STACK: Independent Fashion Magazines Everyone Should Read

Editorial Magazine

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We were excited to send out this Montreal-based oddity on Sampler last month, because we love its strange and inventive view of the world. Pairing young talents like Sophie Andes Gascon and Marie Yat with longstanding cult labels like Maison Margiela and Calvin Klein, their fashion stories are always surprising, and look like a lot of fun to produce. They also source from iconic vintage stores like NYC’s Screaming Mimis and Cherry Vintage, shifting the focus away from those big labels.

Marfa Journal

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Started as the graduation project of a Central Saint Martins student, Marfa Journal’s hardback magazine can now be found in bookstores all over the world. The name was inspired by a trip to Marfa, Texas, when founder Alexandra Gordienko embarked on a road trip with her friend to the desert hub of contemporary art. As she tells Dazed, the magazine became a way for them to befriend people they’ve stalked for years — the result completely embodies this daring, exciting energy.

Recens

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After a successful Kickstarter campaign, 15-year-old Elise By Olsen started Recens Paper with the aim to provide her peers with an antidote to the oppressive perfectionism in mainstream media. The Oslo-based publication is a youth culture magazine for readers who are part of a generation that “will not be limited to gender binaries or accept the obligations of commercialism.” In Latin, Recens means ‘new thinking’ and ‘young’, and you can expect nothing less than invigorating from this publication.

Mushpit

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Mushpit has become renowned for its sharp, satirical wit, and that’s as important in their fashion shoots as it is in their editorials lambasting payday loans, imploding politics and exorbitant rents. From wardrobe webcam photoshoots (below, titled ‘Trapped in the Closet’ after the R. Kelly hip-hop musical) to expensive handbags shot in bathrooms then adorned with Comic Sans, it injects some humour into an often overly serious industry.

Polyester

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Polyester is a feminist fashion and culture publication aiming to “bridge the gap of URL cyberfeminism with the IRL world.” Editor-in-chief Ione Gamble started the magazine as a response to the frustration she felt with the representation of fourth wave feminism and favouritism towards minimalism in the mainstream. You’ll fall in love with their extravagant, excessive and absolutely fabulous fashion narratives.

Pylot

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We sent this magazine out to Stack subscribers in April last year. Showcasing the best of analogue fashion photography, it has a strict no beauty-retouching policy. The magazine also promises not to show material that can be seen elsewhere, so be prepared to have your eyes peeled wide open and immerse yourself in their exciting approach to fashion.

ΠMagazine

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Œ magazine was included in last year’s fashion magazines roundup, and we want to mention them again. As a platform for the fashion talent coming out of Germany, and in particular, Berlin, it’s bold and experimental, and refrains from describing trends to focus on showing individual talent instead. Like all the magazines above, you really have to hold it in your hands to appreciate the thought and beauty that goes into it.

Source: http://www.stackmagazines.com/style-fashion/10-new-independent-fashion-magazines/

Last Accessed: 30th March 2017

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Magazine & Lookbook Layout and Aesthetic Influences/Inspirations

Forming part of my visual/aesthetic research working towards designing my own magazine, I sourced and collated a range of images which reflect the style, tone and aesthetic which I would like my publication to embody. My proposal stated that I would like the magazine to be a hybrid of magazine and look book, echoing a clean, minimal and sleek vibe, allowing for the photography, typography and content to ‘do the talking’.

I made notes below as to why these inspirations were chosen.

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Above: Use of complimentary imagery in the background adds a contrasting aesthetic.

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Above: Really like how this contents page is completely visual opposed to text based. Unusual for a fashion magazine. Also has a really good use of strong photography in a range of black and white and full colour.

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Above: I love the COS magazines as they are minimal, clean and a hybrid of magazine and lookbook. Subtle pops of colour which relate to the imagery for key pull outs and quotes are also very well done. Clean, crisp fonts and lots of white space allows the images to talk to the reader opposed to being text heavy.

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Above: Another example of the COS magazine yet with more colour. I really like how their spreads and gridded and consistent in regard to format and structure.

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Above: Clean look book aesthetic with key text, i.e.photographer, garment name. Really like the overlaying imagery on the right hand side breaking the grid structure.

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Above: Great use of breaking a grid system whilst being structured, minimal and streamlined. Again lots of white space with key information, minimal text and good photography explaining the text visually.

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Above: Good example of an image based look book only using two variants of layout. Little to no text across pages with imagery which I really like as makes the visuals much stronger and more impactful whilst feeling very editorial for a look book.

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Above: I really like the use of collage mixed with clean imagery and sophisticated typography, echoing a strong editorial yet feminine aesthetic and tone.

 

Image sources: collated from a personal archive of editorial imagery.

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Publication Idea: Mind Map

Below shows a mind map which was drawn up whilst reflecting on Semester 2 and Practice 1, in order to move forwards with Practice 2. This formed the basis of my proposal whilst reassuring my objectives which have been carried forward are accounted for. In addition, this allowed for planning to start to take place, noting possible contents sought from previous research and research findings, i.e. interviews/working research trips (both UK and Japan), whilst also using my dissertation as a trigger for specific articles to be added in additionally. This mind map also enabled me to consider briefly whom the audience would be, however I feel the target would mainly be females due to the industries and magazines still being heavily directed that way, whilst in addition, 90% of my research findings show that the vast majority of beauty/fashion bloggers and/or magazine readers/social media users are female. The map also enabled a purpose to be derived, considering aesthetic, tone of voice and purpose.

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Semester 3 Proposal and Objectives for Practice 2

For Semester 3 (Practice 2) I plan on designing and producing a research-led magazine aimed at 18-24 year old females, which synthesises findings from both Semesters 1 and 2. The target audience would have an interest in fashion, beauty and the wider context of the industries.

I plan on collating various forms of research from previously covered research topics, i.e. interviews, questionnaires, research trips, theory and academic findings, for example, in order to produce a publication which explores the ‘real’ fashion and beauty industries; highlighting positives, yet also the negative issues surrounding self-perception and body image. The magazine will focus on Western issues, as well as focusing on issues seen in Japan, which were discussed in my dissertation to add a cross-cultural tone, whilst considering target audience and the interest of reading a range of topics/articles/interviews.

To do this effectively, I plan on researching into look books and magazines, to design and create a publication which is a hybrid of both – reflecting the analytical article led content, whilst posing aesthetically as a highly visual, polished, sleek look book, blurring the boundaries of editorial design and graphic design. I plan on utilising my connections, in order to gain additional interviews (i.e. Milk and Honey), whilst also collaborating with photographers for relevant imagery, (i.e. Talia White for the Tam Dexter interview). In addition, I also plan on working with Japanese Beauty Blogger Nicole Takahashi, whom I met and interviewed on my international research trip to Japan in Semester 2. This collaboration will hopefully strengthen my publication. I also plan on including new subject matters, i.e. the Good American clothing line, which is something I have recently found via research. In some instances, I plan on sourcing imagery via my magazine archives and via online sources, whilst emailing contacts at ASOS for example to see if it is possible to use any of their stock images.

Those who were interviewed or spoken to during Semester 1 and 2 for research purposes, signed disclosure agreements citing their approval of use of any findings for academic writings and work, therefore ensuring that the publication is written and designed ethically and according to the pre-determined policies set out by LCA, whilst ensuring both good personal and professional development is maintained throughout Semester 3 and the production of this magazine.

I plan on distributing the magazine via both print and digital platforms. The digital version I plan on launching via an online platform/website/blog in a similar way to that Milk and Honey operate, whereby like minded bloggers/writers/academics forming a ‘collective’ can post articles from different countries for example, or around their specialism/area of interest/expertise. This would also be rolled out onto social media platforms, i.e. Facebook and Instagram. The printed version I would pitch to be sold in independent magazine stores in the West and even in Japan and the US/Canada for example, where many of these issues are derived. This would add a cross-cultural influence, audience, tone and demographic to the publication, mimicking the online platform. I would like to mock up the online platform to show how it would operate/function as a platform, and I would like to research into which stores/stockists would sell the printed publication, as well as whom I could potentially form a ‘collective’ with if the magazine was to develop into a series/online platform in the future. This allows for local, national and international platforms to be both considered.

In summary, the magazine aims to be a celebration of the fashion and beauty industries, but also aims to be ethical whilst challenging ‘real issues’, identities and truths which lay beneath the surface.

This also works towards the objectives set out for Semester 3, which are shown below, and follow on from the objectives which were evaluated and reflected upon in Semester 2.

Objectives:

1. To understand the ways in which Social Media and Magazines can affect self-perceptions and issues:

A) With body image (Females, 18-24)

B) With body image on a cross-cultural scale (Females, 18-24; Tokyo, Japan).

2. To understand policies and guidelines within the Fashion and Beauty Industries currently encouraging positive body image.

3. To work with and interview those both actively working in the Fashion and Beauty Industries, and those on a consumer/follower/user basis, to compare behaviours and perspectives in relation to body image and self-perceptions.

4. To prototype a range of design work targeted at 18-24 year old women, highlighting impacts of cross-cultural beauty/fashion trends on self-perceptions and body image.

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Practice 1: Design Boards

Below shows digital versions of the design boards accompanying Practice 1, collating ideas, research, development and the final outcome of this module.

Printed A3 versions have been printed and included in my submission portfolio for reference.

These boards are working towards Objective 4:

To prototype a range of design work targeted at 18-24 year old women, highlighting impacts of cross-cultural beauty/fashion trends on self-perceptions and body image.

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Objectives: Reflections and Evaluations

At the start of the semester I set myself several revised objectives to work towards in resolving my working research topic.

I have reflected on each objective which can be seen below.

Objectives and goals:

1. To understand the ways in which Social Media and Magazines can affect self-perceptions and issues:

A) With body image (Females, 18-24)

B) With body image on a cross-cultural scale (Females, 18-24; Tokyo, Japan).

I aimed to speak with both Vogue UK and Vogue Japan, and aimed to carry out questionnaire’s or interviews with at least 10 females from both the UK and Japan, in order to gain quantifiable data. I have spoke with Vogue Japan in regards to obtaining quantifiable data in regards to obecjtive 1.B, whilst on my International research trip to Tokyo, however was unable to secure a meeting/interview with Vogue UK. I do not feel that this has hindered my research progress as the information gained through speaking with Editors at Vogue Japan answered some of the questions which I would of posed to UK Editors. I do feel though that without speaking to Vogue Japan this would of hindered cross-cultural research, and in retrospect was most beneficial to travel to Japan to have such candid and honest conversations with Vogue. I feel this has tremendously helped with my research working towards resolving my research topic/question.

In relation to the above objective I feel as though I have researched heavily into self-perceptions and social media and feel that travelling to Japan has allowed me to spend more time researching magazines in as much depth, especially cross-culturally. Even though fashion and beauty industries are becoming more digital, social media has been a more current point of research in a Western context, whilst magazines have been more of a focus cross-culturally with social media not being as ‘big’ in Eastern cultures in comparison.

I contacted course leaders of various, relevant fashion programmes at the following HE institutions in the UK after being unsuccessful in making contact with HE institutions in Tokyo – Leeds University, Leeds Beckett, CSM and Manchester Met in regards to objective 1.A. The aim of this is to obtain both British and Japanese contacts from fashion courses whom may be interested in completing a digital questionnaire in regards to my research topic in the hope of gaining an insight into cross-cultural influences. I did not hear back from most however again do not feel this has hindered research as contingency plans were put in place in order to still collate research as required. In regard to objective 1.A. I spoke with Toni Hollowood an MA student at CSM studying a similar subject matter, and found this to be of great benefit to gain similar perspectives to that of my own, whilst also pushing me in further directions of research which helped with objective 1.B.

I planned on collating a series of data from at least 10 British and Japanese females between the ages of 18-24 in order to gather and analyse measurable and comparable research. In response to this, an anonymous questionnaire was written and shared by myself, contacts in Tokyo and via Leeds College of Art in order to gain different perspectives working toward both Objective 1.A and 1.B. I opened up the questionnaire to male participants also in order to gain a different perspective and in sight of the research topic at hand.

In addition, whilst in Japan I spoke with a beauty blogger working towards Objective 1.B. I have not spoken with bloggers in the UK or USA as feel this was achieved in Semester 1, allowing for comparative data to be collated.

An interview with Brittany Rhodes, a competitive female body builder of 24 years, in order to gain a different perspective on my research topic, in relation to Objective 1.A. whilst also interviewing two models based in the UK, working again toward Objective 1.A. In addition, interviews were carried out at ASOS, understanding perspectives from an International brand and e-commerce point of view, working toward both Objective 1.A and 1.B.

In regard to objective 1.A. research trips to both London (7th/8th Jan 2017) and Tokyo (16th-23rd Jan 2017) were carried out in order to gain comparable and measurable visual data and field-research. Methodologies included looking at AD Campaigns of Western brands for example Chanel and Topshop, in order to see how these are promoted in the East for example, in order to see if the same models are used and what language is used. This allowed me to see if influences such as this can affect the perceptions of those in Japan being exposed to foreign visuals of cultural icons and western celebrities for example. Store managers at Burberry were spoken to in London, whilst also looking at visuals, look books and AD Campaigns. A similar approach was carried out in Japan, whilst attending relevant exhibitions to strengthen research and support interview/research findings, and looking at magazines/products available and packaging in comparison to that of the UK beauty and fashion industries. In addition, secondary research was used to inform my primary field-research, i.e. looking at recent technologies such as the Shiseido Makeup Mirror, which were analysed and looked at whilst in Tokyo. In Tokyo, as planned and discussed in Semester 1, I visited the Flagship Shiseido store in order to speak with staff about such advances and their customers feedback, whilst also finding out that such technologies are not available in the UK, and only are used in they Flagship store. A full list of measurable methodologies can be found here; 

  • Visual Research
  • Comp Shopping
  • Verbal Research: Interviews
  • Publication (Magazine) Research
  • Technological Advances

2. To understand policies and guidelines within the Fashion and Beauty Industries currently encouraging positive body image.

Semester 1: I have researched into the policies of charities such as B-EAT, as discussed in depth in both my report, and in my first professional context presentation, however, industry links have secured a meeting with ASOS’ Corporate Responsibility and Design teams in order to gain a better understanding on their Model Welfare Policy, working towards both objective 2 and 5. In support of this, and to add context to my research, I have also secured interviews with two models working in industry to gain their insight on my research topic, whilst discussing whether or not such policies would be of benefit and feasible to the industry to further help with research working towards objective 2 and 3.

Semester 2: In regard to the above, this semester I met with ASOS and two models as noted, in order to gain information on my research topic and the use of policies aiming to positively tackle issues surrounding self-perception and body image in the beauty and fashion industries. This was working toward objective 2 and 3. This was also working toward objective 5 however this objective has been omitted since undertaking research and realising that an international policy is not feasible and can not be achieved. In addition to this, I spoke with Vogue in Japan regarding their own policy; The Health Initiative, which also is working toward objective 1.A and 1.B. These topics and findings have since been discussed in my dissertation in depth.

3. To work with and interview those both actively working in the Fashion and Beauty Industries, and those on a consumer/follower/user basis, to compare behaviours and perspectives in relation to body image and self-perceptions.

Working toward this objective, I have carried out meetings and interviews with a range of participants as discussed above, including two models working in industry to gain a different perspective of research working towards objective 2 and 3, and a female body builder to also gain a different perspective. I also met with MA student Toni Hollowood from CSM, employees at ASOS and Vogue Japan in order to gain different insights on my research topic and the subjects covered within this. In addition, I also met with a beauty blogger in Japan. Furthermore, an anonymous questionnaire was created, receiving 25 responses from a range of male and female participants. All of the above is also working toward objectives, 1.A, 1.B and 2, as well as Objective 3. By speaking with a range of people with a range of perspectives, i.e. consumer and industry insight, I was able to gain a range of pragmatic an interpretivist data for comparative, cross-cultural analysis.

4. To prototype a range of design work targeted at 18-24 year old women, highlighting impacts of cross-cultural beauty/fashion trends on self-perceptions and body image.

I had planned on collaborating with Leeds-based commercial photographer Scarlett Carson in the aim of producing an editorial campaign working towards objective 4. This was originally planned for semester 1, however due to time constraints has been put on hold, and since other priorities had taken over allowing for this to unfortunately take a back seat. This is due to how much research was undertaken in Semester 2, accounting for travelling time and analysis time also.

During this semester, one practical project was undertaken, a sourcebook of beauty trends, looking cross-culturally at two contrasting cultures, looking at socio-cultural norms, expectations and ‘ideals’. This was derived mainly from my International research trip to Japan and my findings, which I found extreme in regard to Western culture and trends. Each spread reflects a trend with supporting blurb that has been written to explore and explain the trend whilst touching on self-perception issues, theory and ‘ideals’, relating back to my research and dissertation. However, I plan to look at this much more in regard to theory and heavy analysis Semester 3, when producing my independent magazine. The sourcebook was originally going to be a mini-magazine or zine, testing the target audience for the ‘final’ version in Semester 3, however, I realised whilst designing that this book should be more of a sourcebook of trends to highlight to those, male or female, in the industry the contrasting beauty trends and cultures, opposed to producing a magazine twice.

In Semester 3, I aim on producing an independent magazine which collates the research and interviews carried out in both the UK and Japan, using interviews as articles as the main anchor point of the magazine. I feel as though I have had to carry out all of the research done to date in order to reach this point of deciding how to go about the practical work for both Semester 2 and 3, yet feel that research has informed the direction of my practice and the practical work itself. I also plan on collaborating with photographers, interview participants and the beauty blogger I met in Japan in Semester 3 in order to produce the magazine.

Feedback from various designer friends, whom gave advice and feedback the copywriting and typesetting in particular, especially in relation to the justification of text, widows and alignment in order to perfect the editorial aspects of the book. Feedback on practical work in Semester 2 was given from various designer friends, whom gave advice and feedback the copywriting and typesetting in particular, especially in relation to the justification of text, widows and alignment in order to perfect the editorial aspects of the book. I found this particularly useful to the perfection of the book, whilst also listening to the advice of printing services whilst printing and binding the book. In addition, spreads, cover art and development posts, were shared on my Instagram account to test reception from a relevant beauty and fashion related target audience; and positive feedback was received and reassured themes/aesthetics. Please see screenshots below:

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Source: https://www.instagram.com/daniellemuntyandesign/

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Professional Context 2: Reflection and Evaluation

This module has allowed for learning objectives to be met, whilst working towards objectives 1, 2, 3 and 4 in relation to my research topic. I have found this module really enjoyable, and challenging and have utilised different research methods and methodologies in order to achieve a bound dissertation for Professional Context 2, collating findings and analysis to date whilst answering my working research question.  In addition this module has allowed me to make critical judgements in order to meet the learning objectives, which can be found below.

Learning Outcomes:

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Reflection/Evaluation:

Research discussed in the evaluation/reflection for Research Methods 2 has allowed for the noted research methods and methodologies to be applied to this module in order to produce an analytical, critical and theoretical body of work to be produced in the form of a written, academic dissertation. I have found this process enjoyable and challenging and have found that the management of time has been crucial whilst also making critical judgements and decisions in order to keep within the noted word count. Any feedback given by my tutor has also been accounted for, researched into and implemented where necessary, which I feel has strengthened the outcome of the study.

I feel using self-directed research throughout has been of major benefit to this study and dissertation, allowing critical arguments and perspectives to be related back to modern day, whilst utilising various literatures looked at over the past 2 semesters. Overall, I found that working through the essay systematically and planning ahead has enabled me to produce a body of work which I am very proud of and feel embodies much of the research collated today (both primary, secondary, qualitative and quantitative), whilst also embarking upon new research during the writing process where necessary.

I feel that given a larger word count, as my final draft approached 11000 words, that I could of included more detail at times in certain areas, however feel that the editing process allowed me to refine the body of the text to be concise and to the point, which I feel has also helped with my research journal/blog, taking into account feedback from Semester 1.

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Practice 1: Reflection and Evaluation

This module has allowed for structured and streamlined work to be undertaken in relation to my research topic and current practice. I have found this module really enjoyable, and have experimented with digital and print-led processes in order to achieve a practical outcome meeting objective 4, as shown below. In addition this module has allowed me to make critical designs judgements based on research and previous exploratory work in order to meet the learning objectives.

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4. To prototype a range of design work targeted at 18-24 year old women, highlighting impacts of cross-cultural beauty/fashion trends on self-perceptions and body image.

East Meets West: A Sourcebook of Beauty Trends

During this semester, one practical project was undertaken, a sourcebook of beauty trends, looking cross-culturally at two contrasting cultures, Britain/the US and Japan, looking at and focusing on socio-cultural norms, expectations and ‘ideals’. This idea was derived mainly from my International research trip to Japan and my findings, which I found extreme in regard to Western culture and trends. Each spread reflects a trend with supporting blurb that has been written to explore and explain the trend whilst touching on self-perception issues, theory and ‘ideals’, relating back to my research and dissertation.

This idea was originally derived from a plan to design and construct a magazine, half of which would be English and reflect Western culture, and the other half in Japanese, reflecting Eastern culture and my research findings. I decided however, due to time and the workload involved in this to carry this out in Semester 3, under Practice 2, however this idea has once again changed slightly. I am now looking to produce a magazine which covers the research and interviews carried out as a more independent magazine, whilst working on promotional platforms to advertise and gain feedback/direction. This has been discussed more in my objectives and goals evaluation.

In relation to this semester and the practical work carried out, I feel that I have covered complex issues researched, which have been implemented in a visual manner which is suitable for either a male or female target audience interested in my research topic, as well as the beauty and fashion industries in general. I have found working on this project interesting in regard to experimenting with a range of digital collage and binding techniques, looking at different paper stocks and print methods, whilst also exploring layout and typography, strengthening my graphic design and editorial skillset.

By creating this book, it has enabled me to collate ideas and research findings in a streamlined and structured manner. I feel as I had collated such a large amount of visual and theoretical research, this module has enabled me to synthesise these together in an understandable and suitable outcome which is relevant to both my personal and professional practice.

As in Semester 1, feedback was gained from online sources, utilising Instagram to reach the specific target audience set out in my research topic, whilst also seeking editorial design-led feedback from designer friends and freelance clients.

In terms of binding, several methods were experimented with, whilst also utilising a professional printers in order to gain a hardback version for my professional portfolio of work. Even though I experimented with binding methods myself, I felt it was beneficial to source a professionally printed version also for my portfolio, being finished to the highest of standards.

I feel it has been of benefit that all 3 modules undertaken throughout this semester combined, with key theoretical approaches such as self-perception being applied to my practice continually. I have also found being aware of, and interviewing professionals and interdisciplinary/creative practitioners has added further context and support to both the aesthetics, format, content, context and tone of my work. Therefore, it has become apparent over the course of this module that these have become heavily intertwined, and that my research findings have directly influenced my practice.

I would of liked to of gained more feedback on the finished, printed and bound book however feel that this can be done in Semester 3 prior to starting my FMP as discussed briefly above.

For the submission, I have included design boards for this practical project, which includes in-depth contextual information supporting research and professional context in relation to my practice. This also showcases photography by myself, which has been taken in support of using these images on my professional website and digital portfolio going forwards, as well as being able to showcase this project in a more professional manner. The boards also include an evaluation on areas of improvement allowing for critical, future development going into Semester 3, whilst critical thoughts and problem areas have been flagged throughout the design process on my blog.

These boards can be found both on my blog and within a labelled folder within my submission portfolio.

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Research Methods 2: Reflection and Evaluation

This module has allowed for various objectives to be worked towards and learning objectives to be met, whilst working towards objectives 1, 2, 3 and 4 in relation to my research topic. I have found this module really enjoyable, and have utilised different research methods and methodologies in order to achieve a practical outcome for Practice 1 and dissertation for Professional Context 2 also.  In addition this module has allowed me to make critical judgements and discussions in order to meet the learning objectives, which can be found below.

Learning Outcomes:

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Objectives and goals:

1. To understand the ways in which Social Media and Magazines can affect self-perceptions and issues:

A) With body image (Females, 18-24)

B) With body image on a cross-cultural scale (Females, 18-24; Tokyo, Japan).

2. To understand policies and guidelines within the Fashion and Beauty Industries currently encouraging positive body image.

3. To work with and interview those both actively working in the Fashion and Beauty Industries, and those on a consumer/follower/user basis, to compare behaviours and perspectives in relation to body image and self-perceptions.

4. To prototype a range of design work targeted at 18-24 year old women, highlighting impacts of cross-cultural beauty/fashion trends on self-perceptions and body image.

This module has allowed for various objectives to be worked towards and learning objectives to be met, whilst working towards my objectives in relation to my research topic.

This module has allowed for me to research into:

  • Topics within the Professional Context module
  • Topics/processes related with Practice and Professional Development
  • Theoretical Perspectives
  • Technological Advances
  • Industry Contacts – New and Existing
  • Contextual Information
  • Quantitive and Qualitative Data
  • Cross-Cultural/Cultural Perspectives

To achieve the above, the following research methods have been used, utilising pragmatic, and interpretivist research philosophies in order to gain both qualitative and quantitative data:

  • Online Sources; particularly for sourcing new contacts/links, policies related to practice/statistics, facts, etc
  • Instagram and Social Media, i.e. YouTube, Facebook for Videos, Photos and Feedback led Research
  • Freelance Clients/Designer friends/contacts for Feedback led Research
  • Contacting existing Contacts both Nationally and Internationally
  • Phonecalls and Emails
  • Practice based Researched: Print (Graphic Design, Collage, Digital Collage, Layout, Book Binding and Printing)
  • Questionnaire’s, whilst utilising International Contacts in Japan, LCA Inter-College Connections and the Ethics Policy
  • Critical-design (used throughout exploratory practical work, discussed in separate post)
  • Magazines
  • Trips to London and Japan
  • Interviews and Meetings with Professionals regarding policies, design work and organisational views on research topic
  • Documentaries
  • Field-research (technologies, visual, publications, copywriting, photography, etc) on both a National and International basis (London and Tokyo)

This module I have met up and interviewed with those contacted in order to gain the best research to work towards answering my research question and meeting my objectives/goals, in both the UK and Japan, such as speaking with Vogue Japan, ASOS and Tam Dexter for example, (objectives 1.A, 1.B, 2 and 3) and both British and Japanese participants of my anonymous participant questionnaire (25 participants in total) (objective 1.A, 1.B, 3).

I have found researching into key theoretical perspectives to be key to working towards my goals and objectives, and have found that my practice informs my research, and in turn, my research also informs my practice (see Practice 1 Reflection/Evaluation post). In addition to the theories researched in Semester 1, I have also found that further research has been needed into other tightly-related theories in order to strengthen/critique points in my dissertation and emphasise triangulation.

Furthermore, discussion of different perspectives as of that of Brittany Rhodes, and male perspectives as found in my anonymous research questionnaire, and literary/article-led research has also strengthen research and theoretical perspectives,  (objectives 1 and 3), whilst strengthening my practical work; (objective 4). This as noted, has allowed for a different perspectives to be considered in regard to my research question, and have allowed me for the reflect on both my practice and current research to date, whilst also informing a new sub-section of my dissertation which otherwise would not of been included.

In order to carry out the above, the LCA ethics policy has been of most importance whilst deigning and planning my research studies, as well as writing a consent form and information sheet to be distributed to participants in due course. These were sent to those who are being interviewed in advance for forward planning, and have undergone ethical checks by both my tutor and the course leader. This way of working/research is something which I have got used to doing and have found this good practice, and has also enabled my participants to fully understand the project, their role, pros, cons and details on data use, confidentiality and assessment for example. In regard to the online anonymous participant questionnaire, similar ethical checks were also undertaken by the college in order to check suitability before being shared with the Fashion courses in the college, and before being sent out/distributed via social media platforms (objective 1.A, 1.B and 3).

In addition to this, two field-research trips to both London and Tokyo were undertaken in January in order to gain different perspectives, insights and both comparable and quantifiable data, in aim of working towards objectives 1 – 4 specifically. Evidence of this can be found throughout my blog in regards to planning, itineraries and findings. I found that by planning ahead for such trips and planning both research and practical work in advance, time management this semester was better utilised, whilst taking into account the feedback given last semester in regard to my approach to documenting my findings in a more concise manner.

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East Meets West: A Sourcebook of Beauty Trends – Hardback Photos

Below shows a small selection of photos which have been taken documenting the hardback version of my Beauty trend sourcebook which has been outsourced and printed professionally. I wanted to achieve a high-end, professional, quality finish which would be able to be used in my professional portfolio going forwards.

The inner stock is 135gsm matte paper, with no show through. I am really happy with the outcome, and feel it was worth outsourcing this print to show what the book would be like if for sale, whilst also showing the artwork to the highest of standards.

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