Discover what it’s really like to study with the Condé Nast College online with Hannah Tappin’s Fashion & Image Online Course Review to get the inside scoop.
I chose to study the Fashion & Image Course the day after completing my final year University exams. I was keen to learn more about the Condé Nast empire, which I would love to work for in the future. Specifically, Fashion & Image gave the opportunity to delve into the production behind iconic fashion imagery, which I have been mesmerised and fascinated by for years!
The Historical Origins of Fashion, Imagery and Culture
The first week of the Fashion & Image online course saw British Vogue’s former Art Coordinator, Ben Evans, exploring Vogue through the decades, transporting us to the heart of fashion and culture within each period. It enabled us to familiarise ourselves with renowned fashion photographers and their work, illustration imagery and how it has evolved over time.
During the first week we deconstructed the stylistic differences between iconic photographers, which were heavily influenced by wider culture. Spanning the nineties supermodel Vogue covers by Peter Lindbergh, to the androgynous, enigmatic work of Helmut Newton and the shocking surrealism of Guy Bourdin – these were just a few highlights.
Throughout the first week we learned key historic influences on fashion but also built our own interpretive understanding of the images. If you want to learn more about how images reflect the contemporary, wider world landscape and how iconic images can shape societal attitudes, week one will provide you with all the tools you need.
Understanding Fashion’s Biggest Influencers & Culture Shapers
If you have ever scrolled through Instagram or flicked through editorial pages, you’ll often see countless “street style” images. The second week of the Fashion & Image online course traces back the origins of street style imagery, teaching you how culture has shaped street style. Notably, you examine the significance of what it means to be an ‘influencer’, especially in the age of the ‘Insta-famous.’
Moreover, the lectures examine the importance of shoot location as a fundamental component of image creation in setting mood, context and theme. After this week I sourced new inspiration from the best street style snappers right now.
Image-making & application to Media, Branding & Marketing
Week 3 examined the importance of branding for enriching consumer experiences and how to create trusted brands with meaning. It also explored savvy promotional tactics adopted by renowned luxury brands, including product diversification and expansion into new market territories. Similarly to previous weeks, the origins of branding were explored throughout history, tracing back to the first use of live models in shows in the mid 19th Century.
Once this week is over you will know who created haute couture, innovated the idea of seasonal collections and began labelling signatures in branded clothing. Not only do you learn the history, you explore brand reinvention, strategic collaboration and endorsement in order to maintain relevance and prominence. My favourite part…discovering how the revolutionary Chanel jewellery & jackets were born and the controversial rivalry with Elsa Schiaparelli.
Finally, this week came to a close with a lecture by Zoe Souter on Shoot Production. This helped to understand the differences in creative process between commercial and editorial image construction.
Effective Brand Communication through Visual Storytelling
Chanel once said ‘ fashion changes, style endures’. Week 4 teaches the importance of a strong brand story, style and aesthetic for longevity in fashion. Timothy Rennie, lectured on the importance of details and how small changes in brand typography, design and colour visuals can radically alter consumer perceptions. The best part of this week? Designing your very own brand, including a logo, which I use today on my own website.
To conclude the course, Ben Evans further reiterated the stark differences between editorial and commercial and how publications make profit. The lecture dissected renowned advertisement partnerships such as Richard Avedon & Versace, the shocking ad campaigns of Oliviero Toscani & Benetton and Steven Meisel’s stripped back, minimalist reinvention of Calvin Klein.
Forecasting the Future: Your very own Creative Masterpiece
As the Fashion & Image course draws to a close, you combine everything you have learnt to embark on your own creative project. Tutor Ruth Marshall-Johnson, helps you to imagine the future, specifically how identity will change, new sustainable innovations and AI/social driven fashion brands.
What I loved was the fact we were encouraged to push our imagination. We could dispel stereotypes of the future and given free creative rein. See the final outcome of my project here.
“If this wasn’t enough to entice you, the course also includes Guest Industry Speakers and the opportunity to meet like-minded creatives!”
The course was also great for building a network of like-minded creatives, many of whom I stay in touch with today. The course gave me the relevant skills, confidence and industry awareness in order to pursue my passions and build my own website which I am very grateful for. If you are interested in the role of psychology in creativity, follow my website link here and Instagram. And finally, a huge thank you to all the amazing faculty who continuously offered guided support and encouragement!
By Hannah Tappin