fashion: constructed image
2013 Stage 1 - Terms 2 & 3 Unit RPHC4004Location RochesterLevel & Credit Level I, 30 CreditsDuration Weeks. 17Learning hours 150 hoursTutors: Jonathan Simms & Ulrich LehmannINTRODUCTION
In truth fashion photography has earned itself a varied and misunderstoodreputation. At it’s most commercially intense, narratives are reduced to arelentless and ubiquitous mass-marketing mirror held up to the consumer.
It may (without apology) be a shallow but beautiful pursuit, justied by it’s
own subliime end. Equally at it’s most entertaining and inspiring fashionphotography may be pure inspirational narrative and fantastical story telling.It’s theatre is writ large upon the pages of venerable fashion journals suchas Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and more recently the culturally challenging Tank,Dazed and Confused and Visionaire. The genre can blur the boundaries of art and scultpure. It envelopesportraiture, mimicking and satirising the secular canons of celebrity. It canspeak of the mundane and domestic whilst engaging with the epic and
fantastic: regardless, the narrative is a wholly invented artice placing andstaging the gures into fabricated contexts and environments. Elaborate
sets, cohesive styling, sympathetic casting and evocative lighting designs allhelp to heighten our emotional responses to the predetermined narratives.Unlike reportage and much art photographry (disciplines which are moreoften lone pursuits) fashion shoots are collaboartive offers generated with arange of interelated art directors, creative artists, set builders, hair & makeupand fashion stylists. The project therefore asks you to demonstrate an
effective and reective approach to project management: independently,
collaboratively and as a member of a wider team of sourced talent.
The successful fashion photographer needs to have the ability to movecomfortably between all of these creative disciplines.
Working in teams, you are asked to create a series of constructedfashion images in the studio.
The main aim of the project is to encourage you to analyse the nature of photography and to increase your understanding of the way in which youand others create and construct meaning using the photographic medium. The project also aims to develop a appreciation of the importance of research, testing, pre-production and conceptual development prior to aphotographic shoot.
The level of ‘Professional Practice’ will dictate the success of your project and will be an indicative part of the assessment process.
This unit encourages students to speculativelyexplore the cultural and visual contexts forfashion photography. The unit considers
fashion as a territory that is inuenced by
cultural ideas and genres of representation.
The relationship between genre, narrative andaudience are introduced as students working
in groups use a cultural idea and an aestheticsource of inspiration as the foundation from
which to engagement with fashion narratives.
Students are challenged to navigate this ‘clash’
between cultural ideas and cultural references.Drawn from engagements, outside the subject
area of fashion, this unit challenges students
to investigate dierent reference points,
such as social and political contexts, and the
cinematic, for example. Students will develop a
coherent ‘narrative’ as a conceptual response
to a brief that is based upon cultural research,
analysis of fashion narratives, characterisation,
and aesthetic speculation and judgement.The project will involve investigating andinterrogating the collaborative world of fashion.It will cover key disciplines such as shoot
production, creative direction, casting, setdesign, propping, styling, hair and make-up.
Following previous units, the unit methodologyrequires students to establish genre,
characterisation, mise-en-scene, lighting,
scale, relationships, movement, angles of view,gesture, action, set and special eects fromwhich the fashion image will be selected.
This creative approach requires students toconceive of the fashion image as developed
from clearly identied sources of inspiration.
The constructed fashion image relies upon
strong imaginative abilities, consistent art
direction and understanding of culturalmontage.