Industry Experts On: Bringing a Look Book to Life
There are few things which reach the realms of the various facets of the fashion industry. However, a look book is one of them. Designers create them, stylists pull from them, editors refer to them, and consumers buy from them. This is why compiling one that’s not only well presented but is equally effective in communicating a designer’s message to an audience has never been more crucial.
Not Just A Label asks GQ Fashion Editor, Angelo Mitakos, and designer Patrick McDowell, amongst other industry experts, about what makes the difference between a Chief Editor's pursing of the lips, and a look book truly brought to life.
ANGELO MITAKOS, GQ FASHION EDITOR
“When doing a look book it's about making your clothes sing, so keep it simple. Don't overcomplicate things and think about what has inspired that collection. Let's say your collection is inspired by a certain flower, in what ways can you give your inspiration a subtle nod in the shoot without making it obvious. Also think about the details in your clothing, perhaps you want close ups of buttons or some applique that showcase the intricate work that has gone into it.”
THOMAS ALEXANDER, PHOTOGRAPHER
“The look book that you present to the world must present your personality and individual flair. Of course, it is important to clearly present your creations but in this saturated world of digital imagery you need your audience to stop and focus on you. If you can show them how much all of this means to you and speak from your heart then it’s entirely possible for your work to mean as much to them as it does to you.
Let’s see the end of carbon copied look books. It doesn't have to be expensive or polished and should not be overly complicated or fussy, but let it represent you as a creative.”
NATASHA COWAN, PRODUCER OF THE SUZY MENKES PODCAST
“One thing that I would always suggest is that the contact details are clearly added - all the ways to reach you. It can even be on the back or last page - but they need to be there. Plus - add Instagram or the other socials you have too. If you have a little paragraph on you and your brand that can be helpful too - it speeds everything up for us - instead of trawling the internet trying to discover the details.
Also with images - be as arty, creative, & expressive as you like - but have some very clear images too so that we can get a good idea of what you are about and what you stand for. If you can try to make the digital file easy to open and not so heavy then it means we can view it anywhere in the world and not wait loads of time for the download.”
TOM GEORGE, iD STAFF WRITER
“There is, of course, a prestige to the runway or a presentation but sometimes, in my opinion, a look book can be far more effective (and a lot cheaper and accessible) for a young designer and stops a great collection being lost amongst the chaos of the fashion week show schedule. Keep it simple and make sure the clothes, the cuts, and any detailing you want to highlight remains the focus. But it should also be fun. Find a way to nod to the brand's personality in the art direction that tells us a little about you and stands out amongst the doom scroll that is the Instagram feed. After all, if it's something that people want to share to their story, well, that's free marketing.”
MIGUEL ARQUERO, MGC CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR
“From a PR perspective, seasonal look books are one of the most important tools that are required to communicate a brand effectively. Essentially, publicists can work with look book imagery daily, pitching designers on an international level and showcasing their collections to editors, stylists and influencers who might have not been aware of the brand otherwise.
It gives designers a chance to really communicate their creative vision, working with talent they respect and admire and coordinating teams to produce content that reinforces their brand values - from models and photographers to hair and makeup, stylists, and creative directors. A strong look book can bring a collection to life and can be used as campaign imagery for e-com, as well as on social media platforms. It can determine the brand’s USP and attract the relevant editors, buyers, and consumers.”
PATRICK MCDOWELL, DESIGNER
“Look books are so important because they enable you to communicate your collection clearly to the industry and customers. It’s important that you can see pieces clearly and in a way that doesn’t distort their colour, remember there is a difference between campaign and look book.
Look books should clearly label the look number and piece names so the industry can effectively communicate which ones they want - and sometimes it’s helpful to have thumb mail product shots at the end detailing each individual garment. As ever it’s important to remember your brand and the purpose your own look book will serve and tailor it to work for you in a way that correctly represents your brand.”
READ MORE: Industry Experts On Perfecting the Press Release
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