May 31, 2014

Constructed?



Is fashion constructed? Is it authoritative?
Some general thoughts have popped up in my mind about this whole ongoing life.
As i see in this modern age, people tend to be very fashionable and the market flows very quickly, that’s great. But the thing is, why do they tend to be very alike? What form of “power” controls these trends? Who defines “good fashion”?
Well we know that fashion & style is a part of the concrete, tangible, complicated and symbolic process of forming the self, identity, and social relations of a person (this was generalized by the famous quote “you are what you wear”). But can it also be twisted around that fashion itself is also constructed by some “power” that has the ability to do so?
  
GAP top // Handmade batik skirt // Forever21 headpiece // Pull&Bear mini sling bag // Nine West pumps



I can somehow relate all of these self made questions to a communication theory called the symbolic interaction theory (i just love how all the things i’m learning in my major can be related to so many things in life). It is stated that social reality is constructed, where reality is a collective hunch. How does a person know if they’re funny or not? Sometimes you don’t know, sometimes you go through life suspecting you are but never really knowing for sure, or sometimes you know for sure because so many people telling so. If i replace the question with fashion, how do you know whether a fashion trend, collection, even style is good or not? Well, i generally conclude that the way you define it is a reflection by how others define it, you know for sure because so many people telling so, a collective hunch. So does this mean that there was never an objective line that defines good and bad fashion? And this was all socially constructed?

 If fashion was a “governance” will it be authoritative? Who runs it? I believe, the media. Internet is also the media, a form of new media. Powerful media controls the fashion cycle itself, the trends and those who define “good fashion”. From an assumption of media ecology, it is believed that media has the power to form our point of view about the world, it constructs our minds. So no wonder that people tend to “accept”, “agree” and “follow” the fashion contents in fashion magazines and other form of fashion medias. Have you ever wondered why a fashion statement could become so trendy but actually  there’s nothing special about it, but so many people somehow wears it, and probably you somehow starts to wear it too? Well that’s the power of media, and the power of a collective hunch. That is what drives the market and creates similarity in every store. In the end, the alternatives are not diverse. So unconsciously, our “freedom of choice” is limited by this phenomenon and our picks are driven by the trends.

Well i see this whole phenomena as something really cool though. That well, we have to admit that we fashion enthusiast are unconsciously being the "puppets" of media. Somehow this is natural, because 90% of human behaviors and actions are actually done unconsciously. So it's just as same as being humans :)

May 20, 2014

The treasure hunt

I see vintage advertisements as an art piece. In the old times, advertisements were done manually, with hands, ink, and paper. So that is why i highly appreciate them. The ads tend to be full with illustrations & words which makes it more upfront and explicit. That is why it's always fun to pay attention to a single old ad. It's just like reading out of a story book. The other extra factor that grabbed my heart is that "happiness" and "funny" feeling they try to channel through the illustrations.The characters were always illustrated in a happy gesture, as if it pictures how they felt with the brand.

I do remember my dad getting home bringing some framed old ads. I couldn't remember where he got it because it was a pretty long time ago. From that moment, i realized that a piece of ad was highly appreciated and turns out to be a form of everlasting art. 
Ads these days tend to turn 180 degrees, where the great ads are actually the simple implicit ones. While the highly animated colorful ads with taglines that kinda sounds like "hungry? eat me!" or "use me to be pretty" ends up to be just an ad. I don't think i'll have the idea to hang them up on my walls. 
But the digital advertising era tend to also wow me. I guess it's more challenging to control technology rather than controlling your own hands. I was highly grateful that i have been "investing" some technology skills (read: photoshop skills) way before it hit me, realizing me that this skill will somehow become handy.
I try to upgrade them by learning more, from some of the experts. The more i learn, the more challenging it gets.
Nowadays, people were made to "think more". It is clearly seen in how great ads were made. The simpler and the more implicit an ad gets, the greater it is. And that drives people to think more. The complexity of an ad is not formed in its visualization anymore, but in its un-visualizedd message (that we have to figure out ourselves) and the whole process of creating the ad itself. So it's just like a treasure hunt game!

 Esprit turtle neck top // Martiga floral shorts // Dnc Hologram shoes // Hens Necklace // Vintage hat // Vintage bag

Speaking of treasure hunt, this whole old books setting reminds me of a library scene in the National Treasure movie! I really fascinate super old architectures and interiors, just like old library buildings.The dull colors combination of the books are just so... genuine. The victorian era inspired carves, the cracking sound of old wooden floor, the smell and texture of old lusty books, and the silence that deepens our minds into the books.
I don't know why i adore the atmosphere and objects of old eras so much. Perhaps because it was so different than all of these modern technologies i "eat" everyday that makes it very peculiar. That's it, peculiar.

May 15, 2014

Photoshop Tutorial: The Futuristic Blend

 Let's get this thing started!

Step 1: Open the file. I reccomend you to open a file with only 1 photo object, as an example, a person.

Step 2: Duplicate the layer (Right click --> Duplicate)




Step 3: Use the Magic Wand Tool (W) to click the white background of the first layer. Then Select --> Inverse (Shft+Ctrl+I). Use the Move tool (V) to drag the object to the copied layer. Place it exactly on top of the same picture.


Step 4: Click on the background --> delete layer



Step 5: Duplicate the layer twice. Then you’ll have 3 no background-ed layers


Step 6: Let’s start with the first layer. We’re going to change the foreground colors into purple and white. There should be 2 color boxes, change one into purple (or any color you want), and the other one to white just by clicking each box. Then OK


Step 7: Click on the “Create new fill or adjustment layer” --> Gradient Map --> OK. Then type Ctrl+Shft+E to blend the gradient map with the object


Step 8: Do the EXACT same steps to the 2nd layer. Except this time, the color should be orange and white (or any different color you want)


Step 9: Now drag the 1st & 2nd layer to the 3rd layer (The un-edited no background-ed layer) with the Move Tool (V). The purple colored layer should be below the orange colored layer. Position it in a mixed order to create the effect. I’m going to rename it 1,2, and 3 to make it easier


Step 10: We’re going to change to change some things to create the effect. 
“1” should be set its Opacity to 71%.
 “2” should be set its Opacity to 78%. 
And “3” should be set to “Color”


Step 11: Click the Ellipse Tool (U) to create an ellipse. Set the color to orange (The orange color should be the same as the orange object). Then use the Move Tool (V) to place it below “1”.


Step 12: Use the Eraser Tool (E) and set the brush hardness to 0%. 
Then click on the ellipse --> OK. 
Start erasing the edges of the ellipse. This part might be tricky to get the perfect round shape. 
Also erase a little bottom part of “2” to create a blending effect


Step 13: Click the Horizontal Type Tool (T) to create the text. Here, i used the “DIN BLACK” font. 
Then use the Move Tool (V) to place it above “3”. Then change it into Soft Light


VOILA!