This year we’re sponsoring the all-new Fashion Styling & Creative Direction Award, where one lucky winner from a 12 student shortlist will be selected by our size? panel to win a cash prize. Before the winner is announced, we’ve taken a snapshot of each entry’s portfolio to show you why they stood out from the crowd…
“Aoife Malone’s work is inspired by her heritage and upbringing in Belfast in the aftermath of the ‘Troubles’. Through fashion photography and styling, her work explores the current politics and contemporary issues that still affect young people living in Northern Ireland. The photography explores key issues that in her opinion are preventing Northern Ireland from becoming a progressive society, including attitudes towards abortion, same-sex marriage, loyalist marches, segregated schooling and punishment beatings.”
“My work is inspired by my culture, coming from Northern Ireland, facing traditional constraints when it comes to expression and presenting this concept through visual elements. I like looking into conformity, masked identity and societal pressures we face, aiming to create a conversation through styling and creative direction. I create imagery that presents a sense of innocence and vulnerability, as well as making the viewer feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed, ultimately aiming to make the reader create an attachment to the image that I have created”.
“My approach draws heavily from male identities and masculine ideals, reshaping and rebranding them in an unorthodox fashion. I experiment with traditional archetypes and champion more alternative and camp aesthetics. A great deal of my visual inspiration comes from the many subcultures and alternative social clusters present throughout our history from Oscar Wilde’s 18th-century Dandies to Michael Alig’s 90’s Club Kids. Whilst “gender-bending” aesthetics are a key focal point and passion of mine, I have also varied my ability working with streetwear and ready-to-wear trends, diversifying my skill set and portfolio”.
“This portfolio displays a series of selected imagery from my final major project. The outcome is an independent biannual fashion, food, culture, art and music publication named Oaf. The first issue focuses on the beauty of chaos through both written and visual content. I have chosen a selection of imagery from five fashion editorials featured in Oaf, which I feel reflect key issues and narratives successfully. Oaf’s fashion editorials aim to challenge the typical conventions that surround fashion imaging through boundary-pushing and conceptual ideas, highlighted through the photography, styling and creative direction.”
“Throughout my work, there are constant references back to past decades such as the ’60s and ’70s, I address deeper issues within my work, while still portraying the juxtaposition of a sunny outlook through my use of bright pastel colours within the styling and set design. For instance in my ‘golden age of flying’ project, I explored the on and off duty sides of the 60’s air hostess; beforehand I researched the extreme recruitment and working conditions the air hostesses were put through and portrayed this through a satirical viewpoint, showing how the pressure of what was expected from the luxury service the on-duty air hostess was expected to meet, could lead to within the off duty air hostesses own time. The concepts which I am exploring are inventive and unconventional, therefore, I enjoy seeing people’s reactions when they view it.”
“The entry of shoots I have produced for the Fashion Styling & Creative Direction Award are a collection of conceptual zines reacting to upcoming trends for Generation Z creatives under my FMP brand; ‘curate.’ ‘curate’ is a trend forecasting platform focused on exploring & forecasting significant future trends amongst our target consumer – Generation Z creatives. Utilising methods of creative direction & styling, the editorial stories produced to create a visual & conceptual view of the curate forecasts.”