When Fashion Meets Music: SMC Hosts BBC Introducing Live Panel Discussion on Designing for the Music Industry
LCF’s School of Media and Communication hosted a session at BBC Introducing Live last term, in which alumni and staff explored how fashion and music interlink. The panel discussion was chaired by Kath Melandri – Broadcast Journalist, Presenter, BA Fashion Journalism lecturer and College Admission tutor for SMC. We spoke to Kath about the event and her career as a journalist.
How did you get started in journalism and teaching?
I've worked for the BBC since the mid 90s. When I was at university studying Broadcasting, I got some work experience in local radio and television, then my first contract job was with the BBC. There I worked in radio as a newsreader, reporter and producer. As time progressed I ended up being quite senior and started presenting. As a generalist journalist, London was my specialism, but I'd come across aspects of fashion journalism. I'm a communicator and broadcaster with previous experience project managing and training young people, and was keen to do more. When I left my full-time role at the BBC, I got a teaching qualification and worked for London College of Communication briefly before starting at LCF.
What are you particularly excited about within fashion journalism?
One of the areas I'm most excited about is 5G – we have no idea how much it will mould and change fashion journalism, in terms of accessibility to video and audio content. It's an exciting time where any brand, organisation or title can start creating and know that their work is going to be experienced the way that they want it to be.
When Fashion Meets Music: Designing for the Music Industry invited five LCF graduates with careers spanning PR, journalism, photography and media production to share their journey into the music industry and their experiences of working with some of its best-known artists, events and festivals.
What were some of the ideas discussed?
Overall it was a wider conversation about the positive impact both industries have on each other. Fashion and music are so intertwined. Looking at photography and music, for example, it's impossible not to consider aesthetics in that. The performative level of fashion sits so well when you look at music and musicians and how they communicate.
Your branding, your pictures and your fashion speak to your fans, to your audience.
We also looked into how both industries can represent political aspects. In a particularly divisive time, can fashion and music intertwined be a force for good? It was interesting to explore some of those perspectives.
Were there any key takeaways from the panel?
The biggest thing is that we're really excited. We're happy to have that connection and to give room to our communication students in particular to be able to share, talk about and focus on fashion – it's not to be ignored. We wanted to look at how fashion really fits into creative industry.
Doing music doesn't mean you're not doing fashion – it's wholeheartedly connected.
What would you recommend for current and prospective students in fashion communications who are interested in working in music?
One of the things that we do really well at SMC is knowledge exchange – embracing what our students bring to us. It's an opportunity for students to tell us what they would like to see in the future, and we want to empower them to deliver that.
Think about idea generating, perceiving and aspiring to do the new things that will impact the industry. It really is a conversation and it's about experimentation.
As Jessica Bugg says, “fashion is more than frocks,” it's an attitude. When it comes to music, there’s a massive level of visual communication with your audience. All we ever want to do is encourage that and support it.