Self-directed days review, week 2

Tuesday 28th March

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This morning I started by looking over the the targets that I had written up at the end of last week. They were to:

  • Create a mood board to accompany the one that’s showing the more ‘traditional’ ideas about femininity, with a board that questions these.
  • Take extracts from the TED x Euston speech by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie which can be responded to visually.
  • Put together a research sketchbook that shows my variety of research and gives a reference point to look back on during development stages.

I feel that over the weekend I was able to complete all three of these targets, either partially or fully and as a result I think my project is a lot more organised and ‘put together’. The first target, to create a second mood board, was something I did on Photoshop and put into my sketchbook alongside the original one. I feel that the board itself is successful in showing an alternative approach to the word ‘feminine’, but when placed next to the first board the message is clearer and strengthens the ‘history and ideology’ section of the research book.

The second target was to take the spoken elements of the speech I found on Youtube and use them to respond to visually. I feel that this target has been partially completed and I am happy with the outcome, but I could have improved by taking the idea further and doing more with it. The page in the research book shows a quote that I chose which I feel reflects a large part of what I am trying to put across with this project. I created the simple text in Photoshop and then added floral decals by hand around the text which, as they are seen as a very traditionally female image, add irony to reflect the message more strongly.

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The two first targets have both been completed in an A4 research sketchbook, which was the third aim I came up with for week two. This has been completed fully and has allowed me to lay out my research in a straightforward way, showing the process I am taking with it and how different areas link to each other any why they are relevant. Currently I plan to include research into the history and ideology, diversity, book and magazine articles, designer research, ideas about colourways, WGSN, and research into brand competitors in this book.

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Today I decided to focus on coming up with a list of designers to look into for the designer research section of the book. Using a mix of my WGSN research and information from this article ‘Fashion Week Shows that Made a Feminist Statement’ I found 7 collections/designers to look into. I chose to use this website because it looked back on the most recent fashion month and so keeps my research very up to date.

The list I made from these two sources combined is:

  • Dior ss17 RTW
  • Missoni aw17
  • Antoni Marras
  • Arwa Al Banawi
  • Prabal Gurung aw17
  • Chloe Gosselin
  • Mara Hoffman

Using this I will narrow my choices down to three or four to look into in-depth and collect imagery for the research book later in the week.

Friday 31st March

Today I have continued the work in my branding book which I started yesterday. Looking more specifically at typography and fonts, I have thought about how I might take influences from the companies and websites I have found which all use bold lettering to make a clear statement, something that needs to be shown in my own brand as this is a visual link to the message it is putting across. I narrowed down my ideas about using bold typography to the choice between more traditionl lettering used by retailers like Acne, or a clear-cut font seen in Glossier and Saint Laurent.

I think both styles would work effectively and are more suitable than a gentler script font or something with thinner lines. As a result of this I will stick to researching existing products and brands that use either or both of these typography styles.

Saturday 1st April

There is a gap between the work I completed yesterday and the pages I have worked on today in the branding book because I have collected some work which I plan to put between. However, today I finalised a list of name outcomes for my brand for which I decied to use language as a way of quickly creating an unusual title. I decided to simply take the word ‘woman’, as I am creating a company that champions the idea of feminism, and translate it into a number of different European and African languages. I came up with a shortlist of 18 names which sounded most ‘realistic’ and set them out in a questionnaire so people could vote for those they preferred and therefore give me a range of opinions rather than just choosing one myself. Rougly 20 people filled out the form, putting a mark next to the three translations that they felt would be best. After collecting the votes I narrowed the options down to three based on people’s preferences; Zena, Kvinde and Zenska. I wrote out the three options and decided in the end to go with Kvinde. My reasons for this are that visually I think it is the most interesting to look at, particularly because of the Danish combination of “KV” which isn’t easily pronounced and stands out as different from English words. Overall I just felt that the Danish translation ‘felt’ most applicable to a fashion brand out of the three, so I will go ahead with this name and begin applying it to development work. questionnaire scan

Sunday 2nd April

Today I went back to my research book and decided to create something to put on the first page to clearly show the intentions and ideas behind the project. I put together a quick digital moodboard on Photoshop using images of influential women throughout history and currently, making sure that I considered a variety of backgrounds, faiths, ethnicities and careers. I wanted to use photographs of the women which aren’t immediately recognisable as ‘iconic’, for example I included Marylin Monroe but didn’t want to use the famous white dress image, choosing something more candid which gives the overall moodboard more depth and makes it less generic; more about the women than their iconic roles or personas.

I think that not only does this quick project create a strong start to my first sketchbook, it can also offer inspiration and ideas for development if I look back on it later on. It acknowledges the work of women from the past and present which may have been overlooked, and takes into account the idea of diversity which was one of the key points I wanted to show in the project. The women shown are Winnie Harlow, Marie Curie, Rosa Parks, Princess Diana, Marylin Monroe, Beyonce, Malala Yousafzai and Michelle Obama.

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