My Little Box February 2015

Friday, 27 February 2015

Confession time: despite being a major beauty junkie, I have never jumped on the monthly beauty box bandwagon. Don't get me wrong, I've been very close to signing up to the likes of Glossybox on numerous occasions but was always a little hesitant. Most beauty boxes are a little hit and miss; some products inside might be great and others a little disappointing and did I really want to spend money on a box filled with products that were just "eh". But of course, I wanted the thrill of a goody box arriving at my door each month! This is where My Little Box comes in! 

I had never come across My Little Box before, or even heard of them, until my Mum had spotted their Instagram page (props to you Mum). I visited the brand's website and just loved everything about them! My Little Box is a handpicked box filled with fashion, beauty and lifestyle surprises. Every box is based around a different theme each month and contains the brand's magazine (My Little World), French make-up goodies *insert heart-eyed emoji*, including the brand's own in-house beauty range (My Little Beauty), as well as fashion and lifestyle surprises, all wrapped up beautifully! I thought their concept for a monthly subscription box that wasn't just beauty-related was so unique (and I'm a sucker for all things cute and French), so I just had to subscribe! 

Needless to say, I was super excited when my first box arrived yesterday! This month's theme was 'Frenchie':
My top pick from this month's box would have to be the By Terry Terribly Khol Eye Pencil, I nearly squealed with excitement when I saw it! The pencil itself is incredibly creamy and the colour is beautiful shimmery bronze. 

Will you be subscribing to My Little Box?

Collaborations Loves and Hates

Collaboration is an integral part of any industry, in particular the fashion industry. After a recent lecture all about collaborations and endorsements, here is a run down of my loves and hates.

When it comes to collaborations, MAC have this art down to a tee. As well as their on-trend seasonal collections, the brand are constantly collaborating with a myriad of brands throughout the year, producing innovative and fun limited edition collections. My personal favourites include their collaborations with Hello Kitty, Barbie, Disney Villains and their up and coming Cinderella collection set to be released next month. Their collaborations are always hyped up prior to their release by eager beauty bloggers, resulting in sell-out collections.  

Alexander McQueen & Damien Hirst:
Two icons of British fashion and art, a match made in heaven! In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the iconic McQueen skull scarf, McQueen and Hurst came together to produce 30 unique designs of the scarf. The designs incorporated Hirst's 'Entomology' series of kaleidoscopic butterfiles and bugs reworked to recreate the McQueen skull motif. The result was visually stunning and demonstrates that in order to create a successful collaboration "like" must meet "like"; in this case, the coming together of Britain's most innovative individuals within the arts and fashion industry. 

H&M and Every Designer Brand Under the Sun: 
How many designer collaborations have there been with H&M? Too many in my opinion - H&M collaborations with high-end designers have now become a bit of a novelty. Some of the brand's earlier collaborations certainly worked well, like the Lanvin Hearts H&M collection which bought Lanvin's whimsical designs to the masses for a slightly more affordable price - likewise with the Viktor & Rolf collection. However, as H&M continues to mechanically churn out these designer collaborations, each feels a little more uninteresting than the next and we are essentially left with cheap copies of designer pieces (Versace for H&M *cough cough*), when these collections should be a manifestation of a genuine creative collaboration and process, combining each parties best attributes. 

Kate Moss for Topshop
I sit on the fence with this one. I have to admit I have not purchased anything from any of the Kate Moss for Topshop collections over the past seven years despite Topshop being one of my favourite high-street brands and Kate being one of my all time favourite models, so what's not to love? Well, firstly the price. I felt as though the pieces were extremely overpriced, given they were no better quality than what you'd usually pay for at Topshop. Secondly, until her most recent collaboration with the brand last year, I was uninterested in any of the earlier collections and felt there was nothing really special or very 'Kate' about them. Although Topshop instead that it was very much a creative collaboration with the model and that she had a great deal of input in creating the designs, I struggle to believe this and feel as though she was more of a celebrity endorsement, rather than a collaboration. 

Fragrance Trend Forecast

As part of our fragrance project, we were required to produce a trend booklet, identifying future trends within fragrance advertising and packaging. Within our seminar groups we critiqued each others work against the mark scheme and voted for an overall winner. To my surprise (and delight), my booklet was chosen as the winner! 

Whilst creating my booklet, I was extremely worried it would not look professional enough as this was my first encounter with the software InDesign - but apparently I shouldn't have been so worried! I have learnt from this exercise not to worry so much and be too critical of my work. It's very easy to put down your own work and pick faults with it, especially when you are an inexperienced designer, but I need to keep in my mind that this first year  is a learning curb and each project is opportunity to practise and harness my software and design skills.  

I found comments and criticisms from others particularly useful too as a pair of fresh eyes looking at your work can see improvements which could be made that you wouldn't have thought of yourself. It was also helpful in gaining more of an understanding of the mark scheme. As the module is marked holistically, your work needs to tick all the boxes; it's not good if it is just visually appealing, the content needs to be there too. 

You can view my booklet in full here

Fragrance Advertisement Trends

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

In commencement of starting our new ‘fragrance-based’ module, we looked at common themes within fragrance advertisements: Seduction and Sensuality, Purity and Honesty, Tradition and Heritage and Humour and Kitsch. Although this is not a definitive list, most fragrance advertisements can be categorised into one of these themes.

Seduction and Sensuality:
Passion, forbidden, seduction, exoticism are also associated with this theme. These advertisements often exploit rich, jewel-like colour schemes such as red, purple, midnight blue and emerald. Designers such as Tom Ford, Yves Saint Laurent and Stella McCartney often present this theme in their advertisements.

Purity & Honesty:
These types of advertisements present authentic, spiritual and natural themes, often in pastoral settings and using colours such as white, grey, blue and green. Examples of this can be found in advertisements from Narciso Rodriguez, the Marc Jacobs Daisy collection and Issey Miyake.

Tradition and Heritage:
These advertisements make use of romance and nostalgia, hammering home the brand’s heritage and sense of ‘class’, adopting pastel or monochromatic colour schemes, often with the incorporation of gold. Chanel, Dior, Estee Lauder, Dolce & Gabbana’s advertisements are infamous for this.

Humour and Kitsch:
Advertisements in this category make use of camp, wit, irony and theatrical elements, often using bright and whimsical colours. Anna Sui, Prada, Jean Paul Gaultier and Moschino advertisements can be described as both intentionally humorous and kitsch.