Monday, May 3, 2010
Why do brands even bother making look books?
Are they gluttons for photographic mediocrity?
Now this is not a rip on any of the brands in the above photos. I don't even know who half of them are. I just dragged look book photos on to my desktop for 5 minutes until I had enough.
Even if it was a rip on these brands you wouldn't even know which ones I was ripping on because look book photos are so bland that it is nearly impossible to even tell what brand is featured in them.
Don't believe me?
One of those photos is from the fucking Gap. Good luck picking it out.
The definition of a look book (taken from Wikipedia):
"A look book is a collection of photographs compiled to show off a model, a photographer, a style, or a clothing line. It is an especially popular term with "fashion bloggers"..."
So there you have it from the horse's mouth.
To show off a clothing line you say?
Well how do most clothing lines choose to show off?
They simply get skinny alien looking white dudes (not always) to wear their clothes in non-descript and otherwise "mysterious" locations. Once the photographer and wardrobe have set-up they have the models pout or look off to the side at stuff that is not there.
To be fair I made a few look books in my day. I have friends that make look books not too much different than the ones above. I just wonder though....why does anyone even bother?
Just throw it on a white background and call it a day dudes.
We are wasting brain cells and energy by simply compiling photos of people standing around pretending that they are not "pretending to stand around". That is all it is.
Now some brands go the "candid" route. Cheers for the attempt and trying to think out of the box.
Guess what though?
Having a dude smoke a cigarette or drink a beer in your pocket t-shirt does not make your company "harder" than the rest. My aunt smokes cigs and drinks beer so should I put her in a flannel and take pictures of her too?
In fact if someone did use their aunt for a look book shot I would applaud them.
Some of you may argue that these photos serve to add style and context to the theme of that particular line or season. Okay. Well how much fucking context does one need for a fucking t shirt?
I've decided that.
Well what if you have multiple pieces in a line like jeans, hats, knits, tops, accessories? To show case multiple items you need to have situations where the model can where them, right?
Let me catch someone in real life wearing one brand from head to toe.
That is not an outfit that is a fucking uniform.
Who does that?
None of my friends wear one brand head to toe (I should hope not). So why create a fake situation where people are pretending to hang out and all happen to be dressed head to toe in the same gear?
Now does it take talent to take photos?
In most cases, yes.
Does it take talent to design these lines?
Does it take art direction and creativity to do these look books?
Yeah, I can not say with certainty that I could do any better.
I just think that it would be a lot better for people to use that time to work on other things instead of doing THE EXACT SAME THING EVERY SEASON.
Now look at this photo from Insight.
That is a look book photo.
It demonstrates creativity, execution, skill, and just overall awesomness.
And it is from a fucking surf company.
Step up your game street wear, bullshit Americana, Japan, and all you other brands because that right there is way better than any skinny tattooed asshole pouting in the corner smoking a cigerette pretending to not notice the naked anorexic chick sitting next to him on the taxidermied lion.