First Year Reflection

Friday, 17 July 2015

My first year of university is officially over, how crazy is that? I cannot quite believe where the time has gone. This week saw the results of my final module of FCP, which I can proudly say I passed with a 1st! To bring the academic year to a close, I thought it apt reflect on my FCP journey so far. You may remember my Stop, Start, Continue post from way back in January where I reflected upon my experience of the course so far, setting myself goals and aims to achieve within the next module. Let's see if I did so...

Firstly, I wanted to stop being so hard on myself. I knew this would be a difficult one, I put so much damn pressure on myself; which granted has its both ups and downs. However, I think I have certainly been a little kinder to myself and, instead of comparing myself to others, have celebrated just how much progress in the second module in the space of only a few months. I also wanted to start reading more and look for work experience. The latter was unfortunately not achieved, but I certainly have read more and made my way through the rather hefty reading list! However, my goal for this summer is to find myself some work experience for next semester, fingers crossed! Something which I also wanted to do was take more risks; I believe I did so within this last project considering just how different our brand and product was compared to others.

A priority for me was to also continue blogging, which I can confidently say is something I did. Sprucing up my blog design gave me drive and motivation to blog more regularly, something which I hope to continue throughout the summer and into the next semester. So, to round up the end of the module, our lecturers wanted us to answer a few questions to help make further progress;

Strengths: I believe my strengths is my strong written work and cohesive branding skills, both of which were praised within my recent feedback.

Improvements: Areas that I could improve on would be to make sure my ideas reach their full potential, pushing each one until it is great not good. 

Keeping the Spark Alive: This is an easy one. I am fortunate enough that my main passions and interests in life feed into my degree, therefore it would almost be impossible for me not to retain my interest in the fashion and creative world. I aim on maintaining this by hopefully visiting a few exhibitions this summer. 

Reaching Future Goals: Stay focused, don't be afraid to think big, take risks and welcome each and every opportunity with open arms. 

Brand Launch Presentation: Feedback

Monday, 11 May 2015

Today myself and my team presented our brand launch presentation for our fragrance project. Being the final presentation of the semester, not only was I super nervous, but extremely eager to create a professional and well put together presentation, which ecompassed our brand, and would create a lasting impression. 

Our overall feedback was extremely positive and we were praised for our considered and cohesive presentation layout which remained on brand throughout the entire presentation. The lecturers were also pleased to see our breadth of market research which informed our initial concepts, which we then narrowed down to form our 'big idea'. They also liked how we had justified each creative decision we made which we continually backed with evidence, linking with our initial research and consumer surveys. We were highly praised for our extremely well executed advertisement campaign which was described as both beautiful and professional. 

Areas were we told we could potentially improve on would be the Parisian-inspired element of our fragrance which they thought was perhaps a little unnecessary, or needed fully embedding into the story and heritage of our brand. It was also suggested that we push our idea further as it was said that our video campaign felt a little too typical for our demographic, when we in fact wanted to steer clear from this and convey rather the opposite of typical. 

However, all together I am extremely thrilled with the feedback given and relieved that all the time and hard work (and hours on Powerpoint and Photoshop) has truly paid off! 

Promotional Plan Layout Inspiration

Friday, 8 May 2015

Upon being set our promotional plan brief for our fragrance project this week, I decided to look for inspiration for potential layout ideas. Unlike our fragrance analysis, this brief does not require us to explicitly follow and mimic a specific magazine layout. Instead, our promotional plan leaves room for creative interpretation; to adapt certain layout styles to fit with our fragrance brand. It is also an excuse to go out and by a ton of new magazines and I'm certainly not one to complain about that.

Whilst searching Pinterest for inspiration I came across numerous images from lifestyle magazine, Kinfolk. I love their clean and simple layout which often features double page spreads dedicated to beautifully composed still life shots. This format will be extremely useful to fully showcase our advertisement campaign and our wealth of additional imagery. 

I was also taken by the design and layout of Darling magazine. Each issue has a very different layout structure, dependent on the article theme, but they are always carefully considered and image driven; favouring a more minimal approach much like Kinfolk magazine.

Lifestyle magazines have proven to be the most inspiring sources of inspiration which also coincides with our brand concept of offering women more than just a product, but rather a lifestyle. A more minimal design layout with feminine touches bodes well with our brand as a whole and provides a functional structure for my individual promotional plan.

Follow my board, Lovely Layouts, on Pinterest!
Follow my board, Lovely Layouts, on Pinterest.

Behind the Scenes Fragrance Campaign: Studio

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Here are some more behind the scenes photos from our fragrance campaign. Today myself and my team shot some additional images still life images within the photography studios at uni. The purpose of the shoot was to create a flat lay of natural objects which form the 'ingredients' and 'scents' within our fragrance. We didn't have very long in the studio with our photographer which meant we had to be super speedy with our arrangements! However, the whole process was extremely enjoyable and I'm thrilled with the outcome - time to start editing! 

Behind the Scenes Fragrance Campaign: Location

This week we shot our fragrance campaign on location at Wollaton Hall with our model. The Orangery made the perfect setting for our botanical and Parisian inspired shoot, which meant we were able to capture some beautiful images. So here are a few sneaky behind the scenes snapshots!

Creative Concept Presentation: Feedback

The feedback from our presentation about our creative concept for our photoshoot was really positive  (phew)! Our lecturers and peers said that they could clearly visualise our concept because of our mood boards, which outlined our ideas and inspirations, and agreed our concept would be suitable and compelling for out target consumer if executed successfully.

Other comments were that we should consider how our brand name could form the narrative of our campaign and it was suggested that we should incorporate the name "Antoine" to perhaps form a love interest with our protagonist. However, we feel that the notion of a love story would be a little dated and ageing, particularly for our more mature consumer as we want to eradicate the associations that are attached to this age group by creating a stylish and modern campaign.

Our brand name is more abstract, much like the Miller Harris brand, and we believe a physical manifestation of "Antoine" would not cohere with our brand values. "Antoine" is the name of a French botanist and the concept behind our fragrance is that it is influenced by the French botanical gardens and the rich history of classic French perfumery. Thus, "Antoine" is a more of a source of inspiration for our fragrance rather than 'the face' of the brand.

To justify our decision, we asked women who fit within our demographic their opinion on the name of our brand and if they found the concept confusing. All of the women interviewed said they liked the name and were more intrigued by the 'Parisian' aspect rather than the actual name itself. They also said that a campaign revolving around a love story would not appeal to them as most were unable to relate to this, preferring something more stylish and vibrant rather than romantic.

We also feel that a love story campaign would not distinguish our brand from any other fragrance brand already within the market. Instead, we want to offer women and escape to a stylish and chic lifestyle, promoting a sense of independence rather than romance and tradition. 

Fragrance Advertisement Analysis: Feedback

Last week I was given my marks back for a brief I completed before Easter, which required us to analyse a recent fragrance campaign of our choice, producing a 1, 000 word essay in the style of a magazine editorial. I love essay writing, as it has always been one of my strongest skills, so I really enjoyed this brief in particular. The overall feedback was really positive and I was commended for my articulate and authoritative writing, as well as my strong referencing.

It was also very encouraging to be praised for my software skills, despite having only been introduced to InDesign during the start of my second semester! The layout I designed was praised for its effectiveness and creativity, which was very much on brand for Vogue magazine – the magazine layout that I chose to emulate. 

Areas to improve on was my choice of cultural referencing as I missed out perhaps one of the most obvious being the Julia Roberts ‘Runaway Bride’ film, whoops! I think I was almost trying too hard to find historical references and disregarded those that were blindingly obvious! Had I explored the theme of the “runaway bride” within my essay, this would have added a little more depth as I found most of my references were a little tenuous due to the nature of the Dior advertisement.

It was also commented that I should reconsider the links I made with feminism, which I completely agree with. I focused on feminism within my essay as the director of the advertisement, Anton Corbijn, spoke greatly about this within interviews about the campaign and I thought it would perhaps give my essay a little more substance. On second thought, I should have instead explored the narrative class, control and expectation a little further. However, it is quite difficult to explore all of these themes in such a small word limit.

Following on from my feedback, I shall make the suggested improvements to my essay and attempt to keep the word count down! I shall also be sure to continue my strong style of writing and layout skills, particularly within my forthcoming 3, 000 word promotional plan. 

What's Your Mood?

Friday, 17 April 2015

Within our fragrance project team, we have started to assemble mood boards of inspiration for our advertising campaign. We have been creating individual boards based on potential ideas for location, lighting, composition/crop, model and styling by compiling together tear sheets, key words and colour schemes. 

My Little Dream Box - April

I always get super excited for the delivery of My Little Box each month, with each box packed full of make-up goodies and adorable little treats and trinkets. The theme for April was "dream"; an encouragement to set ourselves goals in order to achieve our dreams and ambitions.  

This month's beauty treats had a certain Spring-like/rejuvenation feel to them and I'm all for that! Inside the quaint little canvas bag was the Cowshed Wild Cow Invigorating body lotion which contains lemongrass and ginger and smells divine! Also, there was a deeply nourishing hair mask from My Little Beauty which gives a boost to dry and damaged hair - exactly what I need from a hair mask! And finally, I received the Loved by Lou Lesage rouge balm. 

April's My Little Box also came with an adorable stamper which features sayings such as "To do" and "Today I". This will be perfect to use in my Kate Spade agenda to help me organise my day! 

And finally, inside this super cute cloud parcel was an engraved necklace by jewellery designer Delphine Pariente, which says, "Bonne ├ętoile" meaning "lucky star". 

Once again another beautiful My Little Box and, as always, I cannot wait to find out what next month's box has to offer!

The Burberry Beauty Box Experience

During last week's trip to London I couldn't resist a stop-off at the Burberry Beauty Box in Covent Garden. Burberry is one of few beauty brands I have not forayed into, mainly due to the fact it is only stocked in London department stores and online; but word on the street is that the brand is soon to be making an appearance into Boots and Debenhams counters, hurrah! I have one of the Burberry Lip Glow glosses which I adore, so if that was anything to go by, I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. So, half an hour and a glass of champagne later, I left one very happy lady with a bag full of new make-up goodies! 

I was greeted by the loveliest make-up artist, Patrice, who was just an absolute babe! My foundation and skin in general that day was looking pretty rubbish so, as I'd heard wonderful things about the Burberry foundation, I was eager to try something new! The wonder woman that is Patrice sat me down and removed all of my cakey make-up and instead left me with a glowy, dewy and flawless base! 

She mixed the Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base in Nude Radiance with a moisturiser and applied this liberally onto my face, resulting in a beautiful radiant glow. She then went in with the Fresh Glow Foundation, a light to medium coverage foundation which left my skin super glowy and hydrated. Patrice finished off my base with a light dusting of the Nude Powder. I couldn't believe how luminous and flawless my skin looked, considering she hadn't even used any concealer! 

As well as the face products, I picked up one of the new Burberry Kisses Lipstick in Rose Pink, a beautiful muted, natural pink in a satin finish. I also went away with a handful of samples and a yearning for more Burberry make-up! 

The Big Idea

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The 'big idea' for our fragrance campaign is escapism. We want our consumer to defy the conventions of their age by offering them an escape to a life of Parisian chic and luxury. In keeping with the concept of our fragrance originating from the botanical gardens of France, we are keen to use this element within our campaign and have been inspired by the idea of secret gardens with a distinct Parisian flair. We want our campaign to be spirited but still sophisticated by incorporating the notion of Parisian chic, embodied by icons such as Ines de la Fressenage - our ideal consumer.