Though fashion illustration has slowly been on the decline since the late 1930’s with the emergence of photography, nothing can replace the ethereal and timeless beauty of a detailed hand sketch, which has the power to utterly bring a design to life.
Admired as an art form, there is something so incredibly charming about a detailed reportage illustration, which translates an artists unique interpretation and impression.
Whilst only playing a small role to the contribution of magazines and advertising, there is still a role for the craft in the industry. Stylish sketches are particularly illustrious in the blogosphere, esteemed by fashion power houses, and regarded as collectable pieces of art.
From minimalistic pencil sketches, to bold, striking shapes which play with form and proportion - fashion illustrators have the freedom to pour their artistic style into the essence of their work and to inspire us with their distinctive visions.
For each of the fashion capitals, resident illustrators are commissioned by SHOWstudio to create a series of original sketches. Some elegant, some playful, some focusing on one detail in particular and others balancing light and dark, but all strikingly unique with their signature styles.
Among my favourite fashion illustrators is London and LA based Velwyn Yossy. Distinctively associated with elegance and style, as SHOWstudio's resident London Fashion Week S/S15 illustrator, Yossy has produced a series of original artworks inspired by womenswear collections including Burberry, J. JS Lee, and Issa. Using a mix of clean lines and bold colours the artist pushed the boundaries conceptually with her unique interpretations.
Working in paint, noted for her bold striking splashes of colour, Australian contemporary figurative painter Abbey McCulloch, named as one of ‘Australia’s 50 Most Collectable Artists’ by Australian Art Collector in 2009, illustrated the many runway styles from Paris Fashion Week. McCulloch depicted looks for Louis Vuitton, Viktor and Rolf, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Balmain, Givenchy and Sonia Rykiel to name a few.
In complete style contrast NYFW was documented in the simplistic and fragile signature style of Victoria Kim, the New York born and raised artist who has worked for publications such as Visionaire and V Magazine. Kim depicted the key runway looks from shows including Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, Alexander Wang and Gareth Pugh.
The bold graphic work of Damien Florébert Cuypers is also especially recognised. Capturing New York Fashion Week with “impressionistic portraits of the fashion set” as noted by The New York Times, his colourful sketches in his signature crayon style which jump from the page give evidence to why this exquisite art should always have a place in the fashion industry.
From haute couture to street wear, to depicting runway styles and fashion personalities, there will always be a space for the art form of impression drawings in the industry, no matter how advanced technology becomes. Illustration will continue to thrive with the help of these talented artists.