Statement of intent

The world of fashion appears to be one of glamour, sparkle and riches. The supermodels are glamorous, the clothes sparkle and there are riches to be made as a result of strong advertising campaigns – advertisements designed to make us believe that we can look like Natalie Portman or Michael Pitt simply by buying Dior perfume or Armani suits. Although at first glance, these advertisements seem sophisticated and complex – strategically designed, carefully stage-managed and photographically perfect – when analysed more closely, the adverts take us from a rational world into an absurd one and from reality into Baudrillard’s notion of “hyperreal” modernity where ‘the medium has used its technical capacities to appear more true-to-life than the objects and/or subjects it purports to represent’ (Detrix, 2008: 22).

The project aims to highlight this “hyperreal modernity” through a series of images which were created by asking ordinary people to emulate or react to the eye-catching scenarios as found in shop windows and on the advertising hoardings. The resulting images highlight that the visual stimuli, attendant in the fashion industry are larger than life, and bordering on the absurd.

The transient nature of this season’s fashion is emphasised by the choice of editing the photographic images in the style of Polaroid snapshots. This underlines that they are ‘of the moment’, which ironically resonates with the fashion photography set-ups in the pre-digital days.