According to graphic designer Peter Saville, ‘fashion is a photograph’. Do you agree with his statement and, if this is the case, what is design?
If ‘fashion is a photograph’, then design is a master chef. The image of fashion is as much about the model as it is about the designer and the photograph – a snapshot in time captures the image of desire, not the detail. The chef brings together the right people, ingredients and atmosphere to create perfection. You can choose from the set menu or à la carte, and the price difference reflects the quality, taste, style and discernment. The great chefs survive by never failing to deliver quality while the amateurs go hungry. Bon appetit!
Glenn Tutssel, Executive creative director,The Brand Union
There was a time when what you wore was who you were. Social, political, art, music and literary tastes were apparent in style and poise, not to mention pose. Style was driven by a heady mix of individualism, ideology and angst. Fashion was divided into social layering that could create financial and moral conflicts (Punk, for example). Photography kept a record of such phenomena. From this point of view Peter Saville’s comment has validity. If fashion is a photograph, design may be a dream.
David Chaloner, Design consultant, Chaloner Studio
I agree. Fashion is a moment in time, so what better encapsulation? It could also be a quality statement, as only great photography truly reflects the brand – think Gucci under Tom Ford. Design as a thing? I do know great design should be simple enough to comm unicate without showing it. So, great design is… a phone call?
Greg Quinton, Creative partner, The Partners
I think the question needs to be put in context. Fashion is an image, but it’s also a moment in time, an inspiration. So perhaps the real question is, can fashion be captured, its essence trapped within a single format? One image? One photograph? No. Eighty years ago, Leon Bakst’s costume designs for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes became fashion. They inspired Coco Chanel to mix emeralds with sapphires, and Diana Vreeland to mix crimson with vermillion. Today, stores display catwalk fashion on video screens, possibly inspired by John Maeda’s computer imagery. I believe art is a prisoner of history. Today, I’m photographing a David Collins chair. Is it fashion, design or art? Perhaps only time will tell.
Laurie Haskell, Photographer, Laurence Haskell Photography