Friday, November 9, 2012

[Un]Discovers: FASHGIF

Animated gif is not new but using this medium to promote fashion is very refreshing and cool. Recently I have come across a tumblr site called FASHGIF and it has blown my mind. Greta Larkins, the mastermind behind this successful site, has created exclusive gifs for Vogue Homme Japan and Calvin Klein and her site has attracted a lot of fashion followers. Today, I have the honour to ask her some questions about her tumblr and I am happy to say she has also created 2 amazing gifs for one of my favourite brands in Canada, Caitlin Power.

Photo by Raymond Chow 
Created by Greta Larkins

Hi Greta, it's great to have you here on the site today! First off, do you mind to give a little background about yourself? 
For the last few years I've been working for a jewellery and accessories wholesaling company. Basically my job consists of a few things, mainly trend forecasting and reworking/redesigning product. Essentially I just sit in front of Photoshop all day! At this stage I am not studying, so I do find myself doing as much research online as I can and trying to learn as much as possible.

From working at a jewellery company to now a well known fashion gifs maker, that's very cool! So, out of all the gifs you can make in the cyber world, why do you pick fashion gifs?
I'd been following different Tumblr's for ages and one day I found myself becoming so obsessed with Gifs and I thought, I'm going to make one. So I Googled the process and fiddled for a bit on Photoshop and suddenly I made my first. Within a week I launched FashGif. Fashion just made sense to me as I'd been following the international shows for sometime and I liked the consistency of the images: model, clothes, runway. Simple! Plus there are now six seasons a year (what with couture, ready-to-wear, resort and pre-fall) so there's always new material and new challenges. Making Gifs helps me really focus on the through-lines and journeys of each designer. It's very rewarding when you can recognize a piece of clothing, "oh that's so-and-so" once you begin to understand a brand and that heritage.

I have to agree with you, I feel very rewarding when I can recognize a piece of clothing on the street. I know you have done quite a few projects with different fashion brands and magazines before. Which one is the most challenging?
I think Calvin Klein Collection was the most challenging because their collections are so beautiful and simple. When I see a clean, minimal garment I rarely think to produce a Gif from it as the simplicity is where the magic lies; it's what makes the piece so captivating. That said, it was such a great challenge to produce 5 Gifs from the one collection (which I'd never actually done) and to re-study and re-think each piece from the perspective of a potential animation. The Calvin Klein team were super helpful, so I learnt a lot about the inspiration behind the garments and collection as a whole. It was a brilliant experience and I also practiced some new Photoshop techniques. A lot of fun!

That Gifs collection was very cool, especially the footwear one. Now let’s talk about the recent S/S 2013 runway shows. Which collection was your top favourite?
Crikey I haven't actually thought about this! I think Christopher Kane this season. It's not often you find yourself actually gasping when you look at images of clothing but he's such a master with detail and story telling and surprise! I'd like to live in his brain for a day... Very clever designer.

Yes, Christopher Kane is just a very talented designer and I am always excited to see how he pushes the fashion envelope. Now I want to introduce you to the Canadian fashion. Recently I have sent you 2 images of Caitlin Power S/S 2013 collection and you have turned them into gifs. What inspired you to make these gifs? 
For the Caitlin Power collection I really loved the leather elements on both the garments so I knew I wanted to make them move. The leather and gold dress has an awesome futuristic feel so I wanted to give her a warrior-like shield. For the other, who can resist a good peplum? So I gave that some added movement.

Photo by Raymond Chow 
Created by Greta Larkins

I really love the 2 gifs and I hope the designer will love them as much as I do too! Now that you have created a very successful fashion gif tumblr, what kind of things do you want to do next? Do you want to explore another area that is associated to the fashion industry? 
I think at this stage I'd like to keep learning more and more about the industry. It has so many layers and so many sub-industries (publishing, design, online world, retail, buying etc.) that I think it's important to know as much as you can about the different people involved and what they do, before becoming too obsessed with one element. Unfortunately I'll have to rule out modelling, I don't have any of those natural gifts(!) and I doubt I'll ever be a street style star (I wear the same skirt about 4 times a week!) but creative roles definitely interest me and I wouldn't mind being able to interact with the clothes directly. At this stage my experience with fashion is very 2D.

Now it's time for some trivia fun!

What is your pet peeve? 
Oh my gosh you should never have asked me this I think I have a few too many! I must say I do like manners; smiling, eye contact, a good handshake. So when people don't have these it can be frustrating.

What’s your favourite colour combination?
Well I became strangely obsessed with chartreuse earlier this year but I think orange and purple always go well together. I love greens and enjoy wearing any colour but my favourite? Maybe pink and red. Good tacky fun.

What’s your favourite country?
I'm currently based in Australia but I have a big soft spot for Americans. Can't beat their confidence. I was briefly in Southern France years ago and it was pretty epic. And country England is so stunning. I can't pick!

What’s the one thing you cannot live without in your life right now? 
My Mac powder. I don't wear make-up because I am the worst girl on the planet but my powder saves me everyday and makes me vaguely presentable... I think!
What’s your favourite cuisine? Probably Indian food. Though Japanese is pretty spot on. And as a good friend of mine says, you cannot beat a burger.

What’s your favourite cuisine? 
Probably Indian food. Though Japanese is pretty spot on. And as a good friend of mine says, you cannot beat a burger.

Thank you so much to Greta for answering my questions and I cannot wait to see more amazing gifs created by her in the future. Once again, all the gifs in this article are created by Greta and if you want to see more of her works, please visit FASHGIF. Trust me, you will be addicted to her works because her ideas are brilliant!

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