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Friday, April 10, 2009

Vision To Visuals: Focus On Fashion

In crisis, there is opportunity

This Article Features Photo Zoom

vision to visualsSuma placed her trust and her precious collection with my talented Focus on Fashion team and let us do the rest. Our first major decision was to select a photographer who could bring Suma’s debut collection to life. The marriage of photographer and designer is the secret recipe behind most of the successful fashion brands in the world, so we knew that this choice was critical to introducing Suma as a serious de-signer to sophisticated fashion-industry veterans. After reviewing several pho-tographer portfolios, we chose Ron Contarsy, a fashion photographer who has been called a “photographic savant” and someone who “knows how to strike a visual equipoise between client demand and creative desire.” Ron’s sensual approach to light and composition was just the match Suma’s delicate, form-fitting chiffon clothes needed, and we found in this duo, a perfect synthesis of form and beauty. Having put this core dream team to-gether, my team then brought in Tylan, a versatile stylist and make-up artist to complete the shoot crew.

During the shoot, we helped guide the compositional choices to prepare Ron’s pictures for the next most important phase of Suma’s launch process—the design and production of her look book and design portfolio. Because Duggal provides both creative and production services under the Focus on Fashion division, our retouchers, de-signers and printers all work closely on every project from its inception, so the retouching team started work immediately after the photo shoot, once the final picture edits were completed, with Suma offering suggestions and giving her input along the way. We kept Suma extremely engaged in the entire process, from participating in the casting and model selection, viewing photographer’s portfolios, assisting and directing on set, editing final image choices, providing retouching approval of the finished images and look-book design.

vision to visuals Our graphic designers created the look-book template with Suma and completed the layout the next day. My Focus on Fashion team is well versed with creating unique presentations for the fashion industry. A memorable project we did was to create a custom clamshell book collection of a Show Package for IMG Models, prior to the Fall ’08 Fashion Week. Our artists hand-lined this box in pure white, leather-type material, enclosing a collection of fine-art composite prints of IMG models. It was designed as a collector’s edition, and IMG loved our prototype so much that they ordered 350 boxes, which we produced in less than two weeks. Focus on Fashion then created IMG World’s corporate presentation to Mercedes-Benz for a preview of the upcoming Fashion Week ’09, with a silver engraved metallic overlay on 1⁄4-inch acrylic sheets serving as front and back covers. For the Spring ’09 Fashion Week, my Focus on Fashion team produced a custom “pochette box,” with fine-art, four-color black-and-white images of the models on textured watercolor paper—which has never been done before. Given this expertise in custom production, we designed a look book for Suma with pictures of her collection as fine-art prints all composed on our special Ice paper. The design, imaging, retouching and printing on special media created an aesthetic convergence to launch Suma as a professional designer.


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