MA Fashion Studies students recently had a rare opportunity to explore the complex processes behind the development of digital fashion images during Paris Fashion Week. The foundation of the students’ investigation was based on the reality that with the growth of the Internet has come a dramatic shift in the way in which fashion is consumed — primarily through screens rather than newspapers and magazines as it was in the past. This shift alters not only the consumption of fashion images but also the ways in which such images are produced.
Students worked alongside photographers and photo editors from the Paris headquarters of the global media content company InDigital, which covers fashion weeks worldwide and is a leading provider of digital images to major fashion media outlets. Students were given unique access to Paris Fashion Week as they shadowed InDigital.tv professionals, collecting data on their experiences.
After conducting their research, students then applied their learnings to an in-depth analysis of the multifaceted systems behind the creation of digital catwalk images; that is, who makes the images, how they are staged, and what techniques are used to create and transmit them around the world.
The students then devised a unique way to share their findings by presenting public talks and a gallery exhibition at Glassbox in Paris titled Un-Making the Fashion Digital Image, under the direction of artist and Parsons Paris professor Justin Morin. The multimedia presentation consisted of recorded interviews, visual, audio, and rare textual documents enabling students to uncover hidden aspects behind the creation of digital fashion images and explore the cultural relevance of fashion as a global industry.
Each section of the exhibition placed contemporary digital images into dialogue with historical ephemera from fashion houses, press agencies, and photo studios. These historical testimonies created a context for the production and consumption of contemporary fashion digital images while highlighting the continuities between the practices of presenting fashion and its images. Dialogues between past and present reminded visitors how the “practice of un-making” the digital may also present a valuable opportunity to rethink the overlooked history of the mediatization of fashion.
Un-Making the Fashion Digital Image project team:
Student Curators: Molly Apple, Danielle Barnes, Trevor Chapman, Berline Cherelus, Kandace Clifton, Nicolette Contursi, Sandra Mathey Garcia-Rada, Xavier Genereux, Deandra Green, Fanny Lerner, Lily Li, Leah Merritt, Clara Montre, Victoria Nergaard, Or Rosenblum, Rocio Sanchez, Svitlana Soboloyeva, Amanda Stedman
Concept: Marco Pecorari
Faculty Supervisors: Antoine Bucher, Hazel Clark, Giulia Mensitieri, Justin Morin, Marco Pecorari
Communications: Lisa Sarma
Graphic Design: Monica Fraile Morisson
Exhibition Design: Justin Morin
Video Production Supervision: Clara Montre
Exhibition Assistants: Olivia Johnston, Victoria Nergaard, Rocio Sanchez