Bridge I: Part II: “What If”

For the second part of our first Studio Bridge project we were instructed to chose an image that we thought was visually interesting that related to our overall theme, and then interpret it. My theme is Identity, and I found the following Balenciaga campaign image to be visually appealing.

After partnering up with Hayley from class, we discussed this image and asked “What If” questions… What if this image was in a different setting? What if this image was more accessible? What if the branding was removed?

I was really intrigued by the idea of accessibility in relation to fashion and ad campaigns after focusing some time on this image. It got me thinking about the relationship between the visually impaired and self-expression through fashion and how they interact with ads and clothing. For the project I ended up styling, photographing, and graphically composing a Prada print ad campaign that was entirely translated to braille.

1. What is the content of your artwork and how does it relate to your theme?

Originally my goal was to recreate the ad campaign and incorporate braille descriptions of the clothing and the image; however, when I met up with my friend I realized that the images we created didn’t really fit the Balenciaga aesthetic. I felt inspired by the Prada Eyewear campaign when directing my photos. This all relates to my theme as fashion is a huge part of identity and self expression. I never realized that in my entire design-obsessed life I have yet to come across a fashion ad campaign—let alone any ad—that is accessible for the visually impaired.

2. How does the material you used reinforce or strengthen the thematic content of your artwork?

I created the images to support my idea. When photographing this campaign I took into consideration that I needed enough negative space to include embossed braille in the ad. I think that I created a bold statement that backs up the fact that fashion advertising needs to diversify even further then it has been.

3. If your artwork is to be placed into the general circulation of Visual Culture, where would it go, what would it do, who would see it and where might it end up?

I would love to see real-life advertisements in magazines (for starters) to incorporate braille within their photographs to further communicate fashion.

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