Exploring the guilty pleasures of Peeping.
Fashion marketing student, Katy Mathers, showed a rather unusual final project at London Graduate Fashion Week. The Northumbria University graduate excited the curiosity of LGFW visitors with Peep! – a project which explores the depth and breadth of voyeurism in modern society.
Along with a book Katy also offered a film. Rather than projecting it for the world to see, Katy played the film on a mobile phone locked tightly in a wooden box. To see it viewers literally had to peep through the keyhole in a physical manifestation of the phenomena the project examines.
Read the full interview and Katy’s video below…
Katy, your final project is rather different to what we normally see from fashion students. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Peep offers an insight into the curious nature of today’s society. Documentary photography and graphic illustration explore the many perspectives of voyeurism and its explicitness, whilst a social commentary is made on current lifestyle trends. The observation of privacy and CCTV raises social awareness in Peep’s public. The book satisfies the inquisitive character that has become increasingly obsessed with how others live whilst the accompanying film exhibits the ease of invasive looking in contrast to the intimate nature of voyeurism.
What inspired you to do such a conceptual project?
Peep was originally inspired by my own nosiness and inquisitive nature and urged me to look deeper into the reasons why I, and the public as a whole, are so nosy. From the very beginning the intention was to expose the element of our society that has become obsessed with viewing others. I wanted to make consumers aware of the increasing amount of voyeuristic material available to the public. Reality television, social media and magazine features that explore a person’s home all contribute.
Peep relates to almost anyone who’s ever peered through a window, watched someone on the tube or eavesdropped on a conversation. The nature of Peep touches on the basic human instinct of curiosity. It is essentially an examination of human nature.
This project must have had quite a different creative process to that of the rest of your class. Talk us through it.
The creative process really started by making observational drawings and taking documentary style photographs whilst ‘people watching’, an activity which is a guilty pleasure for most of us. This was a long process. I found that because the theme was so broad, it led me in many different directions. The project’s nature slowly developed as I not only looked at the surface of nosiness but delved deeper into voyeurism. It was at this point that Peep took on a darker element, referencing the sexually explicit and invasive aspect of the project.
Despite having so much research behind the project, the challenge was trying to achieve my overall design for Peep. I knew exactly what I wanted the project to say but portraying that exactly was a difficult task.
Finally, what advice would you give to someone looking to start a Fashion Marketing course?
My advice to someone starting any kind of design degree is to enjoy it as much as much as possible. It will probably challenge you and push you harder than ever before but you’ll appreciate it at the end. Choose something you really love for your final project. This is going to be something that you invest in, both financially and time-wise. It has be something that inspires you again and again. I think the closer you are to the concept, the more you’ll get out of it.