presented a magazine spread that we made with images from our final project last term. Here is my first draft.
My critiques were that my text could use a colored box behind it and should be left or right justified so it’s easier to read, and to make the photos bigger and switched. I updated my spread based on this feedback and it looks better! The class was a great reminder to keep graphic design in mind :)
Post 1: January 15th, Recap and Morocco
Happy New Years readers! I am so excited for this year, 2017! 17 is my favorite number so it’s bound to be a fantastic year! I have decided to revive my blog and use it as my learning log for my Fashion Media Styling Graduate Diploma course at London College of Fashion. I will be writing about what I am learning in my travels, classes, books, movies, talks, projects, and work experiences. I will start off with a recap of my fall and my University Surf Club trip to Morocco. Since I traveled to 5 different countries over my Christmas break, I will break up the countries with current classes and experiences so that it doesn’t get too lengthy.
After being a bridesmaid in my best friend’s wedding, I moved to London in mid September for graduate school. I live in student housing in White Chapel in East London. This past term, I took an Intro to Styling and an Interrogating the Image class. I learned the fundamentals of researching a concept for a photo shoot, networking to bring together a creative team, explaining and visually communicating ideas, leading a team during a shoot, and professionally presenting the results. For our final project, we researched Classic British style and had to pick an item related to our research that we featured in photos. I looked at quilting and used a quilt that I made before I left the states. I was also interested in music from The Beatles and used the song Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds to inspire the plot of a 1 minute short film as well as photos. The film is still being edited but the photos came out nicely. While the project didn’t go exactly as I envisioned, I am pleased with the results and learned a lot along the way. In Interrogating the Image, I learned about the authenticity behind images and what images visually communicate. I wrote an essay on a photographer who uses authentic methods in his photography.
After the term, I embarked on an entire month of travels! First, I flew to Agadir, Morocco with about 30 members of my university surf club. From there, we traveled to Taghazout, a coastal surf town. The weather was perfect, warm and sunny, around 70 F or 22 C. Morocco reminded me of Lima, Peru where I volunteered at the start of last year, because of the similar fantastic weather, relaxed friendly locals, ocean breeze and waves, colorful decorative, houses and doors, intricate textiles, and breath-taking sunsets. The first morning, we all admired the views of the town and the beach from our balcony as we ate breakfast. Shortly after, we geared up to go surfing!!
Even though I’ve surfed before, I decided to go in the beginner group to solidify the basics. Our instructor, Abdullah, told us to feel the waves and was a very positive, encouraging, relaxed guy. First, we learned where to lay on the board and how to pop up. He then taught us a way to jump on the board in order to catch a white water wave that has already crashed. Since we did little or no paddling, we saved our energy for practicing popping up by kneeling first. The week before coming, I practiced pop ups and getting down into my surfer stance. My pre-training paid off because that first day, I was standing up on almost every wave I took! Having proper quad, core, and arm strength makes popping up and riding the waves easier and less tiring!
The beach was also fun because we were able to go for camel and horse rides. Guys with turbans would walk around waiting for us to want a picture or ride with their animals. The 2nd day, I took a nice camel ride, the camel was really tall when he stood up and even ran for a bit. Men also walked around selling hot tea, nuts, blankets, clothes, and jewelry. They asked our names and befriended us. We saw the same guys daily. In the morning, we had a lesson, lunch on the beach, and then free surf time in the afternoon. We would arrive at 10am and leave by 4pm to head back to our hostel to relax. During the late afternoon, we would walk around town, buy snacks, and catch the stunning sunsets on the beach or a rooftop. At night, we all gathered for dinner and then hung out, played games, and drank.
We got to surf for 4 days. I really progressed and my surf instructor told me he likes my style on the board! He said I should stay another week in order to really progress, I wish I could have! I started paddling into bigger waves and experimenting with turning and long board footwork. I don’t even have to think about how to stand up anymore, it’s muscle memory but I need to learn to stand up quicker on bigger waves. I will have a chance to further hone my skills when I go on the Portugal university surf trip over Easter Break!
We also took day trips to Paradise Valley and Marrakech. First, we toured an argan oil store and garden and learned about the oil and other local natural products. At Paradise Valley, we hiked through palm trees and rivers to discover pristine waterfalls and pools. We trekked up to a nice cliff that we could jump off of into a cold pool of water. Then we headed down to sunny rocks and a series of pools to swim in. Our last day, we traveled to Martakesh. We toured a large, ornate palace, walked and shopped in the local markets, and ate lunch at a nice restaurant. I bought a nice leather bag but some of the sellers were really aggressive. Also one night, some of us got a traditional Moroccan massage where we were scrubbed down with mud and sand paper tools by locals. Afterwards, we felt clean and relaxed.
I absolutely loved Morocco! I definitely want to go back and see more of the country sometime. Taghazout had amazing chilled out surfer vibes. Our group became close. Everyone was lively, fun, and interesting to get to know. I can’t wait for our next trip together! :)