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Friday, 30 March 2012

Louise Gray for Autumn/ Winter 2012

Louise Gray for Autumn/ Winter 2012, the modern and more up-to-date version of the recession’s obsession with made-do-and-mend. This collection combines beautiful layering with a bohemian and Glastonbury chic reminiscent of summer.

These beautiful outfits truly show that we are living in a world of the alternative where there are no boundaries of time and space, where 80’s metallic prints can match themselves with geometric printed, calf-length boots and feminine pastel shades can be juxtaposed alongside peacock style hair.

It seems there are no longer any rules when it comes to what ‘goes’ with what. The work of Louise Gray reminds me of my mother’s fabric drawer, a place where every pattern possible can be found, and will, most definitely be used on just one item of clothing. Her collection is personal and makes the viewer or wearer feel nostalgic of simpler and more playful times. It raises questions such as, why shouldn’t boots be bright yellow and patterned? Why shouldn’t I wear my hair straight up in the air like a ‘wishing troll’ toy? It is fair to say that we should no longer be scared of fashion, with this collection showing us the way forward on doing whatever we want.

Although, as previously described it may seem like these garments are completely mix and match, when looking closely it is obvious that every colour, every fabric and every texture has been carefully selected to create an overall feel, a feel of homeliness and of locality that is rarely seen in the fashion industry nowadays. Gray has distanced herself from the feel of fast fashion, because nothing about this collection signifies mass production.

The make-do-and-mend impression that is first given to the viewer however, is soon turned on its head through the use of hair, make-up and structure. These are strong women who hold themselves with confidence, not housewives bound to their sewing machines. The structural silhouettes create broad shoulders, showing a powerful figure, however the waist is pulled in, still showing femininity. Their makeup is playful but strong in colour, emphasising the cheekbones and in my eyes the faces and hair reflect the look of a beautiful bird, showing off its wing length to the others.

Overall, Louise Gray for Autumn/ Winter 2012 shows a complete understanding of the current need for individuality and a personal touch. It shows that there are no boundaries on colour, texture or pattern and how you can wear them because 2012 is the year of the individual and the alternative. Hair can be wild, boots can be coloured, earrings shouldn’t match and makeup should no longer be natural. Louise Gray’s collection wants you to play, be creative and think bright for Autumn/ Winter. Feel nostalgic, feel daring and feel powerful because we can make-do-and-mend without lifting a finger, all we need is a little Louise Gray.

Alliance Boots Project

Aim: To strengthen the relationship between the Boots brand experience and the fashion credentials of some of its brand.

This project focuses on the opportunity for Boots to improve its brand profile in terms of its response to 'Fashion and Lifestyle'. Recommendations need to balance the core values of the brand with maximising the relationship the retailer has with some of the highly aspirational brands it sells.

When approaching this brief it seemed that there were two main areas that may need targeting. One being the visual merchandising and retail environment promotional tools, and the other being Boots media promotional tools.

In my eyes I believe that Boots' current strategy for media promotion has been working well for them, driving people  in to stores and increasing footfall. However, when looking further in to the Boots brand experience, it seemed to me that the in-store experience had been neglected, focusing completely on brand image through television advertisements, rather than looking in store and seeing what could be developed further.

One main thing that I think is an issue within Boots is the separation between high, mid and low price ranges. There is nothing in store to attract shoppers from one price range to the other, which has caused a convenience store type environment in which people rush in for one thing and then leave.

The Concept

Boots - Feel Good from Within

The Solution

In-store digital signage. The introduction of this technology would not only be cost-effective, but could also increase interest in products from different areas of the store. Promotions and offers could be flashedd up on digital signs that change throughout the day. Promotions on food could be shown at lunchtime, as well as all price ranges being promoted and the awareness of these products and their prices could be increased.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The Exit - A concept for Weekend Mens at London Fashion Weekend

London Fashion Weekend approached my course at University with a task, to attract more people to the event on a small budget. We were asked to choose one aspect of the event to target and focus on, creating a concept which would increase footfall and sales.

My concept was aimed at Weekend Mens. Having attended the event I realised that menswear seemed to have been shoved somewhat to the side, into a small room to be specific, where even the workers at the event did not seem sure where to stand. It became very clear to me that this was a major issue, as I have never in all my 21 years met a man who would stay for long, if at all, in such a small and cluttered environment. In my opinion it just isn't in many men's natures to rummage through any type of jumble sale, even if they might find a shirt worth taking home.

So this was my thinking, what if menswear was more of a spectacle? A place for men to escape the hustle, bustle and craziness of a female shopping environment.

So here came the idea for 'The Exit'. A place for men to relax but without alienating the current clientelle.

Above is the viral video for the concept. A humorous way of describing the new menswear section at London Fashion Weekend. The idea being to move this section to the embankment galleries, a larger, less stressful area. The floor below this will be a chill-out area, with refreshments, a seating area and a barbers, so that men can be pampered as well as women.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Rihanna's 'We found Love' - the fashion of projection

I've always been obsessed by projections, whether it be a film on the wall or in an art installation. It seems that others are also starting to enjoy it... about time too! I'm glad this beautiful imagery is entering into fashion and music, although I wish I had had the chance to do it first. I'm just waiting for it to be introduced into visual merchandising... because no doubt someone will steal that idea from me soon.

The Guardian - The Three Little Pigs. Who's side are you on?

Sparking a debate is definitely The Guardian's strong point. I'm not going to lie, this dark and slightly disturbing rendition of The Three Little Pigs had me on the edge of my seat... and actually wishing it was a new movie to be released. Very cleverly introduced in the trailer advertisements in cinemas, this gem of a video really depicts how our socially active society has progressed and how much individuals can influence an argument, whether it be over a fairy tale or real life.

Loved it!