Importance of Accessories in Fashion

Fashion is not only about clothes, but also about accessories as well. Many brands such as Prada, Chanel, Dior and Yves Saint Laurent, etc, have concentrated more on promoting their accessories such as bags, sunglasses, make-up, perfume, shoes, hair accessories etc rather than their clothes collections.

‘All the advertisements of the major fashion houses are currently centred on accessories.'(Baan, Els de., 2007) On above shows an example of how fashion houses have focused on promoting their accessories. It is a campaign from Prada and you can see on the photo above, the model is not wearing any clothes, but there are bags around her and she is wearing a hat which stands out and shows the importance and the purpose of promoting their accessories within this campaign.

Picture1

On above, I have print screen the page where I searched the word ‘Prada’ on google images. As you can see, most of the photos are advertising and promoting their bags and sunglasses which shows us how important accessories take place in nowadays.

Picture2

I have then searched for ‘Dior’ on Google Images as well and it has came up with the accessories of their perfumes, bags and makeup which also shows how fashion industry has concentrated on developing the accessories in fashion.

http://fashionallure.com/style/wp-content/uploads/vintage-mod-sunglasses.jpg

Accessories also links to historical research and refers to fashion in a specific period of time. For instance, in Elizabethan era, accessories such as masks which were made with velvet were popular for women. During 1960s, mod look is popular and it has made huge influences on not only clothes, but also accessories. On above, you can see the sunglasses that the ladies were wearing are inspired by the mod fashion. During eighteenth century, hand fans, masks and wigs took an important part in refer to the masquerade culture. Ladies used their hand fans to keep themselves refreshing and the hand fans also has symbolism behind as it is used to attract men. “The extreme wigs, the white-powered faces, the conspicuous beauty spots and the fans all contributed to the masquerade where ‘under the shiny, varnished layer of good manners, nobody sought the secret soul of the true personality.'” (Baan, Els de., 2007)

Fashion accessories includes hand fans, bags, umbrellas, purses, belts, watches, jewellery, scarves, stockings, socks, hates, ties, jackets, shoes, gloves, etc. Take an example from nowadays, men’s ties take an important place and when you walk down the street, you can see at least one or more people wearing ties.

References:

  • Baan, Els de., (2007).Fashion and accessories. Published by ArtEZ-Press.
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How to analysis scenes in films?

In lesson, we have watched two short clips of two films, ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘The Last Samurai’ and we have talked about what we think about the scenes before watching the whole film and how to analyse a film or a scene. On below are the questions that we need to consider when analyzing a film.

  • What is this scene about?
  • After watching this scene, what do I understand about the characters thoughts and emotions?
  • How did the scene makes me feel?

After you understand what information and mood the scene conveyed, you can then try to figure out how cinematic tools and techniques were used to communicate and explain the meanings of the scene. You may watch the scene several times as you may not get the meanings of the scene in the first time you watch it. There are questions on below which helps to analysis the scene/ film more precisely. 

  • Be aware that you may be blind to a movie’s political, cultural and ideological meaning, especially if the meaning strengthen the ideas and values you already hold.
  • The more you awareness of your own belief system and those you share with your culture in general, the easier you can recognise and interpret a movie’s reserved meaning. 
  • Does your expectations shaped your reactions to this movie? Had you watched the movie before? watched the trailer? Heard of the movie before from others or read about it in the media?
  • Did you previous experience of the Director or star’s style of making films which inform what you will expect from the film?
  • Did you understand the meaning of the movie? Did the movie fulfill, disappoint or confound your expectations?
The movie title:

The movie title may sometimes hints to you what the movie is about and so it is very important to consider and pay attention on the title of the movie as well. Before and after you see a movie, you can think about if the title gives you direct meaning and influence to the movie. Is it specific to something, or is it a metaphor for other things?

On below are two analyses of two films, ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘The Last Samurai’. I haven’t watched the films before and by watching one of the scenes from each film in lesson, I have written what I think about the scene and also what I think the scene is about. 

Blade runner

After watching this scene from ‘Blade Runner’, I understand it is about a tryst between two lovers. The colors of the lighting constructs with cool tones like the colour of greyish, neutral tones. The female character’s style is a 1940’s pinup look and she was dressing in grey color. I think the color of the costume matches the tones and the lighting of the scenes. Her costume also has broad shoulder cutting and tight in the waist which maybe shows more the curve of her body and helps to show her character being sexy and feminine. The background music is created by saxophone and piano and it creates a mysterious mood. At the beginning, the slow jazz music creates a gloomy mood while the female character look confuse when she is looking at some old photos. The old photo that she was looking at is taken from post Victorian era as you can see the style of the photographs, but I am not sure when the timing of this scene was set as it could be anytime because of the way the characters are dressing. Then, she starts to play the piano and it sounds soft and high pitched. The jazz music didn’t stopped when she was playing the piano and I think it is a bit strange with the combination. This maybe a reason the director wants to show us that the female character not sure about a decision or maybe is her feelings towards the male character in the scene as after the piano, the scene is focusing on the male character. The scene is shot in close up when the female character take her styled hair down and the hairstyle turn into a 80’s curly hairstyle. It makes the hair look a bit messy which maybe used to show her inner feelings that she was confused or show the feminine side of her character. Also I think the red nails also want to present the idea of her being feminine as well. 

When the two characters was talking to each other, the female character was unsure that if she could play the piano, but she was playing the piano in the earlier scene. This maybe used to symbolise something must has happened to her character for example lost her memories, etc. But later on in the clip, she said to the male character that she is not sure if the memories of playing the piano belongs to her or not or is someone else memories which makes the scene more clear.

When the male character tried to kiss her on the lips, she turned around and walked away and tried to leave the room, but the male character stopped her from letting her go. When he pushes her against the wall, the music changes and it started to get louder. This method maybe used by the director to show tension within the scene. As the scene goes on, the lighting become more sharper than before and I think it is a way of showing and supporting the climax of the scene. Back to the scene, when the male character kissed her on the lips, the music changes back to normal. Also, this time she didn’t reject him for kissing her so I think the female character also loves him but maybe something happened to both characters and she just don’t know what to do. But at the end, she said ‘I want you’ which means that she has confirmed her feeling towards the male character and she is not fear anymore to love him. I particularly like the scene where there are lights coming through the slatted blinds and it gives a mystery effects and also I think is a contrast scene compare to the beginning of the clip (how the plot changes). The way and the tone that the male character speaks is a bit hoarsed which maybe shows mysteries effect. The costume of the male character is just a simple shirt which I’m not sure when the film is set through looking at his costume. 

The Last Samurai

After we have talked about the film ‘Blade Runner’, we then move on to analyse another clip which is a short clip from ‘The Last Samurai’ in 2003. The scene is shown in soft tones and colors in lighting and it helps to create the atmosphere, shows emotions and romantic feeling within the film. The background music is created by flutes and string instruments and it creates a romantic, gentle but also a bit sad as well. The music also links to the female character as she looks sad and maybe is because she was worried and afraid to lose the male character as in this scene, she was helping him to dress the traditional Japanese war robes, so I think she afraid to lose him in the battle. During this scene, she sometimes avoid eye contact with him and maybe is because the class division between them or an amendable behavior because he might be in high status in the battle. The male character looks calm from the beginning till the end and I think is because maybe the director wants to focus on more the emotional feelings on the female character in this scene. They kiss each other once in the scene and it shows the romantic feeling in a gentle and innocent way. 

Compare with ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘The Last Samurai’, ‘Blade Runner’ ‘s love scene is more aggressively affectionate. 

Identify films in 3 different levels

In order to understand more about a movie, we can identify it with three different levels and they are:

  • Literary Aspects
  • Dramatic Aspects
  • Cinematic Aspects

Why we divide films in three different levels ?

By identify film in three levels, we can understand the ideas and the meaning behind the film more easily. Also, we can break into parts to analyse and so we can compare to the whole film. We can also look in more details of the film, what the ideas and theme the film wants to bring out to the audience?

  1. Literary Aspects:
  • It means things that films include the features of literature. Literary Aspects also means something that links and share with literature such as:

– Plot (Storytelling)

http://waxebb.com/writings/plot.jpg

– Characters

– Themes

– Setting

– Point of view

  1. Dramatic Aspects:
  • It means things that films share with live drama such as Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet. You can identify dramatic aspects through the character’s make-up, costumes, etc. There are elements in dramatic aspects and they are:

– Tension

– Climax

– Mood

– Conflict

– Symbolism

– Sound

Advantages of Dramatic Aspects and how it attract the audiences:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/blog_post_349_width/2011/10/johnny_depp_a_p_0.jpg Johnny Depp

– Character choice – Acting- Certain Characters/ Actors in the film

– Costumes

– Set design
– Makeup and hair

  1. Cinematic Aspects:
http://i.ytimg.com/vi/aJJrkyHas78/maxresdefault.jpg Jurassic World

Cinematography means things that only films can show and present to the audiences such as Avatar and Star Wars, etc. It includes technical terms related to films and they are:

– Sound effects

– Special Effects

– Editing

References:

Looking at movies

‘Movies have evolved into a complex form of artistic representation and communication’ (Barsam R., 2014: pg 2) On below, I have looked at how the structure of a film forms and my understanding about movies.

There are five principles of techniques that continue to use in making films.

  1. Movies can operate time and space where other art cannot because the way movies can record ‘real time’  and sounds.
  2. Lighting creates different mood and textures which gives different styles and present emotions. The word ‘photography’ means “writing with light”.  
  3. Movies offers an illusion of movement. The word ‘movies’ is a shortened phrase of moving pictures which means capturing movements. An illusion cause when we see the movements on the screen.It is caused by two interacting optical and perceptual phenomena. Persistence of vision and the phi phenomenon. Persistence of vision is the process when the human brain keep an image for a second longer than the eye records it. The phi phenomenon is the illusion of movement which is a series of movements. 
  4. Movies can describe words convincingly. During 1895 to 1905, the French filmmaker Auguste, Louis Lumiere and Georges Melies established two ways that the cinema would go for: the Lumieres realsim – it is about real points of view and present things as what they are in real lives while Melies’s fantasy- it is about the abstract or fantastic.
  5. Movies are expensive to create ( time is money) and it requires highly collaborative process. A good script and the director’s inspiration, ideas and supervision is the key of the success for a movie. 

Pre-production – The term pre-production includes planning and preparation which is very important in film industry. For instance before making a movie, pre-production allows the directors to plan the scenes which will help to reduce time and also by doing enough research, they can plan what they want to do and what they want to change within the scenes. 

Looking at different types of movies:

Nonfiction films

There are four styles of nonfiction films and they are factual, instructional, documentary and propaganda films. The four styles can collaborate with each other to create other hybrid forms. A nonfiction film is about real incidents, people and places. 

  • Factual films – it is usually used to present people or locations or processes in uncomplicated ways and is meant to entertain the audiences 
  • Instructional films – it is used to educate viewers about common interests 
  • Documentary films
  • Propaganda films – it is used to spread out ideas

Narrative films/ Fiction films

“Fiction” means the stories the films tell or convey to the audiences. It presents the characters, locations and events. The stories may be imaginary or based on true events. It can also be either realistic or unrealistic or even both. The stories are based on script, written by the screenwriter, staged for the camera and starred by actors.

What is Form in movies?

  • It is the order of parts of a film
  • the techniques that the filmmakers used to create a film. For instance: Sound and pictures
  • The idea that the film  convey which links to genre
  • the way the film allows the audiences to respond, understand and translate the film in specific ways. 

When designing and making a narrrative film, we need to consider:

  • Setting- Where are you filming? What period of time will the film take place? etc. It is not only about telling the audience the date, city or country that the film is set, but setting also provides the characters’ social, educational, and cultural backgrounds which involves what they eat, drink, wear or behavior. 
  • Storytelling/ plot
  • Suspense and Surprise – this helps to make the film more interesting and add tension to the film which can draw the audiences attention.
  • Lighting – There are two source of light and they are natural (using daylight) and artificial (using focusable spot and floodlights. They can produce two basic qualities of light: hard which creates harsh, well-defined shadows and soft which creates diffusion. Also, we need to think about quality and directions when consider lighting.
  • Makeup and hairstyle – Styling, makeup and hair are one of the most important things to consider as it reflects the character’s personal aspects.
  • Costume – the setting of the film usually reflects on the design of the costumes as it helps to tell the audience what period the character is in, status in society and enhance the character’s traits.
  • Editing – Adding effects? Think about how to combine the scenes together. Cuttong on action is a common editing technique which is designed for connecting one shot to another shot. Take from example: A film editor will often finish the first shot in the middle of a continuing action and then start the other shot continuing with the same action at some point further than the first take. This editing technique makes the action move continuously. 
  • Duration, Speed and length of the shot, how long will the scene takes? how long is the film?
  • Music- Think about the mood, contemporary or historical, etc.
  • Stage production- Staging and planning each scene includes placing the characters (where are they positioning within the scene? Their actions and movements?, etc), objects and decorations, etc.  Staging also involves camera angle and height which links to the scale of the frame you want to capture in a scene.  Filmmakers define two aspects of composition and they are framing (what we see on the screen) and Kinesis (what moves on the screen). Framing from a low angle shot shows power as the audience must “look up to” the scene. Close-up shot shows a personal and emotions. A wide frame shot shows loneliness. Point of viewincludes physical point of view and mental point of view. Physical point of view means the angle or the place from where the camera or character or a narrator watch a scene or an incident. Mental point of view means the way the character or narrator see and hear in a scene and reflecting or narrated on an opinion which might be remembering an event or a dream. Lighting is also required when planning stage production.

Casting characters- Flat characters means the characters which presents one or a few traits in a film. Their intention and actions are predictable while round characters means the characters which show several traits and are unpredictable and complex. Major and minor characters: The major characters play the most important part in a film. He or she makes the most things happen or something happen to them in a film. The minor characters are the supporting characters and they play less important role. They are used to help the plot move forward. Marginal characters have lack definition about them and they appear on a scene for a very short time.

Motifs in Films:

What is motif in films? From watching films in scene by scene, we can found the motifs easily as it is a repeated pattern, idea or images throughout the film. It also helps to point out the theme of the film or text. Motifs are in films and also in literature as well.

How can we identify motif in films? On below are the ways we can use to refer at: By identify the repeating pattern in the film, we can question ourselves why the director did that and where did they happens in the film? These help to make us understand what the message and theme the film want to give to the audiences.

Motifs can come in different ways:

  • Repeated colors
  • Repeated phrase that the character speaks
  • Repeated item shows within the film

References: 

  • Barsam, R.(2010(. Looking At Movies: An Introduction To Film. Third Edition. W.W Norton & Company, Inc. 

Introduction

In this project, I am going to create a 2 minutes fashion based film and through this blog, I am going to document the process of doing research and gathering the ideas for my film. This project will let me understand more about TV and Films in details, for instance: how to read a movie, what means by genre and motifs in films, how important styling a character is in TV and Films, etc. By gathering the researches for my project, I am going to find the sources through books, internet, magazines, watching films etc, to help me for inspirations and get more knowledge about TV and Films. For the fashion based film that I will create, I need to demonstrate an understand of one of the theories of: Genre, Authorship, Spectatorship or Reception. I will also create a storyboard for this project to show the developments and the ideas of my film. I’m so excited about this project and looking forward for the final result of my fashion based film.