young talent sound off on the responsibilities of fashion image-makers today

With their work on show at London’s 5 Carlos Place, we hear from CSM’s crop of MA Fashion Communication students on the current fashion image context and what it is that keeps them motivated.

by Matthew Whitehouse
|
05 December 2018, 3:03pm

1544018283951-Alannah-Cooper

Alannah Cooper

What are the motivations behind your work?
My work is about making fashion accessible to people living in rural places, which are often affected by out-migration of young people, poor transport links and reduced internet access. However, these places are rich in folklore, traditions and have space for contemporary ideas.

What are your thoughts on the current fashion image context?
There’s never been a better time to make your own fashion images.

What are the responsibilities of fashion image makers today?
Fashion image makers must make inclusive casting choices and be willing to stand behind the ideas they are representing.

@alannah.eileen

1544018313557-Fanding-Sun
Director of Photography Ge Shiyun

Sun Fanding

What are the motivations behind your work?
The starting point for my work is that I realise fashion today is changing dramatically fast and that the industry is going through a period of anxiety and fickleness. However, there is an aspect of this that reflects the cyclical nature of fashion -- revolving full circle, like the cyclical essence of life. This is what inspired me to look at reincarnation.

What are your thoughts on the current fashion image context?
It is produced too fast, and everything is too similar.

What are the responsibilities of fashion image makers today?
To promote diversified culture. To provide a sustainable and positive attitude. To create aesthetically interesting work. Sustainable values should influence not only the manufacture and design of fashion but also the way it is presented.

@sunfanding

1544018333641-Balint-Barna

Balint Barna

What are the motivations behind your work?
Eastern European identity is often adopted by the fashion industry as a stylish aesthetic. But for me, it is a street style that has evolved from the hardship of growing up in a post-Soviet economy; like for the Generation Z creatives in Budapest. In my eyes, it is the first time that Budapest’s Generation Z is being presented to the rest of the world, rather than other neighbouring countries like Ukraine or Russia, which is why they were all so excited to be a part of my photo book.

What are your thoughts on the current fashion image context?
The empowerment of Instagram and social media platforms have changed the general idea of a fashion image. If we talk about fashion images, they can either be photos taken with an iPhone and published and advertised only on Instagram or be a high-level fashion campaign, shot by a professional photographer and a team, and appear on billboards all around the world. The gap is getting more narrow between the aforesaid examples of current fashion images.

What are the responsibilities of fashion image makers today?
Nowadays, fashion photographs or videos are almost accessible to anyone in the world, therefore they has a greater impact on society, especially on the youth. As professionals, we have to be more careful about how we communicate with image contents as they have become more powerful than ever.

@balint.barna

1544018379513-Gary-Bradnick
Photography Wig Worland

Gary Bradnick

What are the motivations behind your work?
To produce thought-provoking work alongside others. That is why I love working with fashion image. The amount of people involved. The feeling of joint collaboration with a group of diverse and creative people is what keeps me excited.

What are your thoughts on the current fashion image context?
There is a lack of deeper thought.

Responsibilities of fashion image makers today?
To produce work that promotes diversity within fashion. Also, to re-establish the industry as one that provides individual financial stability, especially for those from poorer backgrounds looking to work within fashion image making.

@gary.bradnick

1544018420720-Amelia-Holden-Brown
Graphic Design Florence Ogram

Amelia Holden-Brown

What are the motivations behind your work?
It is my guilty secret -- popular culture and the delights of reality TV have always been fascinating and absorbing to me. I love the crassness of taste, the colour palettes, the interaction with all things revealing.

What are your thoughts on the current fashion image context?
I adore the use of life’s accessories. From cats, dogs and all things furry. I create Images that help us appreciate the environment we are in today.

What are the responsibilities of fashion image makers today?
It is our responsibility as fashion image makers to add colour, light and humour to our work and always be respectful.

@69playgirl69

1544018456380-Paulina-Olivares
Photography Melanie Lehmann

Paulina Olivares

What are the motivations behind your work?
I am interested in the narrative power of visual storytelling and how performative practices can be used as a form of resistance. My work explores the themes of power, representation and identity from the point of view of a Latin American woman.

What are your thoughts on the current fashion image context?
It's a fraught time for fashion and the world. Longstanding empires are toppling and gatekeepers have been replaced by the democratic voice of social media. This is particularly exciting for image makers, a chance to shake things up.

What are the responsibilities of fashion image makers today?
Image makers have a particular ability to communicate visually, and it's important to use these skills to provide a platform for the artists and designers whose values and craft line up with our vision for the world. Diversity means more than including one beautiful person of colour in an editorial alongside other "standard" models. True diversity comes from to the composition of the creative team, the designers included, as well as casting that is culturally considered, not tokenized. Accountability begins at home.

@xxdaddy_paulinaxx

1544018497477-Jac-Chung

Jac Chung

What are the motivations behind your work?
The sense of loss and void in the digital age.

What are your thoughts on the current fashion image context?
On the one hand, it is a good thing that people are embracing different viewpoints, on the other, the core value of fashion have been neglected, fashion is not just about trends.

What are the responsibilities of fashion image makers today?
The industry is lacking critical feedback, so a creative should remain critical and question the world with your work.

@haloghostworld

1544018550468-Serena-Aureli

Serena Aureli

What are the motivations behind your work?
I aspire to produce images that satisfy my aesthetic ambition, but also that make people question them by generating a feeling of uncertainty and ambiguity.

What are your thoughts on the current fashion image context?
What strikes me the most about today’s fashion image context is the striking distance between those who put in creative effort and research to develop their work, and those who just produce superficial work that ends up being an end in itself.

Responsibilities of fashion image makers today?
I think the main responsibilities a fashion image maker has today are to take risks, and to understand and challenge the limits of the industry, while consciously staying true to the message one wants to communicate.

@ss_sirena

New Fashion Image is produced in collaboration with Matchesfashion.com and will be on display at 5 Carlos Place until 14 December.