Tuesday, 22 June 2010

My Top 10 Visual References for Fashion - The First 3

[Image taken from Pembrokeshire Virtual Museum website].

1. Charlie Chaplin films - if you want to talk about cultivating a look, then this is the man to start with. Chaplin's 'Tramp' figure evokes the style of the time whilst also exaggerating it, and later created accidental parallels when his short, sharp moustache look was sadly stolen by Hitler (though this led to Chaplin's hilarious anti-Nazi film, The Great Dictator). Also, Charlie Chaplin is the reason I own a bowler hat, although mine is blue rather than black.
2. Atonement - that green dress. Keira Knightley gets to snog James McAvoy whilst wearing a gorgeous backless dress which can only be described as the colour of freshly cut grass, as tame as that sounds. There are, of course, other people wearing clothes in this film, but you won't really notice them.
3. Vintage Photographs - I tend to pick these up in Brighton, and there's nothing like looking at the past to see how it's done (as my previous two visual references state). Soft lighting or harsh contrast, contours and shapes, blurs and patterns; they can all be found within photographs, whether in colour or monochrome. The design of someone's wallpaper can give you an idea for a motif, or the cut of someone's fancy dress costume can make you think differently about how to wear an item. Besides this, they look amazing in mood boards!

Working In Fashion

So, I've finished my degree (what a scary thought that is!) and have now turned my attention to the world of work. I've sent off an application for a further education course in Fashion Journalism, because clearly I'm now a bit of a sucker for all this learning. It'll be nice to do something a bit more vocational, though, and feel like I'm preparing myself for working in the fashion industry. Everything suddenly feels very real! Anyway, I don't find out for a while if I've even got an interview, let alone a place on the course, as I applied quite early in order to look efficient and maybe irritatingly keen (apparently it's better that way than doing a late application, which can look too spontaneous). At the moment, my life is full of waiting, for both my degree results and a potential interview and exam for this course. I'm passing the time by slowly packing up my room to leave university, reading lots of Jackie Collins (because my mind has been a bit damaged by too much studying of serious books discussing semiotics and Renaissance gentility, for example) and cutting up old magazines.

Of course, I can't live on Vogue alone, and so I've been looking for any kind of work related to fashion for the summer and beyond, but the town where I live seems to be full of overly enthusiastic workers who will not leave their posts as sales assistants and visual merchandisers for the next generation to take over. Sometimes it seems more likely that I will be offered a position as a forklift truck driver than a cashier in a shop. I've also applied for some internships, but obviously competition is tough as graduates battle it out, and this is partly why the journalism course will be useful: having any kind of advantage over your fellow interviewees has got to be worth it. It'd be fascinating to learn the ropes of fashion writing in a prestigious institution as well... basically, I'm excited just thinking about it.

Everything feels like a turning point at the moment, but it's got to be a good thing, right?
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