Monday, October 18, 2010

Gareth Pugh S/S '11 Collection on

The idea of using video as a medium for both artistic expression and a marketing tool in the fashion industry makes for an interesting idea. Culture nowadays is becoming preoccupied with the image and more often than not consumers and audiences are not just content with viewing a still photograph. By utilising video technology to broadcast fashion to its audiences, the viewer is able to recieve even more information than perhaps previously available through only printed text and images.

The use of video also acts as a brilliant tool for expression. Not only can the viewer see how the clothes look from a variety of different angles and how they behave when moved and manipulated, the use of video can combine an array of different techniques (content, music, lighting, camera angles, editting etc.) to convey an even stronger brand image than that contained in a basic print ad. It is this marketing potential that has got the fashion industry hot under the collar.

From watching the film, a number of key themes jumped out at me. These included: Sex, restriction, sado-masochism, rauchiness, alien, robotics, liquid, movement, juxtapositioning of fluid and static movement and a clinical/surgical edge. The virtue of using moving image to document this collection is that all of these themes, and many more I haven't spotted or listed, can be conveyed far easier through the use of multimedia context and movement than would be possible using still photographic shots. The film itself reminded me of The Matrix Trilogy, all cybergothic and sexed-up, with particular emphasis on the Ghost Twins in The Matrix: Reloaded.

However, from viewing this footage of Gareth Pugh's Spring/Summer 2011 collection (directed by Ruth Hogben), I cannot personally say I am entirely convinced by the medium. It is true, I am a lover of print-based media (even the mentionning of being able to purchase a new fashion magazine makes my mouth salivate a little), so perhaps I am one of the more difficult viewers to convince. However, although the whole video was shot beautifully and had large amounts of artistic value, to the average person Pugh's mini-film may come over as somewhat pretentious. Whilst abound with imagery containing different codes and connotations, the film itself lacked a distinct plot line that may alienate certain members of the audience who may be less convinced by art and more swayed by hard advertising and the "facts" of the product. It should be noted thought that it is probably right to assume that those sort of people are not Gareth Pugh's target audience anyways.

Personally, I believe that the use of film in the fashion industry will become more and more popular in coming seasons. Whether its Pugh's use of the medium as an extension of his creative insight or as a designer or stockist's means to market brands in a new and innovative way to consumers (as can be seen in's video section), film in fashion has a promising future that even die-hard print lovers like me will have to succumb to.