Fashion, Futures and Filters – Condé Nast College Student Designs Instagram Filters for E-Commerce Brands
How a hobby evolved into a career trajectory, Alice Morey interviews fellow BA (Hons) Fashion Communication student, Lachlan (Lochie) Dix about designing filters for brands as well as digital fashion shows.
Amidst the navigation of the coronavirus pandemic, the fashion calendar got its very own digital reboot, to mitigate the cancellation of in-person fashion shows. This provided an opportunity for Creatives to take what had become second nature in the physical form and transform fashion into a virtual space. No stranger to fusing the physical with the digital is BA (Hons) Fashion Communication student Lachlan (Lochie) Dix. Here, we discuss how a hobby and the first prototype of an Instagram filter inspired his career plans post-Condé Nast College.
Detached from our usual setting of sitting around the tables in the break out areas of college in Soho, I sat down with Lochie over the now-familiar setting of a Zoom call. This seems only fitting for a creative who works two steps ahead, with a vision of the future that weaves disciplines together and oscillates between the physical and virtual realities. A week off of completing the degree I wonder what made Lochie come to study at CNC in the first place and how his experiences have informed his decisions and career goals.
Related content: New Online Course: Fashion & The Future of Brands
CNC Student Lochie Dix Designs Filters for Instagram
Studying a Two-year Intensive Degree in Fashion Communication
Looking back to the start of Lochie’s academic journey with the Condé Nast College, he explains what first brought him to the course, “The diversity of the course and the variety of the modules on offer appealed to me, which teach you so many different skills. The lecturers encourage you to independently learn and pick up new skills outside of the classroom environment. I never came from a design background, but I picked up all these design skills through being on this course. But also the rich history and links with Conde Nast, to the positioning in Soho everything made sense to me.”
The diversity of the modules of the purposefully broad two-year intensive degree programme allows students to explore different disciplines. Lochie explains which modules have spurred his creativity on… “The final project has given me full creative freedom and the entire final project is of my own design. That means a lot to me as it has given me a test ground to what I would like to pursue after college. It has been challenging and I have had to learn a lot of new skills, but I have enjoyed it.”
Digital Fashion Shows for the Future
Currently coming towards the end of his Independent Fashion Communication Project that will complete his degree, Lochie excitedly reveals what he is working on. “I am making a digital fashion show and a digital fashion show app. I have had to learn how to design a digital 3D fashion show which involves using Cinema 4D and Octane Render. Although I have learnt it in a short period of time, I am happy with the result and I am in my final editing stages of the moment”. It is evident that being on a two-year intensive degree course has prepared Lochie to be able to learn and apply a new skill in a short period of time.
When speaking about 3D runways it seems timely to be looking at them; notably with lockdown forcing fashion shows online. To be working on a project reflective of what is going on currently in industry is both topical and fascinating. Having studied alongside Lochie for two years, it is apparent that he has a flair for 3D design and a pioneering future-looking gaze in the style of his work.“I get inspiration from everything, I have a dynamic weltanschauung (a view of life) and I see inspiration and creativity from everyday things. Equally from scrolling through Instagram and finding new niche designers you can find creativity in everything. All of my work, design, and production is branded to me, which has helped me create a strong personal brand. Regardless of whether it is a marketing strategy document or designing a 3D fashion show”. When looking at Lochie’s creations, it is clear that there is a certain Lochie je ne sais quoi, which one can’t quite put their finger on, but when you see the work you instantly know it is his, but what is the essence? “I don’t know, I don’t think there is a whole aesthetic, but if you know me, you know it’s my work. A lot of it is black and always digital. I love to design digitally, even though it is a completely new skill I had to learn.”
Designing Filters for Instagram
With Statista reporting that most people spend an average of 144 minutes using social media platforms, and around 34 minutes of that time being spent on Instagram, Lochie’s penchant for designing filters seems quite an apt choice as a post-graduation career path. He explains how he came to start exploring how to design filters, “I picked them up quite early as part of my CIP [Collaborative Industry Project module for Coach]” “I designed a few filters for Coach, one was a Mars ball with the Coach logo which span around, this promoted an up and coming collaboration called Mars Rover Mission Project which has just launched.” To make the filters Lochie uses a wide variety of software including Adobe dimensions, Blender (for the 3D elements of the design) Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, and finally on Spark AR hub to code, before uploading onto Instagram and Facebook for approval.
“Interestingly there was a new Spark update last Wednesday and I learnt how to do it and uploaded two filters that day and since then I have been getting emails from different brands, é-commerce sites, and influencers to make filters for them”.
This is unsurprising for Lochie as someone who is able to manage the requirements of the degree and his projects simultaneously. Interestingly filters started out only as a hobby for Lochie and now it has evolved to be bigger.
360 Video, Immersive Video, AR & more
Being a graduate in 2020 amidst economic uncertainty and a global pandemic, no doubt casts a shadow over many, however, with the mounting awareness of new technologies and a new found love of filter creation at a time where social media is only growing, Lochie’s career aspirations look hopeful. “I have been thinking a lot, there are opportunities to work with brands or pursue further education for example an MA in Digital Direction at The Royal College of Art. This course is interesting as Digital Direction is relatively untouched and the course provides different opportunities to learn and utilise new ways of enhancing a digital experience. From 360o video to immersive video, if I can use what I am doing now digitally and learn those new skills, I think that would be a great course for me to join.”
Speaking with Lochie it is refreshing to hear how you can come onto a degree for one purpose and then stumble across a skill, which becomes a new passion. Lochie’s flexibility to be open to new opportunities has stood him in good stead. As he explains, “[It all] sparked in the last year and I have gone in a digital design direction, I design just on my phone whilst I am walking somewhere, everything is easy when it is digitally based and makes a process simpler.” Looking to the future and the possibilities for the fashion industry “I have learnt how to use CLO3D, a 3D digital clothing design and simulation software. If fashion brands were to apply this to their clothing structure it would reduce the timeframe from concept to final product as you can design digitally. It is [an] accurate fabrication which is definitely the future and I am pleased that I have that skill.”
Try out one of Lochie’s original filters via his Instagram page @lochie.dix or download the full range of filters via the NewLife.Ai app to discover this for yourself.
By Alice Morey
Images by Lochie Dix
What would the September issue of Vogue look like if Gen Z were in charge?