AD394- Creative Research

AD394- Part 2: Visualising Dissertation (Lady Blue Shanghai)

For part 2 of the Ad394 brief, I am visualising my dissertation. My current dissertation topic is : Investigating the balance of Commerce and Art in fashion and advertorial film: Dior Vs Ruth Hogben and Gareth Pugh.

The dissertation at its current position looks at how, Although fashion film can be perceived as new media, it is not entirely true. It speaks of how in the 1950’s, TV broadcasting began to enter many households as a new source of entertainment and information and its it becoming of a platform that fuels visual persuasion of trends and cult of personality. It goes on to mention creatives such as Guy Bourdin who had also been producing fashion films at that time as an addition to his photographic works. It speaks of fashion film ideologies fabricated by Nick Knight and how with the advent of the internet garments can now be shown in their true form through having the ability to capture the movement of the garment.

The dissertation also looks at the promotional aspects to advertorial film and how by using the internet as a platform for publishing visual productions, brands can achieve viral distribution and many views. The development of fashion films is also a cost effective approach to advertising, through limited costs and the ability to network these films for an extensive duration without a specified airing time limit. It goes on to speak about brand associations with creatives using the collaboration of Harmony Korine and Proenza Schouler as an example and how by working with the likes of Korine, the brand is able to enhance its alternative aesthetic through relations with an alternative cult film maker. It mentions various brand collaborations and how these are used to attract another new sector of the fashion market and to enhance brand innovation.

Chapter one goes on to break down the Dior advert film, Lady Blue Shanghai by David Lynch. In this I look at each scene and break it down, looking at the highlight points of the product being advertised and the film narrative itself. I go on to recognise the ‘Lynchian’ aesthetics fabricated throughout the film and his visual approach to the production, pointing out the recognisable features and references made by Lynch.

I go on to investigate the reference and meaning behind the blue rose used within the film which is a recognisable feature used within Twin Peaks: Fire walk with me.

(text from dissertation:)… According to The Flower Expert [1]Blue roses cannot be achieved naturally so they represent the unattainable or the mysterious. Blue roses therefore embody the desire for the unattainable. They say “I can’t have you but I can’t stop thinking about you (The Flower Expert). [1] “Rose Flower Meanings By Their Color, Variety And Numbers.” The Flower Expert. N.p., 2017. Web. 28 Oct. 2017.

Having found out the meaning of the blue rose I begin to understand the narrative even further and its use of metaphors.  I look at how the blue rose represents the relationship between Marion Cotillard and Gong Tao, in the film Cotillard has a flashback to a romantic scene between her and Tao where they mutually declare love for one another but Tao goes on to state how he cannot be with Cotillard. In response to that, Tao reaches out a blue rose to Cotillard. In this narrative, the blue rose represents the unattainable love she seeks for Tao and how she wants him but cannot have him as he does not have capacity within her life. Looking at psychological aspects of this, the relationship between Cotillard and Tao metaphorically reflects the relationship between the consumer and Dior. It shows the desire for the Dior brand and its product but its unattainably as a luxury brand. It means that there is high desire for the product but can only be attained by a certain audience fit for the brand.

(text from dissertation)..The presence of the blue rose throughout the filmperhaps comes to indicate the exclusivity of the product by using the blue rose as a metaphor. The unattainable element of the blue rose represents the unattainability of the handbag, suggesting the high exclusivity of the product and the brand itself. It comes to question whether the love affair between Cotillard and Tao symbolically represents the love affair between the consumer and brand.

I go on to conclude my analysis of the film by addressing its promotional approach regarding the psychological links between the product and colour and how that approach has been seen amongst various other brands. Talking about the use of emotional links and its metaphorical narrative and how (text from dissertation) the placement of a male to female relationship creates a humane relation to the human desire for love and lust, which metaphorically applies that emotion to the lust for the product. I then go on to break down the visual aspects of the film and how it uses signature aesthetics of Lynch, and their ability to develop an in-depth film settings through the use of strong colours, effective lighting and angle works.

Chapter 2 of the dissertation looks at fashion films by Ruth Hogben and Gareth Pugh in a contrasting approach to fashion film.

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