Whatever the catalyst, fashion illustration is having 'a moment’. It has been fidgeting the industry for some time - perhaps since Nick Knight introduced Helen Downie’s Unskilled Worker into fashion's limelight two years ago, and it’s now truly kicking. Grace Coddington and Michael Robert’s GingerNutz story in our December issue - whose cover itself generated a multitude of illustrated versions that flooded the social channels - stands as definitive proof. The video of Coddington talking about it generated 10,000 views in its first twelve hours on YouTube, while Caroline Stein’s Instagram version of Pat McGrath’s LABS generated 100 likes-a-minute for the first hour it was live. People clearly like looking at it.
After working for renowned fashion house Nino Cerruti, he branched out on his own, delivering his first women’s wear collection in 1974. Armani’s designs were always influenced by menswear, and his immaculate tailoring and cutting gave his pieces a timeless air. He is famous for his deconstructed jackets, which feature a softer shoulder and a longer line.
After working for renowned fashion house Nino Cerruti, he branched out on his own, delivering his first women’s wear collection in 1974. Armani’s designs were always influenced by menswear, and his immaculate tailoring and cutting gave his pieces a timeless air. He is famous for his deconstructed jackets, which feature a softer shoulder and a longer line.
Every collection of this talented designer is doomed for success. His works can be unhesitatingly called masterpieces: he’s never afraid of expressing himself in the wackiest, the most sophisticated, out-of-this-world shapes and colors. Pierre Cardin is the inventor of the ‘bubble dress’. His works can be easily told from the others: Cardin’s models look like they’ve come out from the SCI-FI novels :).
It was through Instagram that Walton landed her first commission — paying $500 (a pretty low fee if you’re an established illustrator), which she couldn’t believe. “It was like, oh my god, they want to give me $500 for something I do in my free time?” Later on, she got an email from the creative director of InStyle, Rina Stone. It turned out an editor had shown Stone Walton’s Instagram, and Walton ended up creating artwork for an 18-page spread in the magazine. “If you have a skill and you just try and put it out there, it’s amazing how you could really reach anybody now.”
Thomas Burberry was born in 1835 in Brockham Green, Surrey. Burberry opened his own small clothing outfitters in Basingstoke in 1857. At that time Basingstoke was a small country town. Nowadays, the Burberry Group is a leading global fashion brand which now sells womenswear, menswear, non-apparel and children’s wear. It is famous for its iconic trademarked check design and British heritage branding.
“It was the death of the last grand master, René Bouché, in 1963 which really signified the end of classic fashion illustration,” says David Downton, who has almost single handedly kept illustration in the limelight over the last 20 years having sketched in the front row of the couture shows for the last 40 seasons straight; illustrated countless celebrities for Vanity Fair and, in 2009, drawn Cate Blanchett for a record-selling anniversary issue of Australian Vogue - as well as having played “artist in residence” at Claridges for the last decade where he can often be found in Le Fumoir sketching anyone from Julianne Moore or Grace Jones to Michael Caine. “It coincided with the rise of the celebrity photographers - and fashion always voraciously wants what is new.”

Include labels if necessary. You are primarily emphasizing visual design elements and obviously your main communication is through that work. However, if you want to label your creative investigations or each of the stages in a project to make it clear how you progressed, then do so. Just make sure that the label is neat and placed so that it is not covering anything important.
To develop a successful design, balance and fitting garment, three dimensional prototypes are essential. Prototypes are also known as toiles. It is the correct distribution of the waist suppression. This method is used in order to cut or smooth away the excess fabric at the waist. Get a perfect shape of the garment to follow the natural curves of the figure, make darts, side seams and the hollow of the back.
Sketch the clothes boldly. Since the purpose of a fashion drawing is to showcase your design ideas, use a bolder hand when you’re drawing the clothing. Sketch the clothes so that they appear to hang on the croquis in a realistic way. There should be creases around the elbows and at the waist, as well as near the shoulders, ankles and wrists. Think about how clothing hangs on a person and replicate that on your model.
Son of Russian working class immigrants, Ralph Lauren has transformed himself into the sophisticated billionaire. His classic and preppy designs all draw upon an image of old world wealth and luxury, and he pioneered the concept of clothes as part of a lifestyle environment. Lauren worked in retail before developing a line of neckties. The brand he established, Polo, is now one part of an empire that includes fragrances, home furnishings and luxury clothing. Today, his five billion dollar business includes several clothing lines as well as perfumes, house ware, furniture and paint.
To develop a successful design, balance and fitting garment, three dimensional prototypes are essential. Prototypes are also known as toiles. It is the correct distribution of the waist suppression. This method is used in order to cut or smooth away the excess fabric at the waist. Get a perfect shape of the garment to follow the natural curves of the figure, make darts, side seams and the hollow of the back.
Make sure that these works incorporate a range of different types of styles or approaches to fabric and materials. You shouldn’t include more than two pieces from one style or approach. For example, maybe you have two pieces that showcase your ability to work with leather. You should also include one to two pieces that show off your ability to work with a different material, like silk or jersey. This will illustrate that you are able to work with several different materials and in several different styles.

Creating a garment flat in Adobe Illustrator is the most foundational skill a fashion designer needs to know. A garment flat is a basic digital sketch that displays a garment as if it were laid "flat". It's used to communicate your design idea technically - whether that's to a pattern-maker, technical designer, merchandiser, or manufacturer. Garment flats are also a must-have in any tech pack or fashion design portfolio.

A picture tells a thousand stories and considering the noise that surrounds the launch of every issue of Vogue - endless hashtags and chatter about the cover model, photographer and pose, it seems inconceivable that covers in the past featured fashion illustrations elaborating far more detailed stories. The romance of images by John Ward and Carl Erickson, surrealism of Dali and Benito, and art deco of Bernard Boutet de Monvel, Georges Barbier and Harriet Meserole spun tales of arctic explorers; tennis players; bridal marches; world travellers; golfers; race drivers, actresses, mothers and lovers. In the days before photography became fashion’s key documenter, fashion illustration was just as emotive and colourful - if not more so - as the images burned onto our retinas more recently by Penn, Bailey, Day, Meisel and Mert & Marcus. Call to mind the images created by Rene Gruau as Dior’s artistic director in 1947 - there is no doubt as to the part illustration used to play in fashion storytelling.


1. Create a good croquis. A croquis is the basic drawing of a model pose that you can trace over and over again while sketching your fashion ideas. You can find croquis to use online or in books, or you can create your own. I created my first croquis years ago by tracing a pose on a vintage pattern. Typically, croquis are exaggerated tall model forms. But what if you want to design for someone else, say a child or a plus sized woman? Make your own! Here’s how I do it…1. Print a photo that has a good pose and body form that you want to design for. I chose a couple photo with my husband because sometimes I enjoy designing “his and her” looks. 2. Using window light, trace the basic body shape on a new piece of paper. 3. Use your new croquis, by tracing over it with a fresh sheet of paper, to sketch your own new designs over and over again. Fun, right?!2. Don’t stress, just practice. Instead of stressing over getting the perfect sketches, just start where you are and practice. Before I shared any of my sketches (even with my friends) I was sketching for a whole year in secret notebooks. Each time a notebook was full I would rip out my favorite designs and start a new one, throwing the rest out. Nothing can replace quality practice time. It’s the only way to grow and develop. You’ll gain confidence as you go!
“It’s changing, and it’s becoming a much more friendly industry for women particularly,” says Susannah Garrod, who studied fine art at Central Saint Martins and now counts Vogue, Jimmy Choo, Emilia Wickstead and Jessica McCormack as clients as well as contributing to the Fashion Illustration Gallery stable run by William Ling. “Instagram allowed me to record more personal, rather than client-based work - which in turn generated more work ... as a 'jobbing' illustrator it’s been rewarding to be commissioned for work in my own right rather than creating illustrations strictly dictated by the client. These days fashion illustration is appreciated by a more social savvy audience as an art form rather than a 'paint by numbers' necessity to record. People are looking for something different if they commission a fashion illustrator rather than a photographer - it’s no longer the 'poor relation' but an intimate way of interpreting fashion which stands the test of time as a commentary on the industry as a whole.”
Colour is a basic consideration in the fashion design process. In most cases color is the first element that is noticed about a design and has a huge impact in how that garment is perceived. Different forecasting companies research and develop new and existing colour palettes from many sources like yarn technologists, international fabric fairs, leather suppliers, trimming merchants etc. some fashion magazine give inspirational colour guideline for fashion design.
The Italian-born Frenchman is lauded for his 20th century pieces that looked as though they were from the 25th century. As Cardin rose to fame in the age of the space race, his creations took on an air of futurism. His so-called bubble dresses had all the fixings of science fiction, combining earthly elegance with out-of-this-world colors and avant garde design. They may be wacky, sure, but Cardin’s clothes showed a freedom of expression that highlighted larger ideals, in particular the emancipation of women. The visionary designer fell out of critical favor when he attached his name to less fashionable items, from cars to umbrellas, but his futuristic, space-centric legacy will live to infinity and beyond.
Rei Kawakubo went to university and studied art and literature, like a lot of bright girls do. But then she taught herself how to design, set up shop, and soon started to change the fashion world. In 1973, she created her own company, Comme des Garçons Co. Ltd in Tokyo and opened up her first boutique store in Tokyo in 1975. Starting with women’s clothes, Kawakubo added a men’s line in 1978. Comme des Garçons specializes in anti-fashion, austere, sometimes deconstructed garments.
In 1995, Rodriguez became design director of TSE, where he presented the first ready-to-wear collections for men and women. In 1996, Carolyn Bessette asked Rodriguez to create the gown she wore to marry John F. Kennedy Jr, putting the designer firmly on the fashion radar. Rodriguez was soon appointed design director of Cerruti in Paris. After that a consequence, Loewe appointed Rodriguez as design director of the women’s ready to wear collection. Rodriguez held the position until 2001.
Creating a garment flat in Adobe Illustrator is the most foundational skill a fashion designer needs to know. A garment flat is a basic digital sketch that displays a garment as if it were laid "flat". It's used to communicate your design idea technically - whether that's to a pattern-maker, technical designer, merchandiser, or manufacturer. Garment flats are also a must-have in any tech pack or fashion design portfolio.
If the artist has created a metallic dress and they mean for it to be made of metal versus just being gold or silver in color, they’ll need to really showcase the reflective properties of that material (as well as construct it within the limits of a metal object) so the viewer understands that it’s not just paint that’s making something look gold, but rather gold itself being depicted.

Much like showing the texture, weight, and limits of movement within a textile, being able to render various objects so the viewer understands what they’re comprised of not only helps communicate concept design and storytelling within a fashion illustration, but also allows the viewer to better connect with what’s been drawn as being analogous to a real-world object or familiar material.

In the Seventies, Halston befriended (and dressed) members of the international jet set, including Bianca Jagger, Liza Minnelli, and Liz Taylor. Dressed in his trademark black turtleneck, he could often be found partying at Studio 54 and enjoying his success with a host of celebrity friends. Licensing deals made him very wealthy, but tragedy lay in the distance…drug addiction and an AIDS diagnosis in 1988 led to his downfall. Unable to cope with the demands of his career, he was fired from his own company…Halston died of AIDS-related complications in 1990.
In the 80’s, Ralph Lauren really became a force to be reckoned with, as his signature polo shirts for men, with their ubiquitous polo pony and rider, became coveted items for many different demographics. Available in every color of the rainbow, they lined his coffers and allowed him to put more money into his glamorous women’s wear lines; he especially enjoyed producing couture pieces and overseeing glossy runway shows.
In the Seventies, Halston befriended (and dressed) members of the international jet set, including Bianca Jagger, Liza Minnelli, and Liz Taylor. Dressed in his trademark black turtleneck, he could often be found partying at Studio 54 and enjoying his success with a host of celebrity friends. Licensing deals made him very wealthy, but tragedy lay in the distance…drug addiction and an AIDS diagnosis in 1988 led to his downfall. Unable to cope with the demands of his career, he was fired from his own company…Halston died of AIDS-related complications in 1990.
Christian Lacroix directs his devotion and talent for fantasy and theatrics to create true design spectacles. Lacroix arrived in the 80s with the opening of his fashion house and immediately set the world on fire with unexpected mixes of colors and patterns. “The idea of seeing everybody clad the same is not really my cup of tea“. This is one of the best quotes of Lacroix, fighting for unique and irreverent pieces in the world of fashion.
Yamamoto was born in Yokohama, Japan on October 3, 1943. He studied law at Keio University and graduated in 1966 with a law degree. He continued his studies on fashion design at the famous Bunkafukuso Gakuin, a fashion institute in Tokyo. Yamamoto blends the exotic and powerful designs of traditional Japanese dress with Western daywear, and achieves a unique, abstract style.  He is an uncompromising, nontraditional designer.  Yamamoto drapes and wraps the body in unstructured, loose, voluminous garments, similar in style and philosophy to those of Rei Kawakubo.  Many of his clothes have additional flaps, pockets and straps.
As a rule, world’s famous fashion designers have their place in the fashion industry for a long time. Each of them has a luxury fashion house with their admirers, as well as characteristic iconic images, seen in all collections. Coco Chanel with her tweed suit or Valentino with his striking red dresses, the best fashion designers clothing are credited only those who created his own distinctive style, which entered the history of fashion. Here 10 people awarded with the title of “best.”

Textile patterns can also help coordinate various pieces when you match up a color or two from a print within other garments or accessories in a design. This is especially apparent when you’re illustrating a line of clothing and begin to notice how various pieces within a set, though not all worn together or by the same person, may call back to each other with the use of the same patterns or colors from a pattern.

Check for instructions or guidance on what to include. If you’re applying to a design program, they should give a good idea of what they want to see in your portfolio. If you’re designing a professional portfolio, you may not have explicit directions. Generally, you should include creative investigation, drawings that show your ability to translate 3D into 2D, color studies, and, if relevant, photos of 3D work that you’ve done.[1]
If there is one thing that is constant, it is “change”. And change is exactly the one thing that is constant when it comes to fashion. Since the beginning of human civilization, there has been a constant effort being put to make one look better. The different styles in fashion have always gone through innumerable changes. With the increase in the amount of innovations, the change in trend and fashion styles have also been rapid. So keeping that in mind, here is the list of a few fashion styles that we accepted with all our hearts:
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