So as mentioned, to begin the project I initially want to look into how current affairs have been broadcast throughout the decades. I remember learning about victorian orphan children being recruited as newsboys (especially in cities like London and Melbourne) to stand on street corners yelling the up and coming news or handing out newspapers. This was the initial image that came into mind at the thought of current affairs – the grubby street kids in baker boy caps and clothing worn away by the hardships of street life.
Naturally curious, I wanted to find out how the concept of ‘news’ formed in the beginning. In 1440 the printing press was developed by Johannes Gutenberg which led to the early forms of newspapers in Germany. Known as Contranos, these informative ‘broadsheets’ were the first (known) version of weekly news and from this pamphlet style presentation in the 1600s came magazines in 1663, ‘comical’ magazines in 1672 (in France) and then the introduction to tabloids by Joseph Pulitzer of the New York Publisher in the 1800s. Comics were later bought in by R.F.Outcault in the United States in 1896 shortly after the first release of Vogue in December 1892. Following onto this to this was GQ men’s magazine in 1931 and Elle in October 1945 just to name a few of the first (fashion) zines. Moving onwards to todays publications brings me to the more digital platforms. Personally I feel that this modern development is so beneficial. It allows publishers to track their customers making products more personal and allowing for a more effective and accurate marketing strategy. It also increases interactivity within the brand and further raises awareness and exposure. Alongside this is the reduced costs from printing and postage/logistics and increased requirement for emerging creatives to feature in more frequently released editorials. Ultimately there is significantly less waste material, and the requirement for deforestation is no more – this is when paper publications are entirely abolished. I, myself am a subscriber to Vogue so see the appeal to have a paper copy however having access to the digital version, where I can download any of my paid-for copies through the mobile app, Ive really experienced the revolution of getting it online. I feel that soon there won’t really be a need for paper copies. Currently I use my own within my sketchbook for inspiration, concept and mood boards as to not let the pages go to waste but having started my blog I’m moving further away from paper. The convenience is also desirable where before I’d have to bring out a whole magazine and carry it round, pages folding in the wind, taking up space in my bag and can being a general nuisance with the digital version its now as simple as reaching for my phone.
Looking more at technological developments bought me to the progression of telecoms – from morse code and radio transmission by Guglielmo Marconi in Italy in 1895 to the invention music and talk via radio in the early 1900s. I wanted to look a bit more into morse code to had a go at spelling out the project title of current affairs and then used my existing technical skill to embroider the design into net fabric. The outcome was really simple but provided a more creative way to present my research. In the 1850s came the development of the telephone contributed to by an abundance of science professionals. The global effort then led to advancements which resulted in electronic imagery in 1927 by America’s Philo Farnsworth, and then further onto the first broadcast news show of CBS by William S Paley 2 years later. The BBC came into existence in 1936 and from there the television industry has flourished forming one of the biggest sources of current affairs broadcasts to todays society.
It’s really quite astounding how far we have come in terms of ‘spreading the word’ – from orphans standing in the street using their voices as tools for promotion, to the news shows and digital broadcasts of today. The obsession of topical issues then spills into the fashion industry with collections, magazine editorials and campaigns inspired by current affairs alongside news that is specific to fashion. More recent scandals which concern copy righting and plagiarism are widespread via social media while collections including the Tiffany’s ‘Knot on My Planet’ raise money and awareness to the brutality of the ivory trade. It is so important to face our problems and one of the very first ways in which we can do this is by utilising the promotional resources. For this reason I plan on continuing research into how other fashion houses have used their clout and exposure to highlight issues and tackle them head on.