My final post.

I am going to honest. I have always known what new media was in terms of definition, but never more than that. I did know, however, that I am not the biggest fan of social media, even though I use it regularly. I thought tweeting was the extent of new media, because that’s all anyone ever talks about anymore. (So I recently started tweeting, and blogging) Through exploring new media, I have learned a lot, such as its importance in how we communicate and how to decode what everyone is trying to say. in. fragments. 

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New media is changing faster than I have time to understand it. The newspaper used to be new media, and now it is blogging and videos and Instagram. While we have to adapt to the change of new media, it has to adapt to our reaction to it. We are reading less and less and looking for a constant stream of information to curb our never ending boredom when stimuli is briefly removed from our interactive lives. This cycle of information is not only addicting, but it has changed the ways of the media, hence “new” media. 

And what we are finding when exploring the web are more often than not unoriginal concepts and references, making most new media sources hypertextual. One would think hypertextuality would become redundant as one scrolls from page to page seeing the same information. But that is what connects us to the “conversation” we are looking for. There are so many outlets for conversation now, I would argue more now than ever. There is always something to “talk” about. It is through new media that we are informed and up to date on important topics and problems our interests face. I just created a blog about fashion illustration because I felt that because I have a perception that it is becoming a lost art, its importance is enough to bring attention to why that matters. But I didn’t just say why it matters, I showed it, through hypertextuality. 

This blog wasn’t just designed for the computer, because that wouldn’t be considered new media enough. Design decisions were made so the page could be nicely viewed on a mobile device, which acts as the techne. Our constant access to the internet makes us always use this tool. Waiting in line, at the doctors office, and just anywhere. Everything is at our fingertips. While we used to assume websites should be first designed for the computer and then mobile devices, the times have changed. The computer as the techne is less and less a source for new media, as it is becoming “dated.”

While I struggled with the feeling of not wanting to succumb to new media, I had no choice because it was the smart thing to do. And after understanding that there is more depth to it than selfies, I have a new respect along with my diminishing confusion. How new media has changed us only makes me wonder what the future holds and what will be considered “new” tomorrow? I know learning about it gives me the upper hand as I enter the world of fashion design, which has evolved tremendously with the world of blogging. The way information is delivered about up and coming trends is no longer through word of mouth or old catalogs. It is through new media. Not only that, but the fashionistas get to be part of the same inner circle by following certain blogs, and I think self identity becomes more assured through this process because we can connect with those who share our same interests. 

By creating my own blog and new media project, I learned that there is much more thought involved in creating an identity and a reason to “talk” than I ever expected. I initially assumed that blogs were silly, but educated discussions can be had through the blogosphere, we hope. It has to be strategic and engaging, otherwise it gets lost in the sea of information that is constantly at our fingertips. I do hope that literacy will remain “a thing” for the years to come, and I don’t mean visual literacy, even though I am a visual person. 

Ultimately, as new media changes, we have to change with it. And there are ways to use it for knowledge, which may be the simplest yet most important thing I have learned through my experience as a temporary blogger, for now. 

 

 

I’ve always wanted to say signing out, so here it is. 

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Grocery shopping in Chanel, what else?

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In the big scheme of avid Chanel fans, only a handful get to experience the art of a Karl Lagerfeld fashion show. At this years Paris Fashion Week, Lagerfeld decided that a normal runway was just too “normal,” so he set the stage for his production in a Chanel designed grocery store. (Because who doesn’t want to buy cereal in Chanel)

The models weren’t the only things “branded” in this production. They were accompanied by Chanel designed sodas, posters, and canned foods. Everything was wearing Chanel. The guests who attended didn’t just sit and watch a show, they watched a well-orchestrated story. The high-end brand evolved into something borderline pedestrian while managing to maintain its expensive appeal, somehow, and it quickly became the talk of the fashion industry.

The followers of the fashion world who didn’t get to experience the show quickly found out about what I believe is the most expensive grocery store of all time. Pictures surfaced first, and then came the video of the collection. As we know, the fashion industry is all about innovation, and this may have been the epitome of innovation in this years fashion week scene. Keeping up with trends means keeping up with designers as they debut their latest work. While we know we can’t wear straight off the runway collections, as they are designed for display more than street wear, but as fashion followers we HAVE to know what’s happening next. Chanel not only connected to the attendees of the show, who most likely can afford to wear it, but it connected to the group that would see it on the internet.

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The industry of fashion is changing with the growth of new media. As I have talked about in previous posts, fashion bloggers are now responsible for sharing the exclusive “inside scoop” of what happens at these high-end events. And we follow it, because we wish we were there. I am not afraid to hide my envy, but I can be cordial thank them for sharing what they see. I think this change in delivery of “news” in this industry not only affects how we, as bystanders, view it, but it changes how designers present their work. In this case, the normal somewhat pompous air of Chanel is not evident in this grocery-shopping story, and the normal-salary-making population can see themselves either wearing the actual product that fits into their daily lives or something that resembles it (which still comes back to branding Chanel, who doesn’t love the knock-off industry) The sense of urgency and the importance of this video goes beyond what we want to see as followers and becomes the image Chanel is trying to sell. The delivery of the collection goes straight to the subscribers of fashion blogs, twitters, facebooks, and every form of social media, because that is the audience that will share the “news” to the group that believes it matters. (us, and it definitely does matter) 

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We all grocery shop, and I would hope we all love Chanel. While this relatable story of tweed and sneakers is a work of art, it is ultimately an advertisement. Fashion bloggers are free advertisers for these designers, and while they may not be selling an actual product, they are selling a look and aesthetic. We not only follow the blogs, but we follow the trends. This technique is smart, because it is subtle. The models in this show are also very well known, like Victoria’s Secret model Cara Delevigne and reality star Kendall Jenner, who have millions of followers on their own social media sites. This only enhances how this information is passed down from the elite to the rest of us. I believe it is all strategic to get the word out, and why shouldn’t it be? Many of us do enjoy just looking at the amazing work Lagerfeld has created that has changed the fashion show experience. Yet deep down, this viral video in the fashion blogosphere will make us think twice about how we get dressed in the morning. Even to go grocery shopping. 

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what is textile design?

We know what a fashion designer’s role is in creating a garment, yet we often forget what it takes for them to create a finished collection. Garments can’t be made without thread, buttons, lace, and fabric, which is where textile designers become important. This division is often forgot about when we see collections like Alice and Olivia’s Spring 2014 line because we are focusing on the construction of the pieces. These forgotten voices need recognition and acknowledgment, which is why I have decided to contribute to the textile design page on Wikipedia.

While this page briefly shares the process of how to create textiles, it does not go into depth the history or man contributors in this art form. It does not to justice to those who have degrees in this specific craft. The article focuses on textile design and its importance in our every day lives; the importance of rugs, towels, and drapes. But it is so much more than that. What about what we wear and how we express our individual style? What about the recognition the fashion designers get for a floral print that someone else created? When you are paying for an expensive t-shirt, it isn’t the style that gives it value, it is what the shirt is made of. Behind the seams, textile design is the core of fashion.

Wikipedia simply scrapes the surface in regards to textile design by telling us the basic information regarding the process, providing a handful of different approaches. But what about the history? There are many stories about the evolution of textile design in a variety of different countries, each one contributing to our techniques in creating fabric today. The “threads of history” are missing, and while the information may be scattered throughout other wiki pages, it needs to be part of the textile design one for those who seek interest in the subject matter. If someone were to just look at the current wiki page for information, I would argue they would know little to nothing about the subject, and my goal is to change that.

I am going to evolve this page to provide more interest and accurate information. I want the page to go more in depth about the process, the famous figures who participated in the development of textile design, and the history of the art. While there are so many ways to approach this bare page, I know I want to include how it pertains to fashion design and ultimately high fashion and couture. As an aspiring designer myself, I know the value of this information and I am hoping to further inform others in my position as well as those who express interest in it.

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#lookup

#selfie

#selfie

I personally think the Mona Lisa looks better with #nofilter, but maybe that is because I actually looked at her. She looks ok in Black and White, but the “Rise” filter on Instagram definitely washes her out. In reality, the Mona Lisa is considered one of the most disappointing tourist attractions, but that can change with fifty likes on Instagram. I know serious thought goes into this, because why pay to go to the Louvre if you can’t get a good shot of Mona? Most of the people standing in front of this historic piece of work do not even look at her, they snap a picture and go, which I found a common act at many tourist attractions. After traveling Europe for four months, I realized that the culture I learned the most about was the one involving social-media. I am now convinced that Instagram has not only altered how we spend our time, but has started to dictate the decisions we make.

Just what we need, more distractions.  It was enough of a distraction when I went with my family to Europe ten years ago with our new digital camera and camcorder. That was my first experience seeing what a photo looked like immediately after it was taken, the beginning of our hunger for instant gratification. This was the first time I realized that while our technology was moving quickly, it was also slowing us down. If we didn’t look good in front of the Coliseum, we could take the picture again and again and again, until it was perfect. Only because with this advancement in technology, could we delete and delete and delete. And then edit mildly to show a few family members who expressed interest about our trip. I feel bad for the five-hundred people out there who weren’t able to subscribe to those three weeks where we were #blessed to be in Europe, but I was able to make up for it in part II of my European travels.
unnamedI won’t be the first to say that I didn’t brag a little about my life on Instagram when I studied abroad. I am guilty of posting pictures I knew would make those at home envious. I thought my life was worthy of constant updates, which started when I went to Croatia and one hundred people liked a photo I posted of myself swimming in a waterfall. And I posted pictures everywhere I went, as did my peers. It got to the point where we always had to ask for the WIFI password so we could post pictures of pizza and decorated cappuccinos. Everyone’s pictures were the same, of course, despite our different opinions in which filter made the cheese look the best. And after a few weeks abroad, I began to notice that my pizza didn’t taste better in Lo-Fi. unnamed

“Can you send me that picture of me? It’s ‘Insta’ worthy.” I recognized that I was annoyed by the obsession, yet I continued to partake in it. It became an unsaid agreement with friends that we would take candid pictures of each other for Instagram. I learned the very strategic planning in taking an “Insta worthy” photo. Sometimes it involved going out of our way to places we didn’t care about too much, like standing outside a fashion show during Milan Fashion Week when we could have been in the city seeing real street fashion. New clothes were even purchased for the photos that would be taken during this event, which was ridiculous because we could not compete with the Italians in Gucci. We were replicating what we were seeing in fashion blogs in our own “street style.” We wanted to achieve the look that is casual yet very articulated and thought out, but our inability to fit in at all proved that while we could Instagram that “look,” we couldn’t actually accomplish it. But because my friends really wanted to show their followers that they went to Fashion Week, off we went, and it became a miserable, expensive day that was accompanied by a photo. #notcool.

This went on and on, everywhere we went. I noticed people were seeing but not looking. We were caught up in the perception of where we were and not the place we were in. It became reminiscent of my experience involving the obsession of the first digital camera. Too much time was spent looking down at the screen or through the lens, when it should have been spent experiencing the environment we pay so much money to be in. But the second time around it was not just about taking a good picture, it was about creating a story to go with it. It became a waste of time and energy, and while there were photographs to remind us of our time spent in incredible places, moments were often lost by our obsession with the need to immediately tell others.

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If we learned to limit our consumption of Instagram, I would be willing to change my perspective and argue that it has the ability to share important information, which I do believe, despite my pride. I would even argue that it has the potential of helping an entire country. That one really cool picture of me in a waterfall that got one hundred “likes” inspired other study abroad students to want to go on that same trip, and those who travel there are able to learn about Croatian culture and why it is a growing location for tourism. I hope those students went for the right reasons, of course, and not just to Instagram swimming in a waterfall, but regardless of why they went, they are assisting in putting Croatia on the map. That may be cooler than my #instaworthy photo.

Our priorities just need a little rethinking. If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to Instagram it, does it really fall? We know the answer is yes, and we know things happen behind the scenes of social media. Why do we have to know everything about everyone? What happened to ignorance being bliss? While social media continues to advance, it is not advanced enough to control our actions, so why do we let it? I do not reject the concept of social media, because I understand how it enhances our lives by connecting us to bigger things, ultimately making the world a smaller place. But I reject our obsession with it for the reason that it causes us to lose sight of what we know is important.  The crisis of social media does not pertain to the actual programs, it stems from how we alter our lives to fit the mold, which we have ultimately created. This mold happens to be a perfectly square box with the ability to create our #happy and “unique” stories, in X-Pro II.

 

 

#done

 

 

 

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McQueen’s Dream

Alexander McQueen. Just the name brings elaborate and excessive imagery to mind.  The designer has branded Lady Gaga, reinterpreted the concept of stilettos, and exceeded the boundaries of fashion design. In his latest stunt, McQueen pushed the boundaries not only in the Spring/Summer 2014 collection, but also in the corresponding campaign video, featuring Kate Moss, which introduces the new line. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPiDroK1M2o

The video, which mimics a “classic” horror film, uses subtle imagery that references the use of a postmodern approach. The short story uses simulacra and hyperrealism through subtle symbols that play into our subconscious as viewers, ultimately blurring the line between reality and this creation. Many design campaigns focus on romanticizing reality, but this sinister approach is a far more significant exaggeration.

The story is set in a dark, secluded city, outside a 24-hour movie shop. The screens of old, boxy TVs are glaring with white noise and clips of old, scary movies. Kate Moss, looking fairly futuristic with bright orange hair and a geometric, contemporary outfit, stares at the TV screens while someone is filming her. She knows someone is following her, and she leads him up to her eerie apartment where she then undresses for her stalker. Before the follower enters the apartment, a doll, resembling Kate Moss, is thrown into the trashcan.

The simulacra becomes evident not only in the plot, but in artistic decisions of the video. The soundtrack of the clip is paired with heavy breathing, a sound that can be compared to a pornographic film. The noise is clearly coming from the “viewer.” The idea that this noise is referencing pornography is further emphasized when we get a glimpse of the vintage camera recording her on the street and then seductively undressing. Several frames show a perspective through a lens, incorporating another form of simulacra to portray a meaning. The camera shows a grid over Kate through the camera viewpoint, which strongly resembles the perspective from a gun. The concept that the stalker is “shooting” Kate becomes a parallel, which adds to mysterious nature of the campaign. The intentions of the stalker become blurred and misconstrued. Does he want to document her or does he want to kill her? Does the doll of Kate symbolize a fetish or a is it simply a toy? The act of Kate guiding the stranger straight upstairs to her room furthers the sexual undertones. With all these chilling elements, there is still a twisted feeling of seduction in this S&M inspired collection, which is considered the entire focus of this campaign video. Yet it’s not.

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Much like McQueen’s designs, this promotion video becomes a performance piece. It evokes an intended feeling through each element that assists in telling the story. The Spring/Summer 2014 Collection is no longer a set of clothes; it is now a manipulated presentation. This element of technology in the presentation becomes a constructed viewpoint for the audience. In reality, these pieces, while excellently made, are only garments. Yet the scene is set for this promotion and it transforms the collection into something it’s not. This use of technology incorporated with fashion is a blessing and a curse. Because of this ability to release an online video, the McQueen collection is able to express its story and alter the perception of the viewer. But in reality, without this influence, the collection may not evoke any special emotion.

The campaign video is not a commercial in the traditional sense, even though its purpose is to sell a product. In this instance, the video was supposed to capture our attention to the story, not the garments. We were intrigued through the suspense, not the shoes. Because the product was not prominent, it is easy to lose sight of the purpose behind the campaign video. Was this simply an artistic stunt? Or was it to seduce an audience into investing in an expensive piece through a false sense of reality? 

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Danielle-Meder-Skingraft-31

We have heard about bloggers sharing the collections of fashion designers through their social media outlets, but at this years NYFW, it was the illustrators that took the spotlight. Danielle Meder, a fashion illustrator and trend theorist, shared her collection of sketches in a recent blog post. Her illustrations are not only well executed, but they capture a feeling that can only be expressed through an art form such as this. And I like them. I like the idea that she is able to interpret one form of art and execute it in another. I asked myself if this is considered plagiarism, or if it shouldn’t be allowed because the concepts behind the illustrations are not original. But Meder’s task as a fashion illustrator is not to take credit for these concepts, it is to share a feeling that a photograph may not capture while creating a work of art. The details of the garments are vague yet there, all while paying close attention to subtle characteristics. Meder’s works symbolize the apparel’s first impression; a first impression that includes feeling and movement, the kind that captures a moment. It is as if she is summarizing everything the designer wanted to happen, in a quick illustration.

While I find trend bloggers to have a negative connotation, Meder’s attempt to share her “frow” experience is impressive. Her approach to sharing the designers’ work is different and refreshing, and it is something unique to her. We are a visual generation, and Meder creates visual imagery to tell her story and experience. She keeps alive the feeling that can be lost in the storm of images from fashion week. Yet I, an avid fashion follower, was unaware that this art existed. So while I can commend Meder for participating in a way that adds dimension to the blogging world, I have to ask why? Why is the art of fashion illustration under the radar? She is ultimately participating in the same act the others by sharing what she is seeing, only she does it in a more organic sense. The iPhone images are getting more attention than original works of art, and the designer’s work. Meder’s work is worth seeing, and maybe, after all, there is beauty in having to discover it.

For more on Danielle Meder: http://finalfashion.ca/

Danielle-Meder-by-Georg-Petschnigg

 

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