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12-09-2017
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The Problem With ‘Full Look’ Styling in Fashion Magazines
Not exactly a blinding revelation to most of us on here, but nevertheless interesting!

Quote:
The Problem With ‘Full Look’ Styling in Fashion Magazines

As fashion titles face increasing pressure from brands to show clothes exactly as they appeared on the runway, the editorial shoot has become less about consumer inspiration and more of a controlled marketing play.

By Osman Ahmed
August 28, 2017 05:23

LONDON, United Kingdom — Once upon a time, stylists — or sittings editors, as they were once known — were largely anonymous figures gathering together the best clothes from the latest collections and artfully composing looks to be shot for glossy magazines.

Today, fashion stylists are more visible than ever and the profession has become highly desirable for a younger generation that is more informed than ever about the inner workings of the industry. But as fashion publishers become more heavily dependent on advertisers, the nature of the profession is changing. This change is most visible in terms of the restrictions placed upon stylists by fashion brands to only feature “full looks” from a given collection.

“I definitely feel that it’s become more common in the past couple of years,” says one established stylist, speaking on condition of anonymity, who started out by assisting top-tier figures and has six years’ experience working on editorial shoots. “It’s been specifically noticeable when a house takes on a new creative director, and the style of the brand is being redeveloped or fully changed. It does really affect the job. Either one really needs to find a look in the collection that loosely works with the theme of the shoot — this especially comes across when shooting advertisers — or it might even restrict the photographer, forcing one to shoot it only partially as a portrait or detail shot.”

You’re not a good stylist if you do full looks — you’re a dresser.

Certainly, the brands that hold the most sway over how their collections are styled for editorial are those with hefty advertising budgets, and this power proves particularly valuable when a new brand aesthetic is being established.

Of all the fashion houses to issue styling diktats to fashion magazines — including major labels like Saint Laurent, Céline, Christian Dior, Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton — Calvin Klein, it appears, is currently the most demanding. With Raf Simons in place as its recently appointed chief creative officer, the New York-based brand is keen to cement the Belgian designer’s vision for the brand by issuing stern commandments for editors. The rule is that any items from Simons’ debut ready-to-wear collection (Autumn/Winter 2017) must be photographed as a full catwalk look, not styled with any other brands (even non-branded apparel and vintage clothing) or even items from other looks from the same catwalk collection. Even accessories must not be worn with any other piece of clothing: the brand will provide a nude nylon bodysuit to accompany a pair of boots. Essentially, the clothes shouldn’t be styled at all, but merely placed on the model as seen on the runway and in the brand’s advertising campaigns.

“A full look gives a stronger message,” says a senior fashion publicist, also speaking anonymously. “With a new creative director, a change in aesthetic means that you can define what the look is and it boils down to having a very clear vision and a purer communication of it.” From a publicist’s point of view, there’s also the logistics benefit of sending each complete look as a package. “A look will go from shoot to shoot,” the publicist explains. “If you split a look up, it becomes fragmented. When it’s [sent out and photographed] as a full look, it’s not split up between five different shoots around the world.”

This new normal in fashion photography has left many stylists frustrated, however. “You’re not a good stylist if you do full looks — you’re a dresser,” asserts Alexandra Carl, fashion director of Rika, a biannual style title, who has also contributed to W and Vogue Italia. “It takes away the creativity and kills the inspiration because it’s so heavily controlled. How am I or a photographer going to make a stamp on it?” As an independent title, Carl says that the pressure from advertisers on Rika is not as strong as when she works on mainstream publications. “People should look at the credits and be surprised,” she says. “The Balenciaga collection is already beautiful, so it’s not difficult to make it look good as it is. It’s much harder to mix in commercial pieces and make it look cool.”

I have to explain to people, ‘This shoe is the reason we’re on this shoot. It's paying for the shoot.

On the other hand, some argue that a seasoned stylist can and should work within the parameters of such restrictions and produce inspiring imagery regardless of pressure from all-important advertiser brands. “When you work editorially, you get a list of advertisers and that has been going on for a really long time — I was a baby at Bazaar when I got that list,” Melanie Ward told BoF earlier this year. “I have to explain to people, ‘This shoe is the reason we’re on this shoot. It's paying for the shoot, so it’s up to us to just take a beautiful picture with this shoe and see the character and imagine her wearing the shoe and she has to own the shoe.’ You have to rise to the challenge and not be negative about everything. Take it as a positive challenge!”

The heavily controlled restrictions placed upon traditional magazines have coincided with the rise of social media and a surge of more relatable imagery from personal style bloggers and influencers, who mix high street brands with high-end labels and profit from lucrative affiliate partnerships with multi-brand e-commerce sites. “[It] can be traced back to ‘real people’ wanting to see fashion clothes worn in real life,” says Camille Charričre, who began her personal style blog, Camille Over the Rainbow, in 2010 and now has over half a million followers on Instagram. “If magazines refuse to mix the high and the low, or at least all the high together, I do think that could explain why people would be less interested in buying into that type of content as its too contrived to reflect the way we consume fashion nowadays.” She adds that stylists should be able to work with creative autonomy and that when editorials resemble “marketing tools” it is “something that millennials, in particular, are simply not interested in.”

Do style bloggers and influencers face the same pressure from brands to wear ‘full looks’? “All the time,” says Charričre. “But I simply refuse to work under those conditions, as it's not doing anyone any favours. It’s not what my audience wants to see and by agreeing I wouldn’t be doing the brand any service either. The most important thing is to stick to your own voice. Brands will just have to learn to trust us, as we do them.”

For a new generation of creatives, single-look styling can also have negative financial repercussions. “A lot of the time, when you’re shooting an editorial as a young creative, there’s very little budget or none at all,” says London-based photographer Daisy Walker. “You’re basically shooting for free to advertise yourself and the advertisers are dictating to magazines, who are then dictating to [creatives].” The result, she says, is that the images end up looking nothing like the original pitch and the creatives involved are left with a portfolio that is not a true representation of their talent.

As the aforementioned anonymous stylist notes: “Ironically, one gets paid to style a campaign, or even an advertorial, where full looks are naturally being shot, so shooting full looks due to a policy in an average editorial isn’t far from doing commercial work for the brand, but without a fee.”

Updated 6:40pm GMT on 28 August 2017: A representative for Saint Laurent has denied the brand demands "full look" styling from editors, saying it doesn't require full looks exactly as shown on the runway and allows accessories of other brands to be styled with its ready-to-wear products.
Source: Business of Fashion

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12-09-2017
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I've always find that ridiculous but my only issue with that has to do with big brands. Like, if you have the power of Vuitton, you can buy all the covers of the world and suddenly, we have (like every season) the same look on the campaign, on the show and on the usual Vuitton girls in every magazine around.

I remember 5 years ago, an Italian brand ( i don't remember if it was Prada or Dolce & Gabbana) who said to editors and stylist that they didn't want their clothes to be styled with brands that are not "big luxury brands". So they basically didn't allowed stylist to style their clothes with brands other than Chanel, Dior, Vuitton, Givenchy etc.

Kudos to the designers and brands that are not into that full look policy.

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12-09-2017
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I'm reading the bit about Calvin Klein and while it makes sense, I'm left wondering how exactly houses cemented their vision in the past? It ultimately boils down to money yet again. Wouldn't be surprised if this was a directive from Raf. It reeks of his egotistical machinations.

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It's such a turn-off. Not a wise business move at all.

Of course the always insufferable Raf would be the one that’s at the forefront of such a demand… and LOL at SL insisting that they don’t practice such a business move: Accessories are allowed LOOOOL

Thanks Benn

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Quote:
At Magazines, Even the Cover Is For Sale

As the shift to digital eats into print advertising revenues, more magazines are doing what was once unthinkable: turning their front covers into advertising.

By Sarah Shannon
October 12, 2017 13:08

LONDON, United Kingdom — The latest cover of Dazed & Confused shows Adwoa Aboah in a single-brand look: a Burberry check cap and similarly patterned plastic, hooded cagoule, both straight off the brand’s catwalk. Similarly, one of the fours covers of the Autumn/Winter 2018 issue of sister publication AnOther features a suited model in head-to-toe Gucci.

Burberry and Gucci declined to comment, as did Dazed Media, the independent publisher of both magazines. But both covers appear to have been paid advertisements, sold as part of wider partnership packages.

It wouldn’t be the first example of fashion magazines doing what was once unthinkable: turning their front covers into ads. As far back as 2014 major publishing companies from Time Inc to Hearst Magazines have been experimenting with cover advertisements.

While these placements rarely appear on standard rate cards, they do command a “significant premium” over other high profile advertising placements like the back cover and the page opposite the table of contents, according to Duncan Chater, chief brand officer at Hearst Magazines UK.

One magazine that took the plunge early was Hearst title Marie Claire (US) which, in 2014, featured a special denim zipper subscribers-only cover as part of an advertising partnership with Guess. Readers were enticed to pull open a paper zipper to reveal the magazine’s cover, as well as the Guess logo on the inside panels of the exterior sleeve.

Hearst has also been working with big advertisers in the UK, like Samsung, to produce tailor-made cover ads. The cover of the August 2015 issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK featured a paid-for image of a model holding a Samsung Galaxy S6 edge phone (the cover story discussed the rise of technology in the fashion front row). Thanks to the unconventional ad, the issue was the most “commercially successful” issue of the year, according to Chater.

As advertisers follow consumers online, reallocating more and more of their advertising budgets to digital, print magazines are under pressure to perform. PwC forecasts consumer magazine revenues from print advertising will decline to 6.7 billion in the US by 2021, down from 13.6 billion in 2012.

Long-Term Risk


But covers ads, while lucrative, come with risk to editorial integrity and the long-term brand equity of media titles. “In the past it has been a real taboo,” says Chater. “That said, as a company, we want to be really brave, we’re always looking for things to do differently. What we don’t want to do is damage our brand integrity, we need to keep the environment right and real for our readers,” he adds, adding the Samsung placement was “subtle.”

“This would’ve been unthinkable a number of years ago but it’s become such a lucrative option and clearly a very potent one from the perspective of the advertisers to be so visible and so memorable,” says Douglas McCabe, chief executive of Enders Analysis, a media research group.

“There is a long-term risk to these things, the independence of the media brand is more likely to be tarnished even if subliminally consumers associate media brands with advertising,” he continues. “In many ways the media brands in a position not to do that, and invest in their independence, will do better in the long term.”

“It is innovative but what it tells you is, in order to sustain business to business advertising, they are having to make sacrifices and difficult decisions.”
Source: Businessoffashion.com

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4 Weeks Ago
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I'm so indifferent to so many of these rags nowadays, that at this point-- I’m expecting just a bag and a pair of shoes from the highest bigger on some of these covers.

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It's clear that US Bazaar sold out some time ago.

Perhaps the way I buy and mix items is atypical ... but probably not. I occasionally find myself wearing a favorite designer head to toe, but the items were never 'a look' until I put them together. Much more usual is a high-low mix where most items are from different labels. And that's what I'm interested in seeing editorially. Why would I want a repeat of what I've already seen on the runway and in ads? To me it makes so much more sense to allow editors to do their thing, and show the pieces in a fresh and imaginative way that will inspire people differently than what the brand's stylists have already done and showed everyone. If you just repeat that, it could be seen as reinforcing, or it could be seen as stale and boring.

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The last article might try to present the concept of covers paid for by advertisers as a big novelty, but I'm convinced that throughout the 90's and 00's Vogue Italia had package deals with all their big Italian advertisers. Year in and year out January was Versace, February was Blumarine, March was Dolce & Gabbana etc. Same cover rotation for more than 10-15 years. They must have made it part of the advertising package deal. So this concept is obviosuly not new, it's just that now magazine publishers admit it unabashedly, dying magazine industry and all.

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