Dissolution – Modern Day Dorian Gray

ALICE QUINN

The main concept of my design was to show the narrative of Dorian Gray, focussing on the decay of the portrait in the text. Exploring the key themes demonstrated in the book: extraordinary beauty, expressive personality and the superficial nature of society and liberation in fashion.  

By using Dorian Gray, I would be exploring the ideas surrounding body dysmorphia and challenging the ‘face tune’ society in which we are submerged in. I came to the idea to create a photographic narrative when researching the themes and wanted to manipulate them to show the idea of decay. 

I decided to use a film camera for the photos as it gave the finish a grainy and more un-staged outcome which challenged the traditional portrait. When experimenting it resulted in a wide variety of colour, this was to show liberation in fashion and to hint at the character being camp. For this reason, I didn’t think it was important if the model was male or female as I wanted the photos to give off an androgynous connotation and focus more on the editorial makeup and editing.  

The typography used mimicked the distortion of the pictures in the narrative to tie the piece together, this also provided an insight to the characters thoughts; toying with the idea that Oscar Wilde’s writing was about body dysmorphia.  

All these considerations lead me to produce an outcome that reflects Dorian Gray but also modernises it for the 

21st century and celebrating the liberation of fashion with the styling and art direction and giving the project its title, Dissolution after the photo editing created to replicate the decay of the portrait in the novel. 

Words: Alice Quinn, Design for Publishing, @aliceq.uinn

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