I have found constellation quite insightful, I’ve had the chance to explore into the areas of subcultures which was very interesting as I found out about some that I didn’t know about like the Zoot Suiters and how their style was inspired as a rebellion almost to the war. Furthermore, it allowed me to evaluate and understand how some people do dress in a certain way to fit in to a certain group, and don’t just wear any clothes. We can all be labelled and fit in to certain groups.
Also another thing that we touched on quite a bit was the re-signification of an object. For example, the subculture of Punks took the object of a safety pin which we all know is used for holding together something (fixing holes), and they signified it to ear rings and cut their ears with it stretching their ears and piercing their skin. Therefore, they took some thing and completely changed the meaning of it. I believe that I have signified something of my own too, in my denim project I took an old pair of jeans and changed then in to a storage wall hanging and a mobile.
Also my second constellation study group linked in very well with my first one as we looked in to a wide range of different things like semiotic and understanding the langue of fashion. Looking at an image that can have a series of signs and meanings to it, really taking apart an image and looking in depth. For example, the context for the image, looking in to the time it was taken and how that can influence the image its self, everything can be taken apart and look into the reveal underlining and hidden messages.
Furthermore, another very interesting topic we touched on we sex sells, looking at how company as trying to sell their products through sexual imagery and connotations. This really made me rethink how I look at adverts as quite a few make them sexual to sell their product, and it’s not right because its showing people that it is okay to do these things they are suggesting in their imagery like gang rape.
Overall I believe that constellation has helped me out to think of thing differently, one image can have hundreds of underlining messages. Also where one thing is place can really change the whole concept and connotation to the thing. I will know think more about this in my own work as it can really effect the whole concept of one’s piece of work.
I found this lecture very interesting and it made me rethink how I look at advisements. The notion of sex sell is where the seller is trying to make us buy their product through using imagery that can be seen in a sexual way. Furthermore, most of these images objectify women, by degrading their status. Also the way some of these imageries have been portrayed is also like they are promoting that its okay for gang rape with is clearly not right.
This can be seen in Calvin Klein’s jean advert with Lara Stone were they are trying to us sell their jeans, however the way the photographer has got them to sit it looks like a gang rape, what annoys me is that when most people look at this they would think it is ok as they just see the image and think it maybe it looks a bit sexy, but the fact that the company is suggesting that these things are ok is wrong. One could also say that its putting ideas in to people head, and this is not something that we want.
Overall it has really made me look at advertisement in a different way and made me think if I really want to be buying their products if they think its okay to objectify people in this way.
I had a keynote lecture on Dr Martens Boots which really interested me, the fact that one object can be transformed and used for so many different reasons and for different target markets. Originally these boots where for workers, people that needed strong, hard wearing boots like postal workers, police officers etc. They didn’t start out as a fashion statement they were very anti fashion and they were only available in two colours.
However later down the line you have different youth subculture that have adopted the brand and some have even modified them. Skinhead in the 60s changed the colour of the laces and turned up their jeans so you could so the boot. Then in the 70s the punks adopted the boot as well and it goes on. This brand has been really clever, they have made they a blank canvas and it allows the buyer to make it self-fashioning, they can make it in to whatever they want. This really gets me thinking about my own work and how I could think about creating a piece of work that could be used in various different ways.
1943 — Teens Dressed in Zoot Suits — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS
I had a really interesting lecture on Zoot suits. Before today I didn’t really understand the connotations behind this symbolic suit. In the 40s young African-Americans men took the suit and re-signified it. The suit consisted of bright colours like lime green or canary yellow, an excessive amount of fabric and in this time period that was seen as a problem as with the second world war there came rationings and that included the rationings of fabric therefore it was effectively illegal to wear it. Therefore, these Afican-Amercians were flaunting the rationing regulations and basically saying that their government that they just don’t care.
Therefore, by choosing to wear the Zoot suit they are choosing to question America about why they can go to war and help other races but they are choosing to do nothing about the inhuman acts that have been committed to the blacks in its own country. So therefore its more than just a suit, its a way for them to rebel against the white American government.
The Hip Hop subculture style is all about materialism, you have to have branded thing and by having these branded things it signifies that you are successful. It is not about the function of one’s things it is all about how it looks, and by having these things it allows you to be considered part of a scene. After looking at this subculture it made me thing about what we are like today, and it is mostly the same, we as people care too much about materialised things and that it has to be branded and the actual function of the object doesn’t really matter. For example everyone wants Apple branded things however there are other things out there that do the same thing and maybe even perform better at a fraction of the cost.
In my study group for the next few weeks I am looking in to subcultures and street style. I will be looking at identity debates and how gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality and anti-establishment values are expressed visually. Also how do subcultures recycle style and material objects to generate new meanings.