Thursday, 24 February 2011

Project: Yorkshire Fashion Industry

Project: Yorkshire Fashion Industry

For one of my University assignments this semester, I have been tasked with creating a body of work that encapsulates a genre of photography. In my case, I was more or less directed to stay away from fashion and contemporary portraiture for obvious reasons. With those limitations in mind, I also thought it would behoove me to steer away from still-life and music photography as well. 

It took a few weeks of very hard thinking to conceptualise a project that would maintain my interest as well as help to further my individual pursuits. Inspiration finally came after I remembered a little snippet I read on Joe McNally's blog quite a while ago regarding how National Geographic spreads are shot. Now, I know most people associate National Geographic with wildlife and pretty landscapes, but I associate it with brilliant reportage and documentary on all manner of subjects; the article I always think of first when I think of National Geographic is one on Caffeine. In Joe's post, he reflected that it used to be 1500 rolls of film used to be shot for a single article. That single sentence provided incredible insight to the quality of photography that National Geographic is famed for. Also stuck in my brain, were that these articles were not comprised of any one genre of photography, but rather encompassed all genres.

With these two notions in my head, I proposed to my tutor that I actually prepare a documentary article on the subject of the Yorkshire based fashion industry (focusing on South and West Yorkshire) and present the final product in the form of a magazine. 

Once I had her approval, I began evolving the idea further. More inspiration for the project came from the unlikely source of Magnum photographer Martin Parr during a lecture he gave in Huddersfield. Mr. Parr is currently working on a project based on his fashion work in which his output is no other than a magazine. The inspiration comes from the fact that he is actually including advertising (produced himself) in his magazine as well as the content. 

Along with my own ideas for the project, the bits of inspiration from these two legendary documentary photographers helped me to provide a solid plan for my project as outlined below:

Goal: To create a photographic and journalistic article that documents the current state and history of the fashion industry in the region of South and West Yorkshire and produce  the final output in a magazine format with intent to exhibit the body of work at a later date.

In order to achieve this enormous task, I intend to research and document the following:

  • Independent Designers and their workspaces
  • Fashion Retail
  • Independent Boutiques
  • Street Fashion
  • Textile Industries
  • Independent Craft Fairs
  • Fashion Recycling/ Charity Shops
  • Shopping Culture
  • Beauty Industries
  • Fashion Shows and Trade shows
  • Fashion Related Advertising (Billboards, shop windows, etc)
I need to have the majority of the work done for the beginning of May in order to prepare the final output for the hand-in date, but it should be entirely possible to finish the project in that time frame.

I am open to virtually anyone getting involved in the project as long as it is fashion and beauty based (even if it's not covered in the list above). Please feel free to get in touch via the comments section, the contact forms on my website or by Facebook.

I'm very excited about undertaking a project with huge potential and I very much appreciate the time you took to read this! If you can help in anyway, please don't hesitate!

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