After a Fashion: Kays Catalogue, Modernism and Fashion Persuasion.

This lecture was focused on the imagery of the Kays Catalogue; how the imagery changed with the times. Advertisements have changed greatly through time. Originally more focus was given to the product being advertised, however over time this has shifted. Now we are being sold lifestyles and ideals; from shower gel to iPhones, we are convinced our lives would be improved with these items. “A strange new element crept into advertising: a casual invitation to start comparing yourself to others.” Kalle Lasn (Design Anarchy) explains, she suggests that by advertisers using psychological techniques (in this case an individuals insecurities) it makes it easier to sell products.

We have entered a more consumerist culture. Adverts we see now have become much more simple so we are able to take it in more quickly. They are more visual based, these images are thought about intensively. For there product to sell these visuals must be able to communicate to there audience and tell them that they need this unnecessary product.

The key text for this lecture was an extract from “Uses of Photography” by John Berger. In the chapter entitled “The Suit and the Photograph” two images are focused on. One depicting a group of men wearing suits, described as ‘the village band’. The other showing Protestant missionaries. As you can probably tell there is a class difference between these groups. Berger suggests, “blocking out the faces of the band with a piece of paper, and consider only their clothed bodies.” By doing this it makes it easier to believe that they are among the middle or higher classes. This shows really shows the symbolic meaning of the suit. It has been around for centuries yet it still holds that ‘high class’ connotation. However upon closely inspecting the image Berger states that ‘the musicians give the impression of being uncoordinated and barrel chested.”

John. B (2008) Ways of seeing. Penguin classics. Reprint edition

Lasn, K. and Staff, M. F. (2006) Design anarchy. Edited by Kalle Lasn. Vancouver, B.C: Adbusters Media Foundation


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