Sourcing garments

Today I spent some time scrolling the websites of many budget fashion retailers and then collating pieces of my own. I looked at Zara, Topshop, Stradivarius, Asos, Pull & Bear, Uniqlo, H&M and Urban Outfitters then decided that for convenience reasons, I’d only order from one site – I  felt that Bershka was the e-store with the most fitting pieces for my vision of styling. 

Having gathered research, primary and secondary imagery and made mood boards for inspiration I was definitely ready to select individual pieces for my shoots. Surprisingly it didn’t take me very long to finalise my decisions and I was able to keep the spend to a fairly justifiable budget.

The most expensive garment purchased was understandably a black vinyl trench coat lined with a brown/red (small) check print and belted at the waist. I really pictured this looking effective in the ‘Prejudice Against Muslims’ shoot because its so powerful and causes statement without looking over the top. The glossy finish adds and air of sophistication while the check brings the garment back down to earth. In my opinion this garment is a look in itself. Its’s very wearable but says I’m protected. The lining gives the indication that the wearer is as humble as ‘the next man’ which is important as I want the model to look strong but approachable – portraying how she is often misinterpreted by people of small minded nature (especially within my hometown). It is only when you look closer (physically at the finer detail of the coat and metaphorically at the Muslim person as an individual) that you get to understand they are EXACTLY the same as everyone else and are no more to blame for the attacks of extremism than those native to Britain.

The only other garment for this shoot was a really chic black PU leather pleated midi-skirt. I felt that It’d bring the glam while being conservative and respectful to the model. In consideration of my purchases I felt I needed to pair the items with something more basic. I decided on a plain black t-shirt from my wardrobe that was bought last year from H&M’s conscious range. The t-shirt is men’s so had a more boxy fit which I found really effective against the fitted shape of the skirt. Additionally I chose a red, white and blue vintage Fila baseball jacket for a more casual vibe. There was almost an intended irony in this choice because the brand Fila was massively popular in the 80’s when ‘Casuals’ made the brand a trademark to their style- despite the fact it originated in Italy. The people who were in this group (middle-aged, largely male, sports ‘hooligans’) are often the ones now to judge harshly and act with discrimination against the immigrants they believe to be the cause of terrorism. Moreover the use of red, white and blue heightens the effect of irony and makes for a further though-provoking outcome. In terms of shoes, make up and accessories I want to keep with the colour theme and aesthetic so feel it is appropriate 
to include a bold red lip, maybe some brown tones on the eyes and then finish the look with a black headscarf and my black Chanel runners. I think the subtle branding can add to the appeal and make the shoot more high-fashion and therefore impact a wider audience. Additionally the high fashion outlook from a promotional sense will draw attention from a market of greater disposable income – who will ultimately be the people with the power and capital to make a difference.

The garments for ‘Futurism Now’ consisted of an opaque rainmac, oversized leather high-waisted (suit) trousers, a black PU leather belted (v-neck) mini dress, luminous green socks and a pair of silver culotte style trousers. The key element that I’d gathered from research was the metallic and shiny finish on fabrics. I achieved this with a lot of PU leather and combined neons with blacks to resemble future innovations and technologies as neon tones often have connotations with futurism. To continue with the colour theme I settled on a friend’s lime green crew neck jumper from Weekday (men’s). The boxy fit was really appealing and I felt it could look really interesting in conjunction with the faux leather dress and metallic trousers. I also decided on a white/grey racer check bralette that I purchased for a festival in the summer from a market stall in my local town. Thinking about the time of year I might need to layer this over the green jumper however this will be a decision made on the day. The shoes will be pointed court shoes and I will cut the socks so that they sit over the shoe. They will be for visual purposes only and the intention is to imitate those made by Kanye West for Yeezy in recent seasons. Finally due to the transparent nature of the rainmac I think it could look really interesting to layer a neon green Lycra bralette underneath. The colour should pop without overwhelming the look and alongside the baggy silhouette of the trousers the look will be very clean and on trend.

Following this was the shoot on ‘Throwaway Fashion’ in which I settled on some vibrant mustard flares to pair with my own mustard yellow polka dot satin oversized shirt from Zara. I don’t really know what inspired this vision other than the use of contrasting textures and shapes. I feel that I just wanted to show the effects of high street fashion as although the model looks good, I want her to be bestrewing litter around the location which would therefore be representative of the negative effects of throwaway fashion. The bold colours and noticeably flamboyant shapes should draw attention to the model in contrast with the (hopefully) derelict location. 

Additionally I ordered a pair of black PU leather utility-style jogger trousers. I know that I want to include up-cycled garments and experiment with actual waste materials e.g. plastic bags however I actually feel this is something that I can do on the day. I tried not to buy loads of garments for this shoot as ultimately the point is to promote reusing and recycling of garments without buying  masses more. I think plastic bags over court shoes to imitate those within my mood boards are a really good idea and would look really cool in conjunction with the urban shape of the trousers. The only accessory I intend on including is a transparent Comme Des Garcons oversized bag. I want to fill it with litter and clothing to resemble the perspectives of shoppers guilty of following the fast fashion trend – the viewpoint that clothing is equivalent in value and as easy to discard as a piece of waste.

Lastly I chose some garments in brown and earthy tones for styling with a combination of animal prints and furs (faux and real) for the concept on animal products in fashion. I felt it was important for the tones to be harmonious as that was one of the key attributes found in my research. To expand my use of textures I chose a pair of chestnut belted cords and a light brown/beige vinyl button down (belted) dress. The vibe was almost autumnal which I think will look effective in a rural setting. Alongside these new garments I will include a light brown faux fur jacket bought from Trinity Hospice charity shop along Kings Road in London. I bought it a few weeks ago with this shoot in mind but fell in love with the oriental satin lining and cuffed sleeves therefore it will absolutely be worn again. The second jacket I’ve had for a few years and is also faux fur but black and boxy on the shoulders. Its actually quite a good fake and often gets mistaken for mink which I feel is quite important as it supports the notion that genuine fur production is just not necessary with the innovations and technology available today. Next, while I was in Zara I purchased the most amazing leather imitation snakeskin, midi-length pleated skirt. The skirt was bought for myself and has been worn many times since purchasing so is therefore getting the maximum use and not just being thrown out after one wear. I will accompany the brown tone with a black oversized shirt from Weekday that is also a wardrobe favourite of mine. I think a headband could look interesting with this look so I may additionally have a look at what else is sitting present in my personal inventory. 
Lastly I will be using a vintage rabbit coat. It is floor length and remarkable in quality and is also vintage so made at a time where plastic alternatives were not available. I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing this piece however for the purposes of the shoot it was beneficial to explore all the options and get a visual comparison for real vs fake products. I will most likely pair of trainers -possibly all black air max 1 or my Chanel runners – with the looks for a more urban feel. I think the contrast between rural/country vibes with the natural landscape against some very distinctive potentially city-feeling trainers will be an effective statement revolting conventions. The idea behind the shoots is to be memorable and have an impact therefore any way in which I can make the looks stand out is positive. 

I’m satisfied with the garments bought and am excited for their arrival. I also need to be cautious to leave the labels intact ready for return after the shoots. I feel that each piece is fully justified and additionally well representative of the theme. 

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