As opinion continues to gather around the future of fashion imagery, I decided to re-post this article 'Off The Page' taken from Professor Penny Martins Inaugural lecture Fashion Imagery at the London College of Fashion in April this year. What do people, and I mean ever day people like you and I really think about moving fashion images in the form of digital fashion video and 'fashion films'.
Penny reminded us, that glossy print editors share the gatekeeper key with bloggers like Style Bubble, Bryan Boy and Style Rookie etc. By the way, I have to say I'm a little surprised about some collaborations, Diane Pernet working with Tavi on ASVOFF, off course its great for media attention but I wondered what the entrants and finalists made of Tavi on the judging panel. An important point, because the evidently 'social mediaite' blogger is here to stay and banging out posts faster than Dolly Jones can.
Penny Martin's experience led her to look at the discussion from a different viewpoint. She had interesting anecdotes to tell from her work with SHOWstudio, a personal favourite is her work on Experiments in Advertising project, Erwin Blumenfeld archive of fashion film / advertisements. She shared her disappointment of a visual experience soured a little by keeping up with the Gabbana's (bloggers on the front row). As well as a laggard approach of major brands engaging with digital media, fashions stoic presence on the Internet and beyond
e-commerce. You get a sense that in terms of progress digital fashion communication is taking baby steps. What with the web 4.0 around the corner shouldn't it chugging along pushing doors open?
I've been coy at voicing an opinion because I've also felt ill equipped in understanding the landscape. But having done a bit of digging I understand the question of effectiveness and experimental films that test and push boundaries. For instance I ran an 'fashion film' focus group with surprising results. While fashion films and digital videos are 'new' and trendy, for the average lay man they are not as effective as one might think. I've been told that 'fashion films' are made for an industry well versed in understanding fashion imagery. So it stands to reason that the 9 min and even 2 min experimental's are beyond the understanding of the average Internet audience. From a brand perspective that's a wasted opportunity I'd say!
Enroute to the mainstream the debates questions how fashion will be communicated in the future. When it's over and the transition complete, when the blogger personalities have secured a sustainable position the question of how well digital fashion media works remains. For now the pro-active champions SHOWstudio, The Business of Fashion, Dazed Digital guide us through the transitional stage. As effectiveness continues to evolve moving beyond the frustration of navigating new territory digital fashion video gets on with fine tuning itself into a powerful messages aimed at captive audiences.