A fashion-following friend of mind recently suggested that seasonal show reviews should be limited to the tweet: 140 characters, that’s all you need. I’m going to go one farther and suggest that the collection review is best accomplished in a GIF: 4 stills made to move, that’s all you need. That is, at least, if it’s Greta Larkins making the GIFs. Greta is the user behind fashgif.tumblr.com, a clever site of moving runway images. Her GIFs highlight absurdities, references, and neat tricks within the shows. Sometimes they manage to capture, as in the Alexander Wang for Balenciaga Fall 2013 GIF, everything the show is about. From her home in Melbourne, Australia, Greta, a 27 year product developer and trend forecaster, answered a few questions about her best hobby.
Your gifs are often like one image reviews of the runway shows. Do you try to boil down the collections to their most essential (moving) form?
Sometimes I definitely try to do this: to summarise the collection with one GIF (like with Prada Fall 2013, which was in part about film and a cinematic mood). But on the other hand, I also like to draw attention to one element of a collection that is interesting or memorable (the use of Bambi at the latest Givenchy show). I always thoroughly read reviews as this insider knowledge and critique often spurs ideas.
You’ve clearly watched all the shows this season. Do you have a favorite?
Marc Jacobs jumps out from New York. I’m a sucker for a coat and those sparkling fur trimmed numbers were breathtaking. Christopher Kane has been a long-time favourite of mine; what a fascinating collection. Prada is exactly how I’d like to dress, case closed! And so far for Paris, I’d say Dior. I’d love to see a modern bride sport one of those feather-light white dresses with the flourishes of Warhol illustrations.
I assume you were a fashion follower before launching the site. Do you find your relationship to fashion week(s) has changed since you started this project? I, for instance, look at everything differently now that I’m reviewing the shows and not just imagining myself as a consumer. I’m happy when a show is controversial or tells a good story or has lots of references to unpack, because that makes for a better review.
Absolutely! First and foremost I’m looking for a strong visual. A long black dress is great and all but it doesn’t necessarily make for strong GIF content. Plus a collection with a story, or controversy can definitely add to a GIF and in turn its popularity on Tumblr. I often try to find a touch of humour too but without it being at the expense of the designer or model.
What was the first gif you ever made?
It was from the Prada Spring 2011 collection. I’ve actually never made a GIF like this since but I think I’ll revisit the concept soon.
Do you have a favorite all time Fashgif?
I have different favourites for different reasons! Here are a few that come to mind: Elie Saab Fall 2012 Couture, Balenciaga Spring 2013, and Paco Rabanne Spring 2013.
ON WITH THE GIFS!