Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Summer Project.

Here's a selection of images of mood boards I created to research various brands. I really enjoy this kind of thing as I think I have a pretty good understanding of use of logo and graphics within fashion. Most of the logo's I like are quite basic and will not be used on the front of the garment as advertising or branding.

A really basic logo can in some ways be far more effective than something which is overstated. The choice of logo is very important to a company as it tells the potential customer if this is a brand that they want to be associated with or not. 

As well as gathering information on logo's and brands we were also asked the find products which we felt were innovative in some way. I don't like things which are 'wacky' for the sake of it, so I looked for more understated items which had a purpose. 

The final part of the small project was to combine one of the innovative products we found with one of our chosen brands and to create a mood board. I decided to combine Herschel Supply Co. with Henrik Vibskov. Herschel are a very traditional brand who don't usually break the mold, whereas Henrik Vibskov are known for their flair and quirkiness - this presents the perfect combination. 

Sunday, 25 September 2011

HIGH above the STREET.

For the past weeks I have been doing an internship for an online boutique based in Leeds called 'HIGH above the STREET'. The store was formerly based in Leeds city center under the name 'Paper Scissor Stone'.

When that store was still there I went in and asked if they required any help over the summer. What I wasn't aware of was that the store was in the process of closing - the location wasn't the best so it was difficult to get the customers. The online sales were continuing to do well though, so the owner, Steve Banks, decided to set up the company as online only.

The office for the new 'store' is in Munro House, a building which is beginning to become a real center for creatives in Leeds. In the building are various graphic design studios, furniture design studios and a band rehearsal area. There is also a furniture shop in development on the bottom floor.

Because the company is based solely online, not many staff are needed for the day to day running of the business, this is very good for me as it means I get more involved than if I were to join a massive company where you'd almost be forgotten about. The various tasks I help out with are very broad in their scope. I help Steve package the orders as they come through, but also get involved in some actual decision making. Steve has been very trusting with me and actual asks for my opinion on things rather just just ordering me around! Recently I helped choose from a brands lookbook which items to stock for the upcoming spring/summer 2012 season.

Also because the company is fairly young in it's history I'm learning first hand what it takes to get up and running. There are a thousand things which need to be done which, until you've seen them, you'd never even think of.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Yohji Yamamoto, 'My Dear Bomb'.

I have recently read Yohji Yamamoto's autobiography, 'My Dear Bomb'. It's a really good book to read for anyone in any creative field, not just fashion. It isn't written in a wholly linea way, it starts with a very brief summary of his childhood and his reason for entering the fashion industry - his father died in WWII and he wanted to help his mother run her clothing business.

Rather than talk through each collection one by one, he instead describes his philosophy on design, and the method behind his iconic style. For example, each button and each pocket on a garment is given particular thought. He believes pockets are key to a garment, and that they should be entirely for function and not design.

"Pockets are boldly practical. I have some heavy-duty wear that has thirteen pockets, and I have been wearing it for years. There is simply nothing that beats it in terms of practicality. One can live in clothes like this."

Throughout the book you get the sense that Yohji really doesn't care for 99% of the people surrounding the fashion industry (a view shared by me). He isn't interested in people out to be noticed, or who follow current trends. He goes on to describe how he makes clothes for 'real people', and wants the garments he makes to be used as an aide to people's lives.

"I am not particularly fond of Milan or New York. The approach to clothing in these cities is different [to mine]. People there believe that clothing that sells is good clothing, and they believe the job to be a matter of chasing the latest fads. Success under this paradigm means one is also expected to demonstrate it in the established patterns. In Milan, for example, that means buying a castle in the country and owning a private jet."

I found this book very inspirational, both for Yohji's tips on how to make the perfect neck-line, and also for his dedication to his work, regardless of what is going on around him.