To celebrate the launch of style guru Gok Wan’s debut collection of retro frames for Specsavers, students from our National Diploma in Fashion, Photography and Foundation Degree in Special Effects Make-Up were asked to devise a total look to demonstrate his vision channelling iconic fashion from the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s.
Specsavers Bradford has a sharp eye for fashion and will again be sponsoring Bradford School of Arts & Media’s annual fashion show at the National Media Museum in July, and they set this special challenge for our students to style, model and photograph their own fashion shoot complementing this exciting range with their own brand of retro chic. Store Director at Specsavers Bradford, Pete Rooke, said “Gok Wan is such a fashion icon and we’re thrilled to be able to give our local students the opportunity to showcase their style skills.”
Gok’s declaration, “We're not going to hide behind our specs …. from now on, your outfit begins with your glasses” was followed by the students, along with his vision of designer style on a budget and customising to make things bang on trend. The student garments looked a million dollars but were totally recycled – for instance, the white dress started life as three skirts!
Skaii Cross, who created the distinctive make up had a real affinity for the project. She explained, “I am interested in fashion and catwalk work as well as special effects so I was very pleased to style the make up for this shoot. I worked from the clothes and glasses to style glamorous looks for the two main female models and did flowers on the cheeks for the others to reflect a fun 70s theme. I have an appreciation of glasses as I nearly chose a career path in ophthalmic dispensing, after doing my two weeks’ work experience with a local optician when I was at school. However when I was studying for my A Levels, my passion for art took over and I decided to enrol on the Special Make Up Effects course instead.”
The fashion shoot held on 17th March was the first time any of the students had modelled but Holly Blyszko, Sophie Condren, Katie Davis, Johnny Irwin and Laura Perkins took to it like ducks to water. Laura and Johnny also posed for the local press in various locations around the Yorkshire Craft Centre and Lister Building for a forthcoming Specsavers advertising feature. ND Fashion Course Tutor, Alison Wesley reckoned that being models on a photoshoot was as invaluable to students as dressing the models backstage at a fashion show. She said, “They see what is demanded to make things look perfect and that so much smoke and mirrors are involved in creating an amazing show or fashion shot.”
The main shoot then took place in the College’s state of the art photography studio as students Jessica Lee and Sophie Wilkinson captured the stylish look the client wanted, under the watchful gaze of Paul Garnett of Specsavers. Paul was most impressed with the girls’ professionalism and the quality of their work, which was rapidly played back on screen in the studio. He said, “The range has 30 styles which go from 40s chic to Harry Potter. We launched them in store at the beginning of March and they are already doing well, but having this complete fashion look created for our big promotion really shows its potential.”
The outstanding success of the project was crystal clear as no one looking at the photographs could doubt that glasses make fabulous fashion accessories!