Drop-down menu?

November 8th, 2010

I’ve finally completed a passable homepage, but I realized that I have one major dilemma.  The “Fashion Trends” link is supposed to lead to a bunch of links representing each decade.  On the other pages, I can use a drop down menu because all of the links will be lined up along one side.  However, I’m not sure what I should use on the homepage.  Since the links are scattered haphazardly around the page, it would seem weird to use a drop-down menu.  On the other hand, I don’t need to create a whole page just for the links to the decades.  Any suggestions?

Main page design

Main page design

Another source

October 26th, 2010

While searching for a photo to use for my homepage, I came across a great article that explains the concept and purpose of haute couture:  http://thedaytimes.com/2010/07/haute-couture-making-a-loss-is-the-height-of-fashion/.

Site designs

October 26th, 2010

Here’s a sample main page design.  I need to choose a background image that makes the links more visible at the bottom.


Here’s an idea for a secondary page.  I would add more text or graphics to the page, but right now, I’m just experimenting with putting the title and links on the side.


Review of webs.com blog app

October 26th, 2010

Webs.com is a site that allows you to build a free website.  It contains a number of applications that you can use to enhance your site.  One of them is a blogging app.  I like that you can set up the sidebar to display categories and recent blog entries.  I also like the search box at the top of the blog.  Posting a new entry is easy and straightforward–just click the “+POST NEW ENTRY” box at the top of the page.  I use this app so that my blog can be incorporated into my website.

However, I have a lot of issues with the app itself.  I haven’t found a way to customize the design of the blog itself without affecting the rest of the site.  I also don’t like that I can’t customize or change the title of the blog, which is required to be the same wording as the tab on the navigation bar.  While there is an option to add a description, there is no subtitle.  The description offers very little customization; I had to experiment with HTML to change the font.  The blog setting options are very minimal but very easy to use.  For some reason, instead of the usual “Post Tags” feature like on WordPress and every other blogging application, the webs.com blog app uses “Categories,” which must be created before you can add them to your posts.  You also can only assign three categories per post.  Uploading photos is easy, but there’s no way to preserve the aspect ratio when you resize the images.  There is also no preview option for posts. 

This blog feature is extremely basic.  I don’t know if a user would be able to modify the app with HTML and CSS, but these modifications would obviously require advanced skills.  The blog app does not have a good “help” feature, either.  When you click on the “Help” button, you only get a video that demonstrates the basics.  Since the blog app is only a small part of Webs.com, I think the developers have not put a lot of effort into making it sophisticated like WordPress or Blogger.  It’s designed to be intuitive for a beginner, and only an advanced user has the skills to really modify it for full functionality.  The minimal capabilities that the developers care to support are reflected in the interface design.  Otherwise, this app is disappointing for someone who has experience in other blogging platforms.

My site shouldn’t have the same kinds of issues because it won’t be nearly as interactive, but I still hope to design an easily navigable site.  I don’t want users to be frustrated or confused.  I want to provide easily accessible and adequate information without being overwhelming.

More resources

October 19th, 2010

I found a few more sites on the history of fashion: 

Fashion-era.com is my major resource, but it’s a British site, and it makes more sense for me to focus on fashion in the United States.

I went to the MFA today and looked at Avedon:  Fashion 1944-2000 and Scaasi:  An American Couturier for inspiration.  I feel like the two exhibits demonstrate the difference between fashion and art.  The Scaasi exhibit had beautiful clothes, but they didn’t challenge and inspire the way that the Avedon photographs do.  I love this display and want to model my homepage after it, with the title on the side:

Avedon exhibit

Introduction to photos from the '60s
Introduction to photos from the ’60s

The descriptions for each time period reflect my theme of how fashion has influenced and reflected history.  I also like the font used for the years.  I found this article that provides more good insight into the exhibit:  http://www.milforddailynews.com/entertainment/arts/x316188337/Richard-Avedon-Photographer-changed-the-face-of-fashion

Inspiration for site design

October 10th, 2010

I have just gotten a new idea for my site design.  I like how the homepage of Glo looks like a magazine cover.  Since I wanted my site to have a glossy fashion mag feel, I think I want to use this idea and have the links to the different pages look like article headlines.  I might need to think of a shorter title than “Fashion through the Ages,” though.  That would be a long magazine title.

Inspiration: MFA

October 7th, 2010

October is Fashion Month at the Museum of Fine Arts.  This means very good things for my project.  I’m going to try to get there this weekend to see “Avedon Fashion 1944-2000″ and “Scaasi:  American Couturier” for research purposes.  I really wish I could’ve participated in the five-week course “The Look:  Fashion, Photography, and Film,” which explores fashion from the 1950s to the present.  It sounds like my exact idea.  Unfortunately, it costs over $100, not including the optional screenings.  Fortunately, the website lists all of the optional movies; maybe I’ll try to find them at the library.

The search for resources

September 27th, 2010

I’m not sure if I can actually find enough information on the history of fashion in Boston.  Out of the major fashion-related subheadings that I’ve been exploring, I may just choose the one for which I find the most resources.  My topic will be an exploration of fashion, focusing on its impact on history and culture. I think the ultimate story would be how fashion has shaped the world over the years.  One major source that I will definitely be using is http://www.fashion-era.com/.  This exhaustive site examines the fashions of each decade and discusses the sociological implications.

Examining the relationship between art and fashion might be beyond my scope, but if I do choose to include it, I can use this article:  http://www.bigredandshiny.com/cgi-bin/BRS.cgi?section=article&issue=103&article=ART_AS_FASHION_29113758.  It’s written by the woman who teaches the “Art as Fashion” class at Tufts.  I may try to contact her to get ideas and resources.  (Here’s part two of the article:  http://bigredandshiny.net/cgi-bin/BRS.cgi?section=article&issue=105&article=FASHION_2671624)

In a different vein, Tisch Library has a DVD called “Dying to Be Thin,” which interviews people such as fashion models about their struggles with eating disorders.  I might be able to tie this theme with Boston because Anna Wintour and Michael Kors addressed this issue in a talk at Harvard Business School, but I’m afraid that I might get wrapped up in eating disorders and body image and stray away from the fashion aspect.   On the other hand, people in class mentioned a lot of helpful resources that could keep me on track, such as Dove Evolution and the Photoshop Disasters blog. 

Overall, I think my two options are the history/culture of fashion and the impact of fashion on body image.  I’m leaning toward the history aspect because it has more of a focus on the actual clothes rather than the media portrayal, and I think it will be really interesting to examine evolving fashion trends and attitudes.

As for the site design, I am envisioning a lot of runway photos and images that evoke a glossy magazine or photo shoot feel.  I would want colorful, striking images that show the details and beauty of the clothes.  I’m imagining a look that invokes the idea of “behind the scenes/history of ‘Vogue.'”  I plan to look at fashion magazines for design inspiration.  Here are some examples of the types of images that I might use:

photo courtesy of la times

Narrowing down my topic

September 26th, 2010

As I mentioned in last week’s class, I would like to create a site about fashion, but I have a few different veins that I am interested in following.  I’ve been trying to figure out how to narrow my scope.  Yesterday, I heard a friend asking if Boston really has a legitimate fashion scene.  Having worked in the Boston fashion scene before, I became a little defensive.  I also got inspired to possibly focus my website on exploring the history of fashion in Boston, a topic of which a lot of people seem not to be aware.

Resources I am thinking of using include: